The students of Toledo School for the Arts have the opportunity to participate in a plethora of clubs and organizations after school. One of the newest is the Speech and Debate team. That’s team and not club. Mr. Szparagowski is one of the advisors. He never did speech and debate in high school, but he was a participant in model united nations and says that both build character. Last year, the team was created, but this is the first year that it is actually up and running by request of the students. Students have the opportunity to compete in multiple categories where they can recite monologues, write and perform original pieces, or debate hot topics.
The second advisor and coach of the team is Ms. Wetzel who is also the coach of Whitmer’s speech and debate team. Her daughter, Olivia Wetzel, and 8th grader here at TSA, has been competing in speech and debate since the 5th grade at the national level. When asked why she decided to participate in speech and debate she said, “I watched the high schoolers do it and I just kind of fell in love with it.”
The students in junior high mostly compete at the local level right now and the high school students could compete almost every Saturday until March if they want to. When Ms. Wetzel was questioned about whether a student still has time to participate and if it is okay to join the team if the student is new to speech and debate her reply was,”Try. Give it a try. Kids can still join and you never know how well you’ll do until you’ve done it.” They are still looking for more students, especially high schoolers.
~Terri Draper, 12 Grade