The Windward Speech & Debate tournament has qualified for every major state and national tournament this year! Across three grueling tournaments, Windward has scored some historic successes in the Speech & Debate arena.
Elizabeth Davids '25 and Kennedy Richards '25 qualified for the State Championship in their Duo Interpretation, a competitive theater event where speakers edit down films, plays, and novels into a ten minute speech. Beth and Kennedy took Robin Benway's Far from the Tree, a story about two sisters separated at birth who reconvene in a chance encounter and grow together as siblings from a new seed, and bring the novel to life by embodying the characters' shared trauma and joy at having found one another.
Teddy Sipkins '25 and Carter Mitchell '25 qualified for every major state and national tournament for debate: the State Championship, and Tournament of Champions (the first team to ever make it to the Tournament of Champions). For each round across all three tournaments, they researched, planned, and developed nuanced speeches and debate cases on topics like Chinese-Indonesian relations, feminist standards of beauty, and policy around hydro-electric power in the United States. Teddy Sipkins also jumped into extemporaneous speech and by cross-applying some of the skills he developed in short-prep Parli debate he has flown to the top of the ranks in speech competitions, and qualified for the proverbial Super Bowl of Speech & Debate: Nationals! As a Speech & Debate obsessive, Teddy has done incredible work this year.
Great work, Wildcats!
Zoë Katz has been crushing tournaments all year long with her speech about how the "crazy cat lady" stereotype can be linked to a long history of misogyny, dating back to the Salem Witch Trials and Egyptian mythology. With beautiful visual aids shaped like cats, she qualified for the State Tournament and took first place at the National Qualifying Tournament.
Jackson Walter jumped into extemporaneous speaking, a new category for him, where competitors have just 30 minutes to develop speeches on questions like "Which international institution is in the most need of reform?" to attempt qualification for both the State and National qualifying tournaments. Jackson has a particular talent for developing humorous opening hooks and memorable witty concluding lines on short notice. Jackson qualified for both the State and National Tournaments with flying colors!
Luke Gialanella, who was also one of the few to qualify last year for Nationals, qualified for the National Tournament with ease. Luke has the uncanny ability to write, memorize, and deliver a flawless speech without a single filler "um" or "like" in extemporaneous speaking.
Meiyi Wang, our Senior star of the performative categories, has been "double entering" into both Program Oral Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation. Their Program Oral Interpretation mixed, cut, and rearranged texts from articles, poems, and stories about the Asian-American experience into a clever thematic presentation the ABCs of hate speech. Meiyi will be headed to the National tournament in Phoenix alongside Zoë, Jackson, and Teddy.
Congratulations to all, for one of the strongest Speech & Debate seasons in recent Windward memory!