Speech and Debate adviser Eric Helle speaks to junior and club officer Gilbert Rosal during a club meeting. Photo by Cedric Vitug

Speech and Debate adviser Eric Helle speaks to junior and club officer Gilbert Rosal during a club meeting. Photo by Cedric Vitug


By Jose Orozco




On Wednesday Oct. 12, Speech and Debate club held its second parent meeting of the year in room 703 at Bonita Vista High School. The club officers provided parents and other members of the Bonita Vista community with training on how to judge speech events. Among the attendees were employees from Kohl’s Department Store, the club’s sponsor.

“Last year they did the meeting around this time, because this is when the competitions start. IT serves both purposes: it helps to teach the parents how to judge better, and allows students to practice their speeches before the competition,” BVH Speech and Debate parent Glenna McShane said.

For every tournament the club is required to take one judge for every of four competitors. However, the club organizes the training in order to further inform the aspiring judges, since in the past the club has been approached by parents looking for help.

“We do this meetings because we want to create a bridge that allows to support the child who has taken on rigorous and fear causing activity,” club advisor Eric Helle said.

All club officers went through the different events for speeches, and explained what a judge should look for during these events. In addition, they asked for any questions the aspiring judges may need clarified.

“They actually do promote [a lot of] volunteering at work . Judging is something I have never done, and it was something interesting, so I wanted to see what it was all about,” Kohl’s Department store employee Alexa Garibay said.

During the second part of the meeting, the judges were divided into groups and put into different classrooms in the 700s building. There, club members presented what they had prepared for the tournament on next saturday.

“I liked how we were able to help out the kids while we gave them feedback, and letting them know what areas they are doing good and bad [in], it felt positive,” Garibay said.

The Speech and Debate Club approached the Kohl’s Cares to become their partner. Kohl’s Cares is associated with Kohl’s Department Store located in Eastlake, which takes part in different volunteering activities around San Diego County.

“Over the past six years, we have done several functions with Kohl’s Cares, that has an agreement with Kohl’s Department Store and the people who work for it” Helle said. “The partners go out to the community and whatever organization they are doing service on, Kohl’s Department Store will donate a certain amount of money to that activity.”

According to Helle, Speech and Debate is a rigorous activity that requires the help and support from parents to competitors outside of school, including tournaments during the weekend.

“I find it amazing students know [a lot of] information, but at same time, they are keeping good grades at school. Speech and Debate is a great way to really help them grow, not only as students, but future students of the world who are aware of the global issues, they can actually see what is happening in the world and meet other kids who feel the same,” McShane said.