Can you believe we’re already in the homestretch of the season in Paly Speech & Debate? State and National Qualifier tournaments are just a few weeks away in March…followed by the Tournament of Champions (April 15-17), California State Championship (April 21-23), and National Championship (June 11-16).
It’s been an incredible season so far, with sustained enthusiasm and continuing momentum: we still have 90+ students attending weekly practices, and we’ve ascended to the #9 spot in California program rankings as part of the National Speech & Debate Association! Thank you, everyone, for your ongoing support and engagement in our program.
As we look ahead toward the end of the season, I wanted to share a few updates with everyone.
Paly Speech Showcase on March 6th
On Monday, March 6th, we’ll hold our annual Paly Speech Team Showcase from 5:00-7:00pm in Haymarket Theater! This is a chance to enjoy fantastic performances by some of our Paly Speechies, and to celebrate the 6+ months of hard work they’ve invested in crafting their pieces. Everyone in the Paly Speech & Debate community is invited and encouraged to attend.
Paly Speech & Debate Camp (PASDC)
Our Palo Alto Speech & Debate Camp (PASDC) directors have finalized counselor selections and staffing for our 2023 camp sessions after receiving a record-breaking 50+ applications! Camp will have two sessions this summer: June 5-9 & June 19-23. If you know someone with a child in grades 5-10 looking for summer activities, please recommend PASDC to them!
In the next few months, our PASDC student leaders will be holding mandatory training sessions and workshops for all counselors. Being a PASDC counselor is one of the most important, impactful service commitments in our program. Accordingly, we hold high expectations for our staff as public representatives of Paly Speech & Debate and ensure everyone is well-prepared.
Summer Learning & Coaching Opportunities for PASD Members
Many students & parents have asked about summer opportunities for continuing to learn and practice speech and debate skills. Students are encouraged to ask their coaches about summer camp recommendations for themselves, as there are several excellent day and sleepaway camps around the country. Additionally, if you/your child might be interested in working 1-1 with a Paly Speech & Debate coach during the off-season, please fill out this interest form.
I’ll be in touch again next month with more end-of-season details, including plans for our Annual Banquet in late April. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Program Director & Head Coach
Anna Van Riesen, Head of Communications, writes & publishes our monthly team newsletter.