Smith Joins Speech and Debate


Mia Paulson, Staff Writer/Editor

The Speech and Debate Team here at Holy Family has a new coach this year, Angela Smith. She is working hard with the students to make the program the best it has been yet, and feels confident about the team so far.

Although this is Smith’s first year at the HF program, it is not her first Speech and Debate rodeo. She was the head coach at Resurrection Christian for seven years before coming to work at Holy Family. She has worked here before, and was excited to come back because she missed the community of the staff, parents, and kids. More importantly, she is excited for the team.

The students are hard at work with after school practices on top of class time to get ready for competitions. Even if you are not in the class, but have done Speech and Debate before, Smith is open to working with you so that you can still compete in the tournaments!

Smith is using a mentor program, where the varsity students help the novices get their pieces ready and also help them adapt to the different areas of competition, as this year they will rotate between in-person, hybrid, and online. The captains this year are seniors Caroline Lander, Emily Bell, Josephine Romano, and Jaden Reenan. They are working hard to help Smith get the team ready by splitting the sectors (speech, public address, congress, and debate), checking in with their teammates, giving Smith glimpses of what the team has done in the past, setting up goals, and helping Smith set up and run the in-person tournaments in November and February.

Smith’s main goal for the year is to help students “find their voice and feel comfortable with expressing their ideas and opinions.” She would also love to take on state and national qualifiers, where many students have placed in previous years. The varsity group so far is strong, and Smith looks forward to each upcoming tournament to really see what the novices can do. With how the team is doing so far, Smith thinks state and national qualifiers are both realistic goals, and cannot wait to see the outcome of the season.

All students are welcome, and encouraged, to join the Speech and Debate program during their four years here at HF. “If kids want a place to try something that they haven’t done before, where they learn how to think and express themselves, this is a great place for that,” Smith comments. “They shouldn’t be intimidated! Their voice matters and they have a unique opinion and perspective. I’d love to have them!”