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Students seek to find an opportunity in debate

Sophia Gesualdi, Reporter

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Rolla High School students will now have an opportunity share their voice, as English teacher Lea Hickerson has plans to start a debate team. Debate will be treated just like any other sport, and is open to any student with interest.
“It operates just like a sport. You have practice after school just like you would going to track, football, or anything else. You choose an event that you want to practice for; events are things like debate, there’s different kinds of debate, like Lincoln Douglas. There’s also things like storytelling, speech to entertain, and speech to persuade, and radio announcing is one that’s kind of different. So there are all these different routes they can go, and so they choose, and then they practice and work on technique, learn the rules, and then go to competition.” Lea Hickerson said.
Hickerson was involved in debate at her high school, and believes it is a great way to learn to speak in front of an audience.
“I did it in high school and it was just a wonderful experience. It’s a really great opportunity to kind of work with your peers in a different way. It’s definitely a skill you can use later because once you’ve kind of honed those public speaking skills, then they apply in all kinds of places. When I was in high school, I didn’t want to talk in front of people, and I can talk in front of a thousand now, and it’s not a big deal.” Hickerson said.
Hickerson would need a large number of people committed to joining the team, but hopes to gain enough interest, seeing as debate appeals to a wide variety of students.
“I would need at least twenty confirmed members. The interest would have to be pretty big to leave me with that twenty committed core group. Although, it’s kind of like a sport for non athletic people, so I think it fills that niche.” Hickerson said.
As the word of a debate team spreads through the school, students are curious to know more about it and see what happens in the future.
“I think it’s a really good idea. It broadens the education environment because you have to research topics that people definitely have different views on, and you get to find factual information that kind of backs that up. So, I think it would be a good addition to the school,” sophomore Alexis Turner said

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Students seek to find an opportunity in debate