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At Evanston Township High School, all speech and debate activities have been combined under one roof: Urban Debate, National Debate, and Speech are now combined in one team, said speech and debate coach Jeffrey Hannan. This move gives students more opportunities to try multiple events, and gives those students access to a wider range of coaching and staff expertise.

“Our team has continued to grow; last year we had just under a hundred students signed up for either the Speech or the Debate team, and 83 students competed for one or the other during the course of the year. This year we have 113 students signed up for Speech and Debate, and 54 students have already competed for us,” Mr. Hannan said. 

Some competitive highlights of the year include the following:

Advancing three Public Forum teams to elimination rounds at the Mid-America Cup.

Winning the varsity Public Forum division at the Schaumburg Invitational.

Winning the novice Policy Debate division at the Northside College Prep season opener.

A 3rd place finish (out of over a hundred competitors from seven states) in Original Oratory, a quarterfinalist in Prose/Poetry Interpretation (top 24), and a semi-finalist in Dramatic Interpretation (top 12) at the Blue Key Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.

Runners up in Original Oratory and Oratorical Declamation at the Huntley Fall Fest for Speech.

A Congressional Debate first place finish at the Illinois Congressional Debate Association’s second tournament.

Two events scheduled for December are a public debate between two staff members and two students about discipline policy at ETHS on Dec. 15 and a public-speaking contest for Latino/a students in District 65, with the final performances at ETHS on Dec. 16.