Capital Speech and Debate Goes To State and Nationals

Oscar E. Pecan, Writer

The Capital High School Speech and Debate team has had a winning season, earning 12 spots at districts and earning two first place awards there. Rahma Gaye, a Capital High School junior, and Meredith Morgan, a Capital High School sophomore, both earned the top spots at the districts event, meaning they have qualified to attend the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky this June.

Gaye said she was shocked.,“There were so many really good speeches, and it took a moment to settle in… I couldn’t believe it.”

However, Speech and Debate Coach, Jonathan Moore, said he knew Gaye was a shoe-in for first place.

“The moment I first heard her speech, I knew we had a winner on our hands.  I am so proud of Rahma and the work she has done this season.”

Rahma’s speech entitled, “What’s in a Name?” is about her experiences as a young black Muslim woman in the United States.  In it, she describes the real world challenges she has faced and the battles other young women like her have to deal with on a daily basis.

“This is such an important topic,” said Moore. “I am so glad that Rahma got to share her speech at districts and will have the opportunity to share it on the national stage.”

The name of the event that Gaye won in is Original Oratory. That is a ten minute memorized speech written by the speaker, usually about an issue of universal importance.

Morgan, the other first place winner, participated in International Extemporaneous speaking, where she discussed the situation in Ukraine. This event offers students the chance to talk about a variety of topics that are impacting people all around the world. The topics are given to students 30 minutes prior to the start of their speeches, so they have limited time to prepare.  

Moore says the team now has to fundraise in order to send the team to Louisville. 

“We’re going to need upwards of $5,000 for this trip.” This may seem like a lot of money, especially for a school activity, but Moore is confident they will be able to get it. “I believe in the power of community.  I think we here at Capital know how important this issue is, and I believe Capital will come together to help us raise the funds, so Rahma can share her message with a nationwide audience.”

As far as the team’s prospects at Nationals, Moore says, “Anything is possible. I know we have some real winners on our team. They might just take the National Trophy! We’ll have to wait and see.”