New to St. Laurence this year is our Speech-Debate Team! Students in grades 5-8 are invited to participate on Tuesdays after school. In the fall, the focus was on speech and the students were on their feet speaking from day one. The activities were designed to develop each individual student to give them the confidence to speak lucidly and cogently in front of others.
Starting in April, the focus will shift to Debate where the students will utilize their speech skills in a new way. They will prepare arguments based on extensive academic research to support and negate topic areas and will use those arguments to debate their peers. The skills learned through debate are numerous but include research skills, critical thinking, and public speaking. All of these skills are necessary in college and the business world.
Kevin Connelly is a lawyer and an adjunct professor at Loyola University Law School; his experience includes coaching moot court teams at Loyola and debate teams at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
Wendy Kelly taught Speech and Debate at St. Edward CCHS, where she started its Debate team. Wendy has coached IHSA state participants and finalists as well as national tournament qualifiers over the past five years.