OLMS Students to Test Debate Mettle Against High School Students

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Taruni Kumar, of Upper Arlington High School, provides an example of an Impromptu Speaking event, one of the four categories in a debate competition the middle school students will participate in Nov. 9.

Olentangy Liberty Middle School students will test their debate and speech skills when they square off against high school students — yes, high school students — during a central Ohio high school speech and debate tournament.

The Olentangy Liberty Middle School (OLMS) Debate Club, the only middle school debate club in central Ohio, has been invited to compete with high school students in a speech and debate competition to be hosted by Upper Arlington High School November 9. Chris Goddard, Speech and Debate Coach at Upper Arlington High School, invited the OLMS debate students to the competition. The middle school team will be sending 15-20 students to participate in four different speech events: Impromptu, Original Oratory, Oratorical Interpretation, and Prose/Poetry.

In the spirit of support and sportsmanship, Mr. Goddard and a group of teammates from the Upper Arlington Speech and Debate team on Oct. 31 visited with the OLMS Debate Club to provide a workshop with tips and pointers to help prepare the middle school students.

The OLMS Debate Club consists of 28 students in every grade level at the school. The club meets before school every Wednesday under the direction of district parent volunteer Beth Probst.

“There are no other middle school debate teams/clubs that I have found in central Ohio, and because of that, our team can only do intra-team competitions.  That’s why this one is special,” Probst said.