Bethany’s speech and debate teams participate in the Indiana High School Forensics Association and the Northwest Indiana District of the National Forensic League. See schedule of events or follow on Facebook. For information on past years, see Season Summaries.
Speech and debate is coached by Michael Yeakey, who in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Key from the National Forensic League, which notes that Yeakey is one of only 313 coaches out of tens of thousands since 1925 to earn this honor. He also earned his second diamond pin in 2019.
Participating in speech and debate can help students become more effective communicators, ethical individuals, critical thinkers, and leaders.
- Debate offers students a chance to bring critical thinking skills to bear on real-life issues. The ideas that are considered require research, composition (of speeches), and a grasp of the issues underlying the presenting issues debated. Debate in the classroom leads to gains in engagement and participation, skill development, content knowledge, and academic performance.
- Speech events can provide students opportunities to hone a plethora of speaking skills in public. Separate events emphasize interpretation, public address, and broadcasting abilities.
According to the National Forensic League, students who are involved in speech and debate:
- demonstrate higher levels of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.
- typically score higher on standardized tests and classroom assessments.
- are more likely to be self-confident and independent.
- tend to feel more included and accepted socially.
- can benefit in the college admission and scholarship awarding process (see Yale study).