GHS Speech and Debate team receives highest honor

Proving that hard work pays off, the Garland High School Speech and Debate team has gained national acclaim for the second time in a row. The group received the 2016-17 Leading Chapter Award in the Lone Star District—the highest recognition the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) can award a campus every five years.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the NSDA again,” said GHS Speech and Debate head coach Lory Stewart. “Our 50-plus students work extremely hard competing in 18 different qualifying, state and national tournaments throughout the year to bring recognition to not only Garland High School, but also to Garland ISD.” 

Just 108 out of more than 3,600 member schools nationwide received this year’s distinction, with the Owls being one of three DFW campuses to make the winning list. The award, which is participation-based, exemplifies a tremendous dedication to speech and debate education.

“Since 2006, we’ve grown from having one debate coach and two students to three debate coaches and more than 50 varsity members. Gaining recognition from NSDA validates that we are moving in the right direction by allowing students to gain self-confidence, leadership ability and critical thinking skills,” Stewart expressed.

The 12-year coach also believes participating in speech and debate will help students in the long run.

“This experience has taught them confidence, poise, courage, composure and self-esteem that has prepared them for and will carry them into their successful futures in college and beyond.”