September 15, 2018
Interested in joining KHS’s Speech and Debate Team? Come to a practice in the Lower A Computer Lab on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night at 6:30pm. Speech and debate is an academic competition against other high schools that focuses on public speaking, debating, writing and acting skills. Similar to a swim or track team, students compete as an individual (or with a teammate) in one or two of fourteen events occurring simultaneously in separate classrooms. Besides looking great on college applications, Speech and Debate teaches students to be polished public speakers, to develop argumentative, writing and research skills and to increase confidence. The team competes in more than a dozen Saturday tournaments at schools in Northeastern Ohio from late-October through mid-February with the goal of qualifying for States, which is held in early March. Students are not required to attend every tournament. For additional information, read the 2018-19 KHS Team Info packet available in the Information portion of this website. If you have any questions, please email Coach Voudris at email@example.com
March 10, 2018
Kenston’s speech and debate team competed at Novice States, which is the State Championship for students competing for their first year in high school. Adler Weber and Philip Witmer-Rich were crowned Novice State Champions in Duo Interpretation. Placing Third at Novice States were Okan Kardzhala and Marcus Novak in Public Forum Debate, who had four wins and no losses during the event. Just missing earning a medal were Stephen Kale and Nathan Gaskins, who placed seventh in Public Forum Debate with a three win and one loss record, Delaney Bochenek who placed eighth in Lincoln-Douglas Debate also with a three win and one loss record, and Colin Varga who placed 10th in Congressional Debate.
March 5, 2018
A dozen KHS students traveled to Toledo to compete at States this past weekend. Junior Samara Benza reached Semifinals in Declamation, while Sophomore Laura Parsons reached Quarterfinals in Declamation and Senior Morgan Spehar reached Quarterfinals in Informative Speaking. Congratulations to everyone for qualifying for States, which is a great accomplishment in itself.
February 17, 2018
Congrats to NSDA National Qualifiers Anna Soryal in Informative Speaking and Tia Speece in World Schools Debate, who will be competing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June. Selected as a First Alternate was Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking. Also congrats to the following KHS students selected to be a part of Kenston’s Congressional Debate delegation to States in Toledo on March 2-3: Colin Varga, Nick Sanchez, Emma Nidy & Samantha Kirschman, bringing the total KHS speech and debate team members at States to a lucky 13.
February 3, 2018
Congrats to Jessica Sunderhaft, Laura Parsons, Hannah Andrews, Anna Soryal and Kim Voudris who join Samara Benza, Savannah Georgian, Tia Speece and Morgan Spehar as Speech and Debate State qualifiers. Qualifying as alternates are Samantha Kirschman, Kylee Pierson and Sarah Herbruck. Kenston’s four person Congressional Delegation to States will be announced next week. States will be held in Toledo on March 2-3.
January 27, 2018
In the last regular season tournament of the season, KHS’s speech and debate team placed fourth out of thirty schools at the Solon tournament. Individually placing first was Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking. Placing second was Karissa Sanchez in Declamation and Tia Speece in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Placing third was Adler Weber and Phillip Witmer-Rich in Duo Interpretation and Savannah Georgian in Program Oral Interpretation. Placing seventh were Jessica Sunderhaft in Program Oral Interpretation, Kylee Pierson in Dramatic Interpretation, and Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian in Duo Interpretation. Freshmen Nick Sanchez and Ben Millard won three of their four debates in Public Forum Debate. Morgan and Savannah qualified for States, joining Tia and Samara Benza who qualified earlier this season. Also congrats to Tia Speece for finishing the regular season with an undefeated 21-0 record in Lincoln Douglas debate. Districts is on Saturday, where the team hopes to qualify a bunch more for States.
January 20, 2018
Kenston placed 6th out of 25 schools in the second to last regular season Speech and Debate tournament of the season, which was held at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Crowned tournament champion was Samara Benza in Declamation, who also qualified for States this week! Earning ribbons in Program Oral Interpretation were Samantha Kirschman, who placed fifth, and Hannah Andrews, who placed sixth. Also placing sixth was Anna Soryal in Informative Speaking, and Emily Hall in Original Oratory. Special shout-out to Freshman Delaney Bochenek, who won three out of her four debates.
January 8, 2018
Kenston High School placed 4th out of 19 teams this weekend at a speech and debate tournament held at John Carroll University and Hathaway Brown School. Samara Benza placed second in Declamation. Adler Weber and Phillip Witmer-Rich placed second and Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian placed third in Duo Interpretation. Jessica Sunderhaft placed 3rd and Savannah Georgian placed 6th in Program Oral Interpretation. Sarah Herbruck placed 3rd and Kim Voudris placed 7th in Informative Speaking. Emily Hall placed fifth in Original Oratory. In debate, Sam Selent, Marcus Novak, and Okan Kardzhala all had winning records.
December 16, 2017
For the first time ever, Kenston placed first as a team at a speech and debate tournament when it hosted its tournament, with 23 schools and about 360 competitors in attendance. Anna Soryal placed 2nd, Sarah Herbruck placed 4th, Morgan Spehar placed 7th and Kim Voudris placed 8th in Informative Speaking. Jessica Sunderhaft placed 2nd and Savannah Georgian placed 5th in Program Oral Interpretation. Adler Weber and Phillip Witmer-Rich placed 3rd in Duo Interpretation. Samara Benza placed 3rd and Karissa Sanchez placed 5th in Declamation. Emily Hall placed 5th in Original Oratory, and Kylee Pierson placed 6th in Dramatic Interpretation. The team of Marcus Novak and Okan Kardzhala placed 7th in Public Forum Debate with a three win and one loss record. Sam Selent placed 8th in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. A special shout-out to Junior Kierna Chalmers who competed in her first tournament ever by debating whether NCAA student athletes ought to be paid at least minimum wage.
December 9, 2017
Kenston placed 8th out of 37 schools on Saturday in a speech and debate tournament hosted by Vermilion High School. Crowned tournament champion was Senior Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking. Freshman Adler Weber and Philip Witmer-RIch took fourth place in Duo Interpretation. A big welcome goes to Ethan Suskowicz who competed in his first tournament ever. Kenston will be hosting 21 schools at its tournament this coming Saturday. Feel free to stop by in the morning to check it out.
December 2, 2017
Bringing its largest team ever to a tournament, KHS placed third out of 23 teams at the Olmsted Falls tournament on Saturday. 12 of our 31 competitors placed in their event. We had two tournament champions: Tia Speece in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Savannah Georgian in Program Oral Interpretation. Tia is Kenston’s first State Qualifier for the year, and is still undefeated on the season, winning 17 debates in a row. Competing in their first high school tournament ever were Kaleigh Seely, who placed second in Big Questions Debate, and Philip Witmer-Rich and Adler Weber who placed third in Duo Interpretation. Also placing for Kenston were the following: Jessica Sunderhaft 2nd place Program Oral Interpretation; Samara Benza 3rd place Declamation; Emma Nidy 3rd place Dramatic Interpretation; Haley Hall 4th place Declamation; Morgan Spehar 5th Place Informative Speaking; Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian 5th Place Duo Interpretation; and Samantha Kirschman 6th Place Program Oral Interpretation. Also a shout-out to Colin Varga who for the first time served as one of the presiding officers in Congressional Debate and to our other freshman debaters who defeated teams from Chagrin Falls, Gilmour, Hawken, University School, and Hathaway Brown.
Success at Mentor
The Speech and Debate Team traveled to Mentor High School this past weekend and was very successful. Stephen Kale had a last minute switch in events while on the bus and decided to do public forum debate for his first time with Henry Cregar. The team did very well as their first time competing as partners. Karissa Sanchez did her first Speech and Debate tournament of the year and placed eleventh in the declamation category. Several competitors received NSDA honor society membership this past weekend including the following: Phoebe Peiffer, Chloe Peiffer, Nathan Gaskins, Skylar Cinch, Avery Steinberg, and David Marshall. Henry Cregar said, “Congratulations to all, it was a very good tournament.”
November 20, 2017
Congrats to the speech and debate team for an outstanding performance at Mentor where 28 high schools from as far as Cincinnati came to compete. Tia Speece came in 3rd & Sam Selent came in 10th in LD Debate; Morgan Spehar placed 4th in Informative Speaking; Laura Parsons came in 6th in Dramatic Interp; Samantha Kirschman placed 8th in Program Oral Interp; and Karissa Sanchez came in 11th in Declamation. Kenston placed 9th out of 28 schools.
November 11, 2017
Twenty-one KHS speech and debate team members travelled to Hawken on Saturday. For the second week in a row, Kenston placed 6th out of 20 schools. Tia Speece was crowned tournament champion in Lincoln Douglas Debate, going undefeated for the second week in a row. Samara Benza placed 2nd in Declamation. Savannah Georgian placed 3rd and Jessica Sunderhaft placed 5th in Program Oral Interpretation. Emma Nidy placed 5th and Laura Parsons placed 6th in Dramatic Interpretation. Competing in their first high school tournament ever were Nathan Gaskins in Congressional Debate, Phoebe Peiffer and Chloé Peiffer in Public Forum Debate, and Avery Steinberg in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. The Peiffer sisters beat two different teams from Mason, while Steinberg beat a debater from Solon. The team travels to Mentor this coming Saturday.
November 9, 2017
Congratulations to Savannah Georgian for being awarded the Academic All American award by the National Speech and Debate Association. She is only the second Kenston student in the KHS team’s 18 year history to have achieved the award. The Academic All American award recognizes students whom have earned the degree of Superior Distinction and whom have demonstrated outstanding character, leadership, and academic grades.
November 4, 2017
Kenston placed 6th out of 20 schools at Edison’s Speech and Debate Tournament, despite only 25% of our team competing. In their first ever varsity tournament, Freshmen Kylee Pierson was crowned tournament champion in Dramatic Interpretation and Okan Kardzhala and Marcus Novak went undefeated and placed second in Public Forum Debate. Also going undefeated was Tia Speece who placed second in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Savannah Georgian placed third in Program Oral Interpretation and fourth in Bible Interpretation, while Hannah Andrews placed sixth in Bible Interpretation. This marked the first time in Kenston’s history that one of its teams placed in Public Forum Debate at a varsity tournament. Also competing in their first varsity tournament ever were Colin Varga in Congressional Debate, Delaney Bochenek in Lincoln Douglas Debate, and David Marshall in International Extemporaneous Speaking. More of the team is expected to compete next Saturday at Hawken.
October 29, 2017
Kenston competed in Vermilion’s combined middle school and novice high school debate tournament on Saturday. Freshmen Ben Millard, Nick Sanchez, Brennen Fisher, and Henry Cregar tied for 1st in Public Forum Debate, while Delaney Bochenek tied for 1st in Lincoln Douglas Debate. In middle school Congressional Debate, Cadie Matty placed 1st, Alex Prodan placed 2nd and Ryann Greulich placed 3rd. Peter Como went undefeated and placed first in Big Questions Debate. The High School team heads to Edison next week for the first Varsity tournament of the season.
Speech and Debate Tournament Results!
October 24, 2017
Over this past weekend, novice high school competitors travelled all the way to Carrollton, Ohio for their first high school speech and debate tournament. Marcus Novak, Okan Kardzhala, Nick Sanchez, Ben Millard, Henry Cregar, Brennan Fisher, Colin Varga, Skylar Cinch, Kylie Pierson, and Jessie Kirschman all competed at Carrollton High School on Saturday, October 21. Everybody did very well, including Skylar Cinch, taking third place in dramatic interpretation, Kylie Pierson, taking second in the same category, and the team of Marcus Novak and Okan Kardzhala taking first in public forum debate. Henry Cregar said, “Overall, we did well and we hope to get better for the weeks to come.” Mr. Voudris and Mr. Snook will continue improvement in speech and debaters and hope to do even better at the next tournament on Saturday, October 28, at Vermillion High School.
October 21, 2017
Departing at 5:45am, Kenston’s speech and debate team started the season strong by taking ten first time high school competitors to the first novice tournament of the year, which was held at Carrollton High School. Continuing their success from their middle school days, the Public Forum Debate team of Marcus Novak and Okan Kardzhala were crowned tournament champions. Also taking home awards this weekend were Kylee Pierson and Skylar Cinch, who placed second and third in Dramatic Interpretation. Brennan Fisher, Henry Cregar, Ben Millard and Nick Sanchez all won their first ever high school debate. Competing in their first speech and debate tournament ever, Colin Varga and Jessie Kirschman put forth strong efforts in Congressional Debate and Declamation. Thank you to varsity team members Tia Speece, Sam Selent, and Savannah Georgian for helping judge the novices. The high school novices will compete this coming weekend at Vermilion and be joined by the middle school team.
By Brennan Fisher
October 6, 2017
The first topics for Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum Debate came out Sunday, October 1. The Lincoln Douglas topic is Resolved: Wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations. The Public Forum topic is Resolved: The United States should require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfer of ownership. Okan Kardzhala said, “Don’t hate it, just debate it!” Mr. Voudris would be happy to work with anyone who is having trouble coming up with arguments or finding evidence. Meetings are still every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:45 until 8:45. Remember to email Mr. Voudris with any questions you have.
2/27 Good Luck at State Speech and Debate! Drumout Photos
February 19, 2017
For the first time in six years, Kenston’s speech and debate team is going to Nationals! Congratulations to Junior Morgan Spehar who qualified in Informative Speaking and Sophomore Tia Speece who was selected to be part of the Cleveland District’s World Schools Debate team. Alternates for Nationals include Seniors Nick Vitello in Humorous Interpretation and Gillian McMaster in Original Oratory. Nationals will be held June 18-23 in Birmingham, Alabama.
February 11, 2017
Congratulations to Sophomore Tia Speece for being a national qualifier alternate in Congressional Debate, in her first ever tournament in that particular debate event. Please wish Kenston’s speech and debate team luck as they travel to St. Ignatius this coming weekend to attempt to qualify for nationals in numerous other events.
Congratulations to Kenston’s Speech and Debate State Qualifiers!
February 6, 2017
This past Saturday, the Kenston Speech and Debate team traveled to Berea-Midpark High School to compete in Little Districts, the state-qualifying tournament. Ten students qualified from Kenston: Sarah Herbruck, Anna Soryal, and Kim Voudris in Informative Speaking; Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian in Duo Interpretation; Sam Selent in Lincoln Douglas Debate; Laura Parsons and Emma Nidy in Dramatic Interpretation; and Rory McBrady and Gillian McMaster in Original Oratory. Along with these ten students who qualified Saturday, four team members qualified for States previously in the season: Nick Vitello in Humorous Interpretation; Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking; Jessica Sunderhaft in Program Oral Interpretation; and Tia Speece in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Kenston will also bring a Congressional Debate delegation to States, including Onur Kardzhala and possibly three others.
With a total of 15 students going to States thus far (more than double the amount last year), the 2016-2017 Speech and Debate season is the most successful in many years. The state tournament will take place on March 3rd and 4th in our own Cleveland District at the Berea-Midpark and Olmsted Falls school districts. Good luck and congratulations to the Kenston Speech and Debate team!
Kenston Speech & Debate Team Gears Up For Districts
Saturday, January 28th marked the final regular tournament of the season for Kenston’s Speech & Debate Team. February 4th will be the day Little Districts is held, where speech members will compete for a chance to move on to the State Tournament. Members Nick Vitello, Morgan Spehar, Jessica Sunderhaft, and Tia Speece already have enough bids to advance to states, but the rest of the speech competitors must place within the top 30% or so in their event at districts to make states. The tournament will be held at Berea-Midpark High School.
The 2016-2017 season has been a very strong year for the team. Competitors from Kenston have consistently placed within the top six of numerous events throughout the season. Head coach Stephan Voudris and assistant coach Fred Snook have been guiding the competitors throughout the year. The team’s accomplishments would not have been possible without them. Big Districts will be held on February 17-18, where competitors can advance to nationals in Birmingham, Alabama if they are in the top 5% or so of the competitors in their event in the Cleveland area. Team members are enduring rigorous practice this week in preparation for the tournament, hoping for high scores from numerous judges for a chance to make it to the next round.
January 29, 2017
Kenston’s Speech and Debate Team traveled to Solon on Saturday where they placed 10th out of 44 schools. State qualifiers Tia Speece placed second in Lincoln Douglas debate with five wins and no losses and Morgan Spehar placed third in Informative Speaking. Congrats also to the Duo Interpretation team of Savannah Georgian and Megan Herbruck for reaching semifinals. Please wish the team luck as they travel to Districts on Saturday in an attempt to qualify more team members to States!
January 22, 2017
Kenston’s speech and debate team traveled to Berea-Midpark High School on Saturday to compete against 29 other schools. Congratulations to Junior Kim Voudris for placing Sixth in Informative Speaking. The team travels to Solon High School this coming Saturday for the last regular season tournament of the year.
January 15, 2017
Kenston’s speech and debate team placed 4th out of 19 schools at a tournament held at Lincoln-West High School. Remarkably, 9 out of 16 team members placed in their event. Special congratulations to Freshman Laura Parsons, who was the Tournament Champion in Dramatic Interpretation, in only her third tournament ever! In second place were the team of Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian in Duo Interpretation, Anna Soryal in Informative Speaking, and Emma Nidy in Dramatic Interpretation. Tia Speece placed third in Lincoln-Douglas Debate with a 4-1 record. Placing fifth were Gillian McMaster in Original Oratory and Nick Vitello in Humorous Interpretation. Pedro Michaels placed sixth in International Extemporaneous Speaking. Savannah Georgian earned a second award by placing sixth in Program Oral Interpretation. The team travels to Berea-Midpark High School this coming Saturday.
January 8, 2017
Congratulations to Kenston’s speech and debate team for another successful tournament when they traveled to Canfield High School in Youngstown on January 7. Morgan Spehar placed third and Anna Soryal placed sixth in Informative Speaking. Tying for seventh place were the team of Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian in Duo Interpretation, Nick Vitello in Humerous Interpretation, Tia Speece in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and Gillian McMaster in Original Oratory. Please wish the team luck when they travel to Lincoln-West this coming Saturday.
December 19, 2016
Kenston’s speech and debate team placed seventh at Hathaway Brown’s December 17 tournament. Special congratulations to Jessica Sunderhaft who was the tournament champion in Program Oral Interpretation and became Kenston’s third state qualifier. In Informative Speaking, Anna Soryal placed second, Morgan Spehar placed fifth, and Nick Vitello placed sixth. Onur Kardzhala placed fifth in Congressional Debate. Only four more tournaments until Districts!
December 14, 2016
Congratulations to Junior Morgan Spehar and Senior Nick Vitello for being Kenston High School’s first two Speech and Debate Team qualifiers to States this season. They qualified for States by earning four bids, which is accomplished by doing extremely well at four different tournaments. Both are now repeat State qualifiers, Morgan having qualified last year and Nick having qualified two years ago. The State tournament will be held this coming March at Berea-Midpark and Olmsted Falls high schools.
December 10, 2016
In what very well might be the highest finish ever by Kenston’s Speech and Debate Team, Kenston placed second out of 27 schools on Saturday December 10, when 34 KHS and KMS students traveled to Vermilion. Kenston had two tournament champions: Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking (out of 22 competitors), and Jessica Sunderhaft in Program Oral Interpretation (out of 34 competitors). Six other high schoolers placed as well. Placing second was Nick Vitello in Humorous Interpretation. The Duo Interpretation team of Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian placed third. Placing fourth was Rory McBrady in Original Oratory and Emma Nidy in Dramatic Interpretation. Kim Voudris placed fifth in Informative Speaking. Kenston next travels to Hathaway Brown this Saturday.
December 4, 2016
Kenston sophomore Tia Speece placed second out of 64 competitors in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Speech and Debate tournament held at Olmsted-Falls on Saturday December 3. She has an amazing 19 win and 4 loss record this season. Kenston’s team placed 11th out of 33 high schools, with a squad reduced by illness. Individual awards were also earned by Nick Vitello, who placed third in Humorous Interpretation and Morgan Spehar, who placed fifth in Informative Speaking.
November 19, 2016
On Saturday, twenty members of Kenston’s speech and debate team placed fifth out of twenty-two schools when they traveled to Mentor High School, which featured competitors from as far away as Cincinnati. Individual awards were earned by 40% of the team. Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian placed third in Duo Interpretation. Coming in fourth place were Onur Kardzhala in Congressional Debate, Taylor Vargo in Dramatic Interpretation, and Morgan Spehar in Informative Speaking. Fifth place awards were given to Tia Speece in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Emma Nidy in Dramatic Interpretation, and Jessica Sunderhaft in Program Oral Interpretation.
November 12, 2016
Kenston High School’s Speech and Debate team continued to ascend the rankings by placing fourth out of 21 schools when it traveled to Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School to compete against more than 400 students on Saturday, after placing sixth and fifth in the previous two tournaments. Individual awards were earned by Nick Vitello who placed second in Informative Speaking and third in Humorous Interpretation, Onur Kardzhala who placed second in Congressional Debate, Jessica Sunderhaft who placed third in Program Oral Interpretation, Emma Nidy who placed fourth in Dramatic Interpretation, Morgan Spehar who placed sixth in Informative Speaking, and Tia Speece who placed sixth in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Also congrats to Sam Selent who had a 3-1 record in his first ever varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate tournament. It is never too late to join the team. Come to practice in Room A112 after school on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays or at 7pm on Wednesday or Thursday night.
November 5, 2016
Kenston’s Speech and Debate team placed 5th out of 19 schools when it traveled to Laurel School on Saturday for the second varsity tournament of the season. Individual trophies were earned by Jessica Sunderhaft who placed first in Program Oral Interpretation, Morgan Spehar who placed second in Informative Speaking, Laura Parsons who placed fifth in Dramatic Interpretation in her first ever Speech Tournament, Megan Herbruck and Savannah Georgian who placed fifth in Duo Interpretation, and Rory McBrady who placed sixth in Original Oratory. Also congrats to Logan Vargo who won his first ever debate round, defeating a competitor from Hawken.
October 30, 2016
Kenston’s Speech and Debate team placed sixth out of twenty schools when it traveled to Edison High School on Saturday for the first varsity tournament of the season. Nick Vitello placed first in Humorous Interpretation and sixth in Bible Interpretation, Savannah Georgian placed second in Program Oral Interpretation, and Morgan Spehar placed fourth in Informative Speaking. In sixth place in their events were Gillian McMaster in Original Oratory, Jessica Sunderhaft in Program Oral Interpretation, and Tia Speece in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
October 22, 2016
Kenston’s Speech and Debate Team traveled to Vermilion High School for their first novice tournament of the year, competing against 19 other schools. Congratulations to Tia Speece and Samuel Selent, who went undefeated in Lincoln-Douglas debate and tied for first place. Also competing in their first high school tournament were Zarina Khan, Hannah Andrews, and Zamir Khan. Thank you to varsity team members Savannah Georgian, Megan Herbruck, Rory McBrady, Nick Vitello, and Kim Voudris for helping to judge. If you are interested in joining the team, stop by the lower A wing computer lab after school on Wednesday or Fridays.
October 2, 2016
The Public Forum Debate topic for October through November will be “On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.” The Lincoln Douglas Debate topic for October through December will be “Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.’ Debate practice will be held this week on Monday and Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the computer lab in the lower A wing. If you cannot join the team now for any reason, you are more than welcome to join the team later in the season. Contact Coach Voudris at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
March 7, 2016