Fri Apr 9th, 2021
Tags: Bethany Brookens, CHSAA, Colo. High School Activities Association, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, Competitive Efforts, High School Students, Marti Benham, Speech and Debate Month
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has proclaimed April 2021 as Speech and Debate Month, recognizing the competitive efforts of over 8,000 Colorado high school students who participate in the competitive activity. Colorado’s speech and debate community has held over 88 tournaments across the state.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has a vibrant program for speech and debate students who compete in Interpretation of Drama, Humor, Poetry, and Duo; Slam Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation; Original Oratory; Informative Speaking; Impromptu Speaking; Creative Storytelling; Extemporaneous Speaking; Congressional Debate; One-on-One Value Debate; Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Policy Debate; and Public Forum Debate.
“The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has recognized the importance on non-athletic activities and the impact these competitive opportunities contribute to maximizing educational outcomes and life-long skills,” said Commissioner Blanford-Green. “Aligned with Governor Polis’ statewide proclamation, the CHSAA will have an opportunity beginning with the 2021-2022 school year to enhance their administrative team with an Assistant Commissioner dedicated to the promotion of speech and debate, music, student leadership and emerging activities serving the interest of Colorado high school participants.”
“Speech and Debate has always been a cornerstone of the Activities Association, said Assistant Commissioner Bethany Brookens, administrator, who oversees the 167 member schools currently participating in CHSAA Speech and Debate.” It engages our students in a competitive learning environment and inspires them to discuss relevant issues of high interest that impact our societal norms”.
“We hope to continue this in future years and to create more awareness and support of speech and debate activities in Colorado. We also hope to create more awareness in Colorado about the NSDA National Speech and Debate Education Day,” said Marti Benham, long-time speech and debate coach for Cherry Creek High School.
Several key speech and debate advocates made this proclamation a reality. Attorney and policy advisor, Jia Meeks, Cherry Creek High School Class of 2010 and NSDA National Qualifier, who continues to dedicate time and service to the speech and debate community. Meeks serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Denver Urban Debate League, along with Jessica Clark, DUDL Executive Director, as well as Brookens and Christine Jones, CHSAA Speech Activities Chair for their assistance and support.