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Amarillo High School Speech & Debate

Amarillo High School Speech and Debate

The Speech and Debate Team is a group of individuals committed to academic and intellectual excellence.  We travel the state competing with other students in various communication events. We are a family - traveling, talking and sharing our lives with each other. You will make life-long friends and connections both here at Amarillo High and around the state as you meet some of the best and brightest minds in Texas.

OUR PHILOSOPHY: Talent is just talent. But work ethic and integrity are essential. With those two qualities, anyone can find success in forensics. Therefore, EVERYONE can and should maximize his or her potential in forensics activities.

By participating in forensics, you will develop life-long skills that include:

  • Organizing your thoughts
  • Persuading an audience
  • Storytelling and entertaining
  • Arguing both sides of an issue
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Researching effectively
  • Interpreting literature *Building self-confidence
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY—Communicating effectively in ANY situation

Some of the AHS Speech and Debate team accolades include:

  • 5th Place 5A State Finalist in UIL Student Congress—2014
  • Top 22 in the nation in Extemporaneous Debate
  • Yearly qualifications to the Texas Forensic Association state tournament and the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament
  • Multiple yearly qualifications to UIL Regional Speech and Debate tournament
  • Yearly competition in the Texas High School Mock Trial Association State tournament

Mellessa DennyProgram Director: Mellessa Denny
Mellessa Denny has taught speech and debate since 1998 and has been teaching at AHS since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from West Texas A&M University. She serves as the AHS Fine Arts Dept. Head and UIL Academic Coordinator. Mellessa is a frequent UIL Capitol Conference and Superconference presenter, two time host of the Texas Forensic Association State tournament, Past President of the Texas Speech Communication Association, and has been published twice in the TSCA professional journal.