The Logical and Eloquent: The KIS Speech and Debate Team

KIS’s very own forensics team was arguably the best in their first fall tournament of the year.

The October KAIAC Speech and Debate Competition, the first speech and debate tournament of the year, was a huge triumph for KIS. Championing the first place rank not only as a school for both speech and debate, our KIS speakers and debaters definitely deserve a big round of applause for having put in a tremendous amount of effort into this competition. Every member of the team worked exceptionally diligently after hours of practice over the past month, working to polish their debate skills and perfecting their speeches.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

This competition was the first KAIAC competition for many students, especially the freshmen on the team. KIS Blueprint interviewed several students about their experiences in their first tournament.

“I guess for me it was a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t debate with my usual partner (Ariel) and there weren’t really many times to actually talk to my other partner so it was a bit of a struggle. However, I think we did well with the little practice we had together, and the competition wasn’t really intimidating or anything, but it might just be me. A lot of people were polite and friendly! :)”

– Jessica Kwon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“Because it was my first tournament, I’m not disappointed at all even without placing, because I was able to learn so much from the experience and witness so much talent out there!”

– Hope Yoon (‘19), Speech Team, Poetry

“It was great for me.”

– Marc Yoon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“It was a really great learning experience for me as I was able to witness and learn a lot of things, not only speech related! I was able to build more relationships with members of the KIS speech team, but also members of speech teams from other schools! Although at times we were frustrated and angry, overall, the experience is something I’ll never forget :)”

– Jenny Chung (‘19), Speech Team, Extemporaneous Speaking

“It was fun! I hated the food, though.”

– Leanne Kim (‘19), Speech & Debate Team, Original Oratory & Public Forum

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate TeamThe Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

Although there were some conflicts that occurred due to unexpected results, the tournament hosted at KIS ran pretty smoothly, due to the help of many behind-the-scenes workers. Timers and tabroom workers, who were voluntary KIS students, helped the judges out with timing the speeches and debates, and also with tabulating all of the results as quickly and as accurately as possible. Team captains ran around the school, organizing and making sure that all of the judges, coaches, debaters, speakers, and timers were in the right place. Mr. Burwell and Ms. Cuellar continuously circled back and forth around all the rooms, checking on the students as well as how the competition was running.

Our debate team achieved exceptionally high results: in Public Forum, Leanne Kim and Marc Yoon placed first, while Amy Kang and Jessica Kwon placed third. Eddie Kim won second place for Lincoln Douglas debate, and for Parliamentary debate, Jerry Kim and Claire Pak placed fourth. Furthermore, many members of the speech team received accolades for their superb performance: for Original Oratory, Amy Kang won first place while Chloe Shin was a finalist. Skylar Kim placed first, Amy Choi second, and Noah Kim a finalist for Solo Interpretation. For Poetry, Matthew Kim won second place, while Hope Yoon was a finalist. In Extemporaneous Speaking, Jenny Chung won second place, and Subin Hur was a finalist. Sara Kim placed first in Prose, while Michelle Park and Sally Lee were finalists. Katie Koo was third for Impromptu, while Sally Hong was a finalist. Finally, Leona Maruyama and Erica Lee placed third for Duo Interpretation, while Tiffany Namkoong and Suahn Hur were finalists.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

As a member of the debate team myself, I personally know how hard each of the team members worked to accomplish such great achievements, and how hard everyone who participated must have worked to do so. I hope that in the future competitions, KIS will defend its title.


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

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