Category: Speech and Debate

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Purple Knights News · St. Augustine hosts Speech and Debate Tournament

St. Augustine High School Speech and Debate students are gearing up to host the annual St. Augustine High School Speech and Debate Tournament on Friday, December 1, and Saturday, December 2.

The debate includes a total of 95 debate competitors from high schools around the region, as well as 37 judges, including judges from the Xavier University of Louisiana Speech and Debate Team. As hosts, the St. Augustine team will not compete. The team will serve as volunteers by setting up the campus, greeting guests, assisting the judges, and providing refreshments.
A list of the competing schools are below:

  • Benjamin Franklin High School – New Orleans, LA
  • Caldwell Parish High School – Columbia, LA 
  • Christ Episcopal School – Covington, LA
  • Holy Cross High School – New Orleans, LA
  • Isidore Newman High School, New Orleans, LA
  • Mount Carmel Academy – New Orleans, LA
  • Riverdale High School – Jefferson, LA 
  • South Jones Senior High School – Ellisville, MS
  • St. Martin’s Episcopal School – Metairie, LA
  • St. Mary’s Dominican – New Orleans, LA
  • Thrive Academy – Baton Rouge, LA

“We are excited to host one of the region’s most comprehensive high school speech and debate tournaments,” said Rahman McGill, St. Augustine Speech and Debate Coach. “Continuing a proud tradition at St. Aug, speech and debate students see tangible benefits from participation while in school – confidence in speaking, improved writing, and the development of diverse perspectives.”

Tournament events include Extemporaneous Debate, a one-on-one format that consists of two students who argue a specified topic with limited preparation time. 

The competition will also include Congressional Debate (House & Senate). A simulation of the U.S. legislative process, students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate in Congressional Debate. Debaters alternate delivering speeches for and against the topic in a group setting. An elected student serves as a presiding officer to ensure debate flows smoothly. Students are assessed on their research, argumentation, and delivery skills, as well as their knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure.

“The tournament is a wonderful opportunity to see local high school students doing wonderful things in a positive environment,” Kenneth A. St. Charles Ph.D., President and CEO of St. Augustine High School said. “These speech and debate activities provide life skills that are vital to a young person’s success in the future. If you are looking to see our future leaders, you’ll find them right here.”

Awards will be presented to event semi-finalists, finalists, and Sweepstakes McGill said. Tournament events will be held in the St. Augustine classrooms and the awards ceremony will be in the St. Augustine Dining Hall on Saturday evening.

Click here for the tournament schedule: Revised Schedule

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Purple Knights News · St. Aug students Press Mayoral Candidates on the Issues

The St. Augustine Political Science Club along with Film and Media Crew members joined students from other high schools to participate in the political process Friday afternoon during a Mayoral Forum featuring New Orleans’ candidates at Xavier University of Louisiana. Students pressed the two candidates on a variety of issues facing the city: from crime, to access to health care, and improving economic investment in New Orleans East.

Click the video below to see more:

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Purple Knights News · Purple Knights compete in Speech & Debate State Tournament of Champions

The state Speech and Debate Tournament of Champions is underway in Lafayette, Louisiana. Marc Barnes (sophomore), Rahsaan Smith, and Neal Hamilton (both freshmen) are representing St. Augustine in Declamation. The Louisiana High School Speech League (LHSSL) is holding the tournament at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Lafayette.

The LHSSL is dedicated to promoting speech and debate competition in secondary schools in Louisiana. The league sanctions speech and debate tournaments throughout the school year, hosted by members or affiliates.

Students from member schools qualify for the State Tournament of Champions by placing in the top three or four (depending on the event) or through an alternative process at a LHSSL sanctioned tournament. The tournament lasts until Saturday. More than 200 students are competing in various events.

Head speech and debate coach Maniko Barthelemy said she “couldn’t be prouder” of St. Augustine’s competitors.


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Purple Knights News · St. Aug Speech & Debate has impressive showing at Tournament

Congratulations to the Speech and Debate team on their impressive outcome at Mt. Carmel’s Speech and Debate Tournament.

James Waiters won two of four debates. Marc Barnes and Trey Causey debated as a team and won one out of four debates.

In the speaking events, freshmen, Jairus James, Rahsaan Smith, and Neal Hamilton, came in fourth place, in their respective events.

The team is now preparing to host the school’s Purple and Gold Speech and Debate Tournament at St. Augustine on December 2 and 3.

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The St. Augustine Speech and Debate Team participates in the Mt. Carmel Academy Speech and Debate Tournament.
The St. Augustine Speech and Debate Team participates in the Mt. Carmel Academy Speech and Debate Tournament.
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Boys Varsity National Honor Society · Senior Allen Miller to Participate in The Great Debate

AKA Sorority Incorporated presents The Great Debate – Mock Presidential Debate – Thursday, October 27, 9 a.m. at the Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market.

St. Augustine High School senior Allen Miller will portray the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. St. Katharine Drexel Prep senior Clarsey Hawkins, will assume the role of Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Purple Knight Damon Singleton will moderate.

Students from both schools will portray members of the press and will help moderate the mock debate. Following the debate students will cast votes for the candidate of their choice in a mock presidential election.

This event is free and open to the public.

Co Sponsors: Senator Troy Carter, Amistad Research Center, Martinet Legal Society, Hope Credit Union, Attorney Kim Boyle, Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Attorney Ike Spears, and Councilmember Nadine Ramsey.

The Great Debate
Thursday, October 27, 9 a.m.
Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market.

1436 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70113