Skip to Content

Highland Speech and Debate Team begins the season with positive results

Seven members of the speech and debate team smile for a photo with medals around their necks

FREEPORT — After two years of predominantly virtual competition, the Highland Speech and Debate Team has been back on the road competing at several in-person tournaments for the fall semester.

The team started the 2022-2023 competition season with strong showings across the state. Students compete in various competition categories spanning acting performances (oral interpretation), public speaking, and debate.

Coached by Director of Forensics Harry Bodell and Assistant Coaches Kevyn Sutter and Norah Flaherty, the students have earned a collection of trophies and medals for the College in one of the team’s most competitively successful semesters in recent years. The team, also the largest in several years, consists of second-year returning student Adam Rath, Brooke Allison Parkinson, Olivia Wilhelms, Ruby Snyder, Tabitha Roenneburg, Maddie Eppenstein, Mason McIntyre and Conor Guthrie.

Morraine Valley Community College (Oct. 30)
Novice Extemporaneous Speaking — Third Place, Mason McIntyre
Open Impromptu Speaking — Sixth Place, Conor Guthrie
Open Informative Speaking — Sixth Place, Mason McIntyre
Novice Informative Speaking — Fifth Place, Adam Rath
Open Persuasive Speaking — Fifth Place, Ruby Snyder
Novice Prose Interpretation — Third Place, Brooke Allison Parkinson

Prairie State College (Nov. 12)
Poetry Interpretation — Olivia Wilhelms, Sixth Place
Prose Interpretation — Tabitha Roenneburg, Third Place; Brooke Allison Parkinson — Fourth Place
Speech to Entertain — Brooke Allison Parkinson, Fifth Place; Tabitha Roenneburg, Seventh Place
Quality Team Sweepstakes (Based on the number of Points, Divided by the number of Entries) —
Sixth Place
Overall Team Sweepstakes — Fifth Place

Online Asynchronous Tournament Series #3 a.k.a. OATS (November 17)
In this format, students submitted videos that were judged throughout the week
Extemporaneous Speaking — Top Novice, Mason McIntyre
Prose Interpretation Semifinalist and Top Novice — Brooke Allison Parkinson

Elgin Community College (December 2-3):
Persuasive Speaking — Maddie Eppenstein, Second Place
Persuasive Speaking — Ruby Snyder, Tournament Champion
Poetry Interpretation — Olivia Wilhelms, Third Place
Prose Interpretation — Tabitha Roenneburg, Tournament Champion
Quality Team Sweepstakes — Second Place
Overall Team Sweepstakes — Fourth Place

The showing at Elgin Community College was the best of the season. Only four students competed in
the tournament, and Highland managed to compete with the other schools for other overall team
sweepstakes and the quality team sweepstakes. The team is looking forward to keeping the
momentum going in the spring with competitions at College of DuPage, Harper College, Northern
Illinois University and eventually Phi Rho Pi Nationals in Washington, D.C.

New members are accepted all year long, and interested Highland students may still join the team for
the Spring 2023 semester and be part of the fun. Questions should be directed to Director of
Forensics and Speech Communication Instructor Harry Bodell at