Speech and debate teams travel to Brookside Elementary School

Reaching out to a new generation of kids


Oak Park High School’s Speech and Debate team recently took a trip to Brookside Elementary School to present their skills in an assembly to the school’s fourth-grade classes. 

Before making the short car ride to the school, team advisers picked a handful of high-ranked students from both speech and debate. The program adviser, Irene Lyle, joined the debate students on their public forum, where their example topic was ice cream versus cake, while the speech students proposed that Taylor Swift is a key client for the tomato industry.

“It was so great for us to speak to Brookside’s fourth-grade class about speech and debate,” senior Andrew Hearst said. “Since the kids were in a speech and debate unit in class, it was fun to see how interested they were in our topics.”

Along with Hearst, the speech team was joined by senior co-captain Casey Hirsh and sophomore Brystain Heine-Van Fossen. The debate team brought senior captains Manas Garg, Nick Lyle and Tiara Joseph, as well as seniors Isha Varrier and Aliza Lam.

“The Oak Park Speech and Debate team’s trip to Brookside Elementary was incredibly successful and fun! After weeks of preparation, it was especially gratifying to see the students excited to debate the resolution where ice cream or cake is better,” senior Isha Varrier said.  

Along with the students and staff, Brookside welcomed Oak Park Unified School District’s Superintendent, Jeff Davis, to watch the exciting event take place.

The team spent two weeks preparing these topics so they could find something that the young children could relate to. The Brookside Elementary students were eagerly participating and enjoyed each idea that the teams discussed.  “OPHS Debate Team did a spectacular job sharing their craft with our Brookside Tigers,” Diane Diamond, principal of Brookside, tweeted. “Our students, staff, and Dr. Davis enjoyed every moment!”