By: Rebecca DeMarco –
The Seton – La Salle Speech and Debate Team, also known as the Forensics Team, grew 300% in interest and maintained a 100% return rate when they had their first meeting on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012.
“The Forensics team at Seton La Salle High School is small but powerful. The students that are on the team make a commitment to attend practices, follow the rules of the team and always strive to do their own personal best at each Forensics tournament. Forensics is a team activity but each student on the team competes individually in specific categories,” says coach Ms. Lauren Hess. Hess has been involved in Forensics for 10 years and was a past member of the Seton – La Salle Forensics team and has competed in both the state and national level for all of her four years at Seton – La Salle.
Hess has an outstanding background for Forensics. As she says, “The skills I developed competing in different categories (prose, poetry, dramatic interpretation, declamation, radio announcing, and original oratory) have proved to be useful in all aspects of my life. During my competitive career in Forensics, I was able to acquire enough points to be the first Seton-La Salle graduate to wear the cords of the National Forensic League Honor Society, win the coveted Rookie Forensics student of the year award and also the highest award in the National Forensic League – The Ajay Tandon Award for displaying leadership skills in assisting the team and the league in growth.”
Members of the Forensics team have a great opportunity as “Forensics gives a student an opportunity to improve their public speaking skills, ease their fear of facing an audience, help them grow as individuals and gives students added confidence in social situations. Forensics also helps students in their academics in both high school and college,” says Ms. Hess.
“For me, Forensics has helped me in my college studies as I am studying communication and public relations. An example is that my Freshman year in college, due to taking and getting the credit for AP classes in high school, I was able to take a Junior/Senior level public speaking course. As most of the other students were struggling with how to write speeches and then how to deliver different types of speeches, I was quite comfortable doing both. The professor quickly figured out that I had Forensics training in high school and made mention of that thus allowing me to breeze through the class. That is just one example of how Forensics training has helped me I college…I feel that any major or career someone chooses in life, they will have to communicate with many different types of people – Forensics can only help a person be able to communicate better (both spoken and written) at any level. Since Forensics is both a team and individual activity, it also helped me develop a high level of responsibility and learn to prioritize practices (individual ones and team ones) with my studies and work.”
The Forensic Team is an open club at Seton-La Salle and would be happy to welcome new members.