This milestone signifies that the VHS Speech and Debate Team achieved a total of 100 or more degrees last year. Student competitors earn points and degrees in the honor society based on competitive and service related activities, ranging from the Degree of Merit with 25 or more points to the Degree of Premier Distinction with 1,500 or more points. According to J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the Association, "This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills - including communication, research, listening, writing, and organization." These skills will serve the VHS students long after they have graduated as they are empowered to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders.
This is even more remarkable when one considers that the VHS Debate Team is just now starting its fourth season after an absence of more than fifteen years. The Team competes at ten invitational tournaments in Georgia and Florida during the regular season. The 2016-17 season is well underway with the team busting at the seams with 86 students competing in every debate and speech event sanctioned by the NSDA and Georgia. "It is rare to have a team that competes in all events and competes well in all of them," said VHS Coach Pamela Childress. The VHS team practices five days a week for a competition season that stretches from September to March, averaging two tournaments a month. "Our students are amazing for their commitment to the team," said Childress, "Most tournaments are in the Atlanta-area so a four-hour bus ride, each way, with ten to twelve hours of competition is a standard Saturday." The Wildcat commitment to never, never, never quit is seen in the students as they suit up in the dawn before tournaments.
Picture - The VHS Debaters at the VSU Debate Only Invitational on October 1. The Team won the Sweepstakes Award, closing out both Congressional and Lincoln Douglas Debate.