Broad Run Debate & Speech Team

Broad Run Debate & Speech Team

Broad Run High School's (Loudoun County, Virginia) Debate and Speech (forensics) Team Coach: Ron Richards, Broad Run High School
[email protected]

Operating as usual

Photos from Broad Run Debate & Speech Team's post 08/01/2023

Congratulations to newly-minted alum Srisha Raj, finalist at the Great Communicator Debate Series in Simi Valley, California this past month. Srisha won the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament in May and advanced with 15 others to the National Debate where she competed in the final round under the wings of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library's Air Force One. She was awarded a $7,500 scholarship (she is officially matriculating at UC Berkeley in just a few weeks).

The topic was "Resolved: Advances in Generative Artificial Intelligence pose a threat to independent thought". Sharp eyes of Seinfeld Fans will note that in the picture of Srisha with the judges, she is standing next to the CEO of the J. Peterman Company, where Elaine worked (apparently John O'Hurley is a popular keynote speaker).

Many kudos to our team and LD captain โ€” what a great way to move to California!

Photos from Broad Run Debate & Speech Team's post 06/08/2023

My final debate and speech tournament as a coach occurred as I took three of my teammates to the NCFL Grand National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend. I was fortunate to be accompanied by my son, Colin, and 50 other competitors, judges, and coaches from Northern Virginia and DC on a 12-hour bus trip (What was I thinking?!), many of whom have filled my past two awesome decades in the debate and speech world.

It meant a lot to me to close out my coaching career with these people and especially with Diya, Maanasa, and Anshula competing, as well as special friends Larry and Sheryl Gusman and Kevin Briscoe โ€” and the whole WACFL (Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensics League) community (Roland Burdett III and Roberta Hyland).

I can't believe I actually risked getting on another bus to go to a debate tournament, but the worst thing that happened was a flat tire (which was actually portentous...). Thank you so much, Judge Anne Polivka, for supporting Broad Run these past few years and joining us on this trip.

My many thanks to my debate/speech mentor, Ron Richards, for making this experience possible. It has been a wild ride of 20 years. My gratitude to the Broad Run High School Administration over the years (and especially this year) for the incredible support of the team (all those after-school practices every week and hosting tournaments with 400-500 competitors, whew!).

I'd thank my wife Catherine for giving me up all those hundreds of Saturdays, but I'm thinking it wasn't much of a sacrifice.

And my greatest appreciation goes to the thousands of teammates who passed in and out of those practices and competitionsโ€”and my lifeโ€”over the past 20 years, especially those who became friends.

Bryan Caplan Highlights 10/23/2022

Our Broad Run Debate & Speech Team recently hosted a conversation with New York Times bestselling author and economist Bryan Caplan about the value of publicly funded education. It yielded perspectives on college and high school that are rarely considered by high school students.
Many thanks to principal Dave Spage and team captain Srisha Raj for not only arranging the event, but very capably moderating the discussion.
[This is another chapter in the team's MasterClass series. Past guests include Patton Oswalt, Ilya Somin, and Jason Brennan.]

Bryan Caplan Highlights Highlights from Economist and NYT's bestselling author Bryan Caplan's conversation with the Broad Run Debate & Speech Team about signaling, education, and em...


๐™‡๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Š๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ...
For those of my colleagues us who know senior Ben Brissette, the moment at about 1:12 will be priceless. And so Ben.

Ben (and many of his teammates) spent this past weekend at the NCFL Grand National Debate & Speech Tournament in DC representing our local league and Broad Run to 2,000 other competitors. Ben's passion and talent for Congressional Debate, through more than 10 hours of debate over two days, put him among 24 Finalists.

Here we see Ben awarded First Place.

This is an incredible experience for Ben, capping an amazing debate career that began in 8th grade and included the challenges of navigating into the Pandemic's virtual debate world and back into the in-person world for the first time with this contest, his first IRL tournament in 841 days! What a way to return to the Real World.
Ben has accomplished what very few high school debaters have. In his junior and senior years, he has placed Third at the Tournament of Champions (University of Kentucky), considered the Super Bowl of debate competition. Then he placed Second at the NCFL GNT (another Triple Crown tournament) and Second at States last year. It's unsurprising, then, that he complete that series by capturing First this year, at the end of his high school years.

Ben is one of the most generous and talented humans I know and ever have known. His passion for inquiry and debate and social justice have transformed him and those around him these past years, especially in his leadership roles as captain of our Student Congress team and the Broad Run Debate & Speech Team. We will miss him a lot as he moves on.

I will miss him.


Photos from Broad Run Debate & Speech Team's post 05/13/2022

Team and Congress Captain Ben Bressette has been selected the 2022 Virginia District Student of the Year by the National Speech & Debate Association. Coaches nominate a graduating senior who best represents the tenets of the Associationโ€™s Code of Honor: humility, equity, integrity, respect, leadership, and service. Students who win the District Award are selected as finalists for the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year award.

LD Captain Srisha Raj has won the National Speech & Debate Association's Academic All American Award. The award recognizes high school students who have earned the Association's degree of Superior Distinction and demonstrated outstanding character, leadership, and academic achievement. Only the top two percent of National Speech & Debate Association member students receive the Academic All American Award.


Congratulations to all of the team members who qualified for Metrofinals and thank yous to their teammates and captains who got them there!

Photos from Broad Run Debate & Speech Team's post 09/18/2021

The Public Forum team with over 60 members needs to spread over a few classrooms for PF overview for novices and speaking drills for returning members. The captains do a great job keeping so many organized and engaged.

Photos from Broad Run Debate & Speech Team's post 09/18/2021

Broad Run's Lincoln-Douglas team is off to an awesome start. Over 40 members and first day activities focused on understanding values debate through analyzing The Trolley Problem and whether the Big Bad Wolf or Little Red Riding Hood was the bad guy.


The Interest Meeting originally scheduled for this afternoon is moved to tomorrow, Thursday, 9/2, because LCPS has cancelled all after-school activities.

It will still be in the Broad Run Library, 4:15โ€“5:30.

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