By Tim Leeds
Some 300 students will be in Havre competing in the Havre invitational speech, debate and drama tournament Saturday, Dec. 9.
Coach Peggy Fink said it's kind of an unusual situation, because Fairfield is hosting a Northern Division meet Friday, so many of the schools will compete there Friday, then compete in Havre on Saturday. Consecutive meets on two days is unusual in speech competitions.
Fink said 18 schools will be competing at the Havre tournament, mostly class ABC schools, although CMR and Great Falls High will be bringing teams.
The tournament will have a full range of events, including team and Lincoln-Douglas debate, original oratory, extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, memorized public address, pantomime, and dramatic presentations such as humorous and serious solo and duo.
Fink said they always welcome new members of the community to judge the events. There will be a judging clinic at 7 p.m. tonight at the high school library, where judges will be shown the ballots and any questions about judging the events will be answered. Fink said if people aren't able to come to the clinic, they might want to come in a few minutes early to review the new ballots, which have been updated by the Montana High School Association for clarity and simplicity.
Coach Kevin Shellenberger said in an interview last week that people are also welcome to come in and view the competition. He said the rounds should be quite interesting and enjoyable, and people can come in to learn more about the events.
The speech and drama competitors will present a variety of performances in the different events. The team debate topic this year deals with the issue of personal privacy, and the Lincoln-Douglas debate topic addresses safety in K-12 school environments outweighing student civil liberties.