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High School Hosts Regional Debate Competition

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On Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, the University City High School Speech and Debate team hosted the Greater St. Louis Speech Association (GSL) Conference tournament. About 275 students from throughout the St. Louis region debated in 14 separate competitions.  

The tournament was originally planned as a two-day event, but because of inclement weather, Friday’s evening competition on January 17th was canceled. Even with a modified version of the tournament, attendance was excellent.

“Twenty-three of the original 26 schools were able to still compete,” said Andrea Berin, Social Studies Teacher and Speech & Debate Coach. “They came from as far as Troy, Mo. and Jackson, Mo.”

The one-day event started early with schools arriving at 7:00 a.m. About 95% of the classrooms at the high school were utilized during the GSL Conference. The final debate of the day started at 5:30 p.m. and was immediately followed by an awards ceremony, which was held in the UCHS auditorium.

Teachers and staff members at the school served as judges for the debates, along with parents and teachers from other districts.  The UCHS PTO assisted the debate by providing refreshments for dozens of judges in a hospitality room. Principal Mike Peoples provided breakfast and lunch for the coaches, judges, parent judges, and bus drivers while at the tournament.

Andrea Berin was the sponsor of the UCHS Debate Team, Andrew Gallagher was the assistant sponsor.

The Greater St. Louis Speech Association (GSL) offers a free student and coach workshop in the fall and is open to every school. Schools that affiliate can then enter students into a three-part conference-tournament for high schools in the St. Louis Metro Area. At the end of the final conference tournament, students are presented conference awards based on their performance at all three GSL Tournaments.

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