With minimal expectations, John Kunzo (`18), new member of the Speech and Debate team, competed on February 17, in the World Schools Debate. Kunzo was one of 10 students selected from the district to represent The North Coast District in Fort Lauderdale on June 17-22. He was selected for the team by the district committee.
According to Kunzo, “World schools is a competition format consisting of rounds of 3-on-3 debate, each person giving speeches of eight minutes.” The students come from a variety of different schools but they must represent superior speech/debate skills with dedication to the activity and district.
No one from Cleveland competes in the World Schools Debate during the season, as it only takes place at nationals. Kunzo was given this opportunity as he finished the season with a remarkable record resulting in him qualifying for states in Programmed Oral Interpretation. POI is a speech category consisting of mixing prose, poetry and acting. Kunzo said, “I finished as a district finalist and 3rd alternate to nationals.” After achieving this award, he felt accomplished and thrilled.
“My piece is about a man who lives in Harlem and is trying to find love” said Kunzo. As he was preparing for the piece, Ms. Janis, Director of Speech and Drama, said that she was optimistic about his chances. “After hearing my name being called for the World Schools Debate Team, I was ecstatic because my hard work paid off,” Kunzo said.
Without any previous experience in Speech and Debate, Kunzo decided to join the team this year. “I chose to do speech and debate because I enjoy competing in activities as well as being able to act and be free with my work”, Kunzo said.