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St Thomas More School

Living the Real Presence of Christ

Speech Team

Speech Team

Faculty Advisor: Miss Tessa Watters

Parent/Community Advisor: Mr. Jay Laush

Speech team is an extracurricular activity open to any STM student in grades 6th, 7th, or 8th. It is a great way for students to develop their public speaking skills, beyond our STM requirements. Competition allows students the opportunity to interact and compete against other Catholic students in the area. Public speaking builds confidence and is a required skill for high school and life beyond.

Meetings are held every Thursday after school in the library from 3-4 pm September through January.

The purpose of speech team is to prepare for upcoming middle school speech tournaments sponsored by Catholic high schools in the Seattle area. The tournaments consist of students from Catholic middle schools throughout the area. These tournaments are typically all-day events, 8am-8pm, held on a Saturday. Bishop Blanchet is the second Saturday of December and Seattle Prep is the third Saturday in January. STM participation at other events will be evaluated yearly. The high schools offer scholarship awards for 8th grade students receiving 1st place in their categories. Trophies are given for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place for every Senior (8th grade) and Junior (6th & 7th) categories.

Meetings are spent writing speeches, practicing for competition, listening to teammate’s speeches, and providing constructive feedback. Categories of competition are: Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Oratory, Expository, Editorial Comment, Impromptu, and Storybook. Students may use a speech from a previous school tournament for competition, but cannot use a competition speech at the school tournament.

Student Responsibility: Basic school rules apply at meetings and competition. Failure to comply with school rules during meetings or competition can result in expulsion from the Speech Team as well as school disciplinary action.

Preparation time will be provided at meetings, however, additional time outside of meetings will be needed for selecting, typing, and practicing speeches, especially closer to tournament dates.


At the tournament students will need to dress in business casual attire. Typically this is dresses or skirts or slacks with a blouse for girls, slacks and a polo or dress shirt for boys. Students will also need to bring their own lunch and snacks to tournaments.

Cost: There is no cost for the weekly meetings, however, students must pay their entry fees for each tournament. Each tournament varies, but cost is typically $4-5 per speech category.

Transportation: Students will stay after school for the weekly meetings and must be picked up at 4:00. Any student not picked up by 4:15 will be taken to Extended Day. Transportation to and from the tournaments are the responsibility of the individual families. Carpools may be arranged among team members.

Parent Involvement: Parents are welcome to come help listen to speeches and give feedback at each Thursday meeting. Please contact Miss Watters to volunteer.

Tournaments also require schools to provide a certain number of judges per events at the tournaments. If the school does not supply judges, we will not be able to compete. First time judges will need to attend a mandatory training to learn tournament criteria. This is also a good opportunity to learn insight on how your own child will be judged at tournament.

Volunteer hours are earned for volunteering.