Maranatha High School Speech and Debate Springing into Success at State Quals

Published : Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | 12:56 PM

The clocks were not the only things springing ahead this month! Maranatha’s Speech and Debate Teams experienced success at State Quals and sprung forward in the annual Rotary Four Way Test Speech Tournament.

On Saturday, March 3, Jordan Belcher competed at the California Speech State Qualifier at Cal State Long Beach for Impromptu Speech. Impromptu speakers are given one minute to prepare a five minute speech on a topic randomly selected at the tournament. Jordan used his speech and debate skills from his four years experience at Maranatha to propel into the semi-finals, finishing in the Top twenty in a category featuring 65 contestants from various southern California schools.

On Thursday, March 8, the second round of the annual Rotary Four Way Test Speech Tournament was held at the Altadena Town and Country Club featuring freshman Bailey Garcia, sophomore Joel Turk, and sophomore Michael Wilkins. In the end, Joel Turk advanced to round three and Michael Wilkins was awarded runner up. The third round of the Rotary Tournament will feature senior Marty Martinez, senior Mitchell Yeh, and sophomore Joel Turk competing against a San Marino contestant and a La Salle contestant at the University Club of Fuller Seminary on Wednesday, March 21. The winner will advance to Round 4 on Wednesday, April 25 to compete at the regional level in Montebello.

On Saturday, March 10, the Public Forum Debate Teams competed in the California Debate State Qualifier at Schurr High School in Montebello. Juniors Jake Anderson and Deven Hollimon finished in the top 10 successfully ending the 2017-18 season of league competitions with a winning record. Speech and Debate coach Mr. Patrick Mesisca ‘92 said, “This has been an amazing year of Speech and Debate competition. The successes that our students have experienced in league competitions and the Rotary Four Way Test Tournament serve as a testimony to the work ethic, talent and skill level we have in our student body at Maranatha. The fact that many different students have experienced success in several different tournaments and styles of speeches and debates continues to encourage me as a teacher and a coach.”

The Speech and Debate program is offering a summer school course for students who are interested in learning and developing public speaking and critical thinking skills. The summer program does not require students to participate in local tournaments, so it is an excellent opportunity for students to get a glimpse of our award-winning speech program in a relaxed and fun summer school environment.

To sign up for the Speech and Debate summer program, please contact Registrar Claudia Jimenez at

Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit








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