Debate is a very popular and successful program at Apollo Middle School. About 150 students participate in the program and more students are joining it.
Shawn Aycock, the principal of Apollo, was named the Corradino Administrator of the Year during the Speaking for the Future event. It honored the efforts of debate coaches and students in Broward County.
“I believe speech and debate is a good activity for young people,” said Aycock. “Students learn to develop skills in oratory, debating and speaking. They develop confidence. They gain a voice and they learn how to express themselves. They learn how to do research.”
Aycock has been supportive of debate at Apollo and believes it is important for the teacher to be passionate and committed to debate. She also encourages students to come to Apollo to participate in the debate program.
Jackson Thrasher, a seventh grader and a successful debate student has done well and loves being a part of the program. He likes the competitive aspect of it. He also considers the debate team to be a family.
“I really like being on the bus with my teammates going to the tournament,” said Thrasher. “I enjoy being with my teammates at debate tournaments. I also enjoy working on my speeches and making them perfect. The debate team members support each other.”
Aycock wants to continue developing debate at Apollo. She believes speech and debate is a valuable skill for young people to have.