Jennifer Kieran

Speech Coach, Ellsworth HS
2017 New Coach Award Honoree

Speech is an activity that accepts all kinds of students and embraces differences and disabilities and celebrates them.

Dr. Karissa Niehoff

Executive Director, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

“Completing the educational process through activities, students learn teamwork, fair play, self-discipline, self-confidence, and how to handle competitive situations.

Dr. Kay Neal

Professor Emeritus, UW-Oshkosh; former WISDAA Debate Advisor

Speech is the purest form of teaching. You get to work directly with kids and help them grow throughout their high school years.

Interscholastic academic/performing arts sports, such as One-Act Theatre, Speech, Debate, and Film, should be supported by schools much in the same way they support athletics. Moreover, these academic sports can be sustained at a fraction of the cost of athletics through local and state contests of the WISDAA. 


According to the National Speech & Debate Association, schools who offer programming report:

  • Increased attendance
  • Higher test scores
  • Rise in college acceptance
  • Unique benefits for at-risk students
  • Reduced drop-out rates

The Wisconsin State Legislature passed a joint resolution recognizing March 3, 2017 as National Speech and Debate Education Day, thanks to our friends at the National Speech & Debate Association (formerly National Forensic League).

Advocacy Resources: National Partner Organizations

Publication Resources



The Value of Speech, Debate, and Theatre Activities

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Size: 124.62 KB
Hits: 144

Teaching Soft Skills-Helping Youth Transition with Strength

Rostrum (2017), National Speech & Debate Association
Size: 170.95 KB
Hits: 377

Forensics is too value of a program to be lost in Ripon schools

Letter to the editor, Ripon Commonwealth, March 19, 2015
Size: 37.95 KB
Hits: 120

Forensics and College Admissions

Rostrum, National Speech & Debate Association (1999)
Size: 21.58 KB
Hits: 138

Forensics Can Change Lives

English Journal 84(7) - Nov 1995
Size: 184.23 KB
Hits: 114

Every Student Must Communicate

WASB School News, April 2016
Size: 1.12 MB
Hits: 115

Enhancing Civic Literacy & Democracy

Principal Leadership 9(9) - May 2009
Size: 572.24 KB
Hits: 143

Administrator Letter

From Polly Reikowski, Principal, Eagan HS, Minnesota
Size: 1.38 MB
Hits: 123

A Better Investment Not Found on Wall Street

Rostrum 76(5) - Jan 2002 (National Speech & Debate Association)
Size: 250.61 KB
Hits: 119