Areas of Participation

Public Forum Debate

Public Forum Debate is an oral communication advocacy exercise done with a partner. Each team advocates, either in favor of (PRO) or against (CON), a resolution by proposing 3-4 arguments supporting their position. With these arguments laid out in opening speeches, each side chooses the most important arguments to defend or attack. Using cross-examination and the introduction of evidence, the debaters clarify, extend their own points, and expose weaknesses and/or contradictions in the opposition’s arguments. Through a series of speeches, the PRO and CON sides will, in thirty-five minutes, seek to persuade a citizen judge of the merits of their position.


Forensics are public speaking events which include eight activities.  They are the Interpretation of Prose, Poetry, Drama and Duo Interpretation, Performance Poetry, Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking, Original Oratory, and Radio Announcing. A tournament competition includes three rounds where students present to a judge, who then awards a rank and points to each speaker. This determines the top speakers and teams in each category.

Essex CHIPS is proud to facilitate the Essex High School Speech and Debate team within the Iroquois (NY) district. According to many experts and former participants, debate teaches and/or refines oral communication, critical thinking, logic and argumentation, research, listening and verbal retention, note taking, writing, organization, and audience adaptation skills, as well as teamwork. For more information on the benefits of speech and debate, visit the National Speech and Debate Association, the Vermont Debate and Forensics League, or the Vermont Principal's Association.


We will compete in several tournaments (10 tournaments, plus State & District Finals) throughout the season, which goes from October to February. Tournaments will be on Saturdays from approximately 8am - 3pm. Practices will be scheduled when there is the most availability, however coaches will be available for 1 on 1 instruction in some cases. Attending practice is important for growth, but can be flexible.

Join the Team

Essex High School students are invited to join the EHS Speech & Debate team.

Gain poise and confidence, interact with students from other schools, improve your understanding of current events, and add influential experience to your college resume.

Hear From Debaters

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2 Lincoln Street, 2nd Fl.

Essex Junction, VT 05452

Get in touch:

(802) 878-6982

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