Santiago HS Speech and Debate Team

Santiago Speech and Debate Team: Timothy Lim, Matthew Depew, Naomi Ly, Howard Sun, Bryant Zhang, Urvi Vora, Renee Dunn, Ethan Atchley and Zayna Rana.
Sara Qadri, the first CNUSD student to qualify for the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament.
 Timothy Lim and Matthew Depew, 1st place winners of the Public Forum Debate at the Citrus Belt Speech Region League.
Juliana Rose, winner of the Original Advocacy Category at the Citrus Belt Speech Region League.

CORONA, CA- A team that began as a small group of 8 students, has expanded into a formidable regional and national contender, featuring 45 talented individuals. Santiago High School Physics teacher, Lee Graves, founded the school's first Speech and Debate team in 2018 with merely 8 students. Since then, the growing team has gone on to win several regional tournaments and league championships and is currently contending to participate at the national level. 

By their second year, the Sharks were quickly competing in local and regional league competitions. Locally, the Sharks have competed in the Dr. Dina Stallings Tournament, held by the Friends of Riverside City College Speech and Debate for Riverside County students. The Santiago Sharks have marked their excellence by winning the overall tournament trophy every year since 2019! 

Additionally, the Sharks joined the Citrus Belt Speech and Debate League where they compete against various high schools from the Riverside, San Bernardino, and East Los Angeles Counties. Since joining the league in 2019, the Sharks have already earned numerous awards and crafted an impressive resume by winning several league tournaments. This year was no exception with the Sharks adding one league championship and one speech championship to their already impressive track record:

  • Juliana Rose: Speech Championship in Original Advocacy 2023-2024

  • Timothy Lin & Matthew Depew: League Championship in Public Forum Debate 2023-2024

This year will mark the third consecutive time the team has won league championships qualifying them to compete at the state tournament. Sophomore Juliana Rose will attend the state tournament run by the California High School Speech Association, for the second year in a row on April 12th-14th in Clovis, California to compete in her category. 

“Clearly, the students have been working hard and have achieved high levels of success,” said Coach Graves.

Having already demonstrated their proficiency at local, regional, and state levels, the Sharks are ready to exhibit their debate skills on the national stage! For the first time ever in CNUSD history, Santiago Shark Sara Qadri is the first student to qualify for the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament this coming June in Des Moines, Iowa. Qadri will be representing Santiago High School and CNUSD on the national stage. We wish her and the rest of Santiago’s Debate and Speech Team the best of luck!