Posted on Feb 21, 2019
Our program focused on speeches from high school students using the Rotary Four-Way Test. To review:
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The four Speech & Debate competitors from Carlsbad High School were given 5 to 7 minutes to speak on any topic, but to weigh that topic and their argument against the four-way test. They were also competing for $250 in cash and a berth in the District Sub-Regional Tournament, which Carlsbad Rotary Club is hosting in mid-March. All of the speeches were riveting, and made it clear why CHS is a multiple-discipline State Champion and a Nationally Ranked speech and debate program:
  • Junior Tanya Edquist, the CHS president for Model UN, focused on the impact of technology and media on family ties, togetherness and communication. “Technology is a double-edged sword,” she said, citing a statistic that should make all of us shudder: the average student spends 11 hours per day on screens.
  • Sophomore Robby Pathak, who also competes in speech Congress and Original Advocacy, gave a riveting talk themed “We The People” — about preserving our liberties in a divided nation and using the Four-Way test to return to the values that make us the UNITED States of America.
  • CHS Speech & Debate Co-President Diego Roberts, a Senior headed to the University of Chicago, zeroed in on the heroism of our military members, and how the Department of Veteran Affairs has badly mismanaged their treatment and care after coming home from duty. He used the Four-Way test to present some suggested fixes for the VA.
  • Sierra Vakili, a Senior and member of the Model UN, spoke of the “Impostor Syndrome,” how we often discount, discredit or negate our own accomplishments out of self-doubt — rather than empowering ourselves to do more through our achievements. She said it impacts 70 percent of Americans. As she said, “The most successful people are often the least likely to own it.”
When the speeches were over and results tallied, Robby Pathak emerged as the champion. Sierra Vakili finished second, followed by Diego Roberts and Tanya Edquist. Robby will now advanced to the Sub-Regionals.
Afterwards, Mrs. Curtis noted that the Carlsbad High team, which numbers 90 strong, competes in 17 distinct tournaments per year; State Qualifying begins this weekend at CHS. CHS is the reigning State Champion in Public Forum Debate, and Nationally Ranked. Right now, there are 10 Academic All-Americans at CHS — which puts the school in the top 1% of all schools nationally.