Speech & Debate

Speech and Debate

The ACDS Speech and Debate Team

Competitive Speech and Debate (Comp Speech) at Almaden Country Day School is a fun and exciting way for Middle School students in grades 6-8 to develop their public speaking and debate skills under the guidance of nationally-renowned Coach Chris Wardner.

Competitive Speech students take an elective class in the first trimester allowing them to prepare speeches, write debate cases, and build team unity during the school day. The ACDS Speech team participates in both middle and high school invitational tournaments throughout the academic year, with some team members competing at the State and National championship tournaments. In 2018, State will be held in San Jose and Nationals will be held in Dallas, Texas. 

About Coach Chris Wardner

Chris has been the Public Speaking teacher and Speech coach at Almaden Country Day School for over 25 years. He has been recognized as a Three Diamond Coach by the National Speech and Debate Association. Chris is also a coach at Leland High School, one of the largest and most successful programs in the country. The Leland squad has been recognized as a National Speech and Debate Association School of Distinction, an award for the top ten schools in the country, on multiple occasions. Chris has coached numerous students to the State and National championship final rounds including 2 National Champions and 5 State Champions in both speech and debate.

Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament Highlights

The Almaden Country Day School Competitive Speech and Debate Team placed at these tournaments:

  • 2019 Burnett Invitational: Tournament Champion Duo Interpretation
  • 2019 Bay Area Middle School Championships: Second Place Dramatic Interpretation, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Places Humorous interpretation, Second and Sixth Places Duo Interpretation
  • 2019 Santa Clara Invitational*: Second and Seventh Places Open Humorous Interpretation, Fourth Place Novice Humorous Interpretation, Seventh Place Dramatic Interpretation
  • 2019 Stanford Invitational*: Third Place Duo Interpretation, Second and Fourth Places Humorous Interpretation
  • 2018 Presentation Fun Invitational: Tournament Champion and Second, Third, Sixth Places Humorous Interpretation, Third Place Dramatic Interpretation
  • 2018 Dempsey Cronin Invitational*: Tournament Champion Novice Duo Interpretation, Finalist Novice Humorous Interpretation, Finalist Open Duo Interpretation
  • 2018 Spring Philalethic High School Invitational: Second Place Humorous Interpretation and Finalist in Duo Interpretation
  • 2018 Middle School National Championship Tournament: Humorous Interpretation Quarter Finalist
  • 2015 Jon Schamber Invitational: Finalist Duo Interpretation, Finalist Original Oratory, and Top 10 Public Forum Debate
  • 2015 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Tournament Champion Expository Speaking, Top 10 Public Forum Debate, and Finalist Duo Interpretation
  • 2015 Middle School National Championship: Tournament Original Oratory Finalist
  • 2014 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Two Finalists Duo Interpretation
  • 2013 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Two Finalists Duo Interpretation
  • 2012 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Finalist Duo Interpretation

* Denotes a High School tournament

For more information on Almaden Country Day School’s Competitive Speech and Debate Program, please contact Coach Wardner.


2018-2019 Tournament Season 

University of Pacific**
October 27-28, 2018
Stockton, CA

Panther Funvitational**
November 10-11, 2018
Presentation High School

Dempsey-Cronin Invitational
November 17-18, 2018
Santa Clara University

Thunderbolt Middle School
December 1, 2018
Fremont, CA

Stanford University Invitational**
February 9-10, 2019
Palo Alto, CA

Santa Clara University Spring Invitational
March 23-24, 2019
Santa Clara, CA

State Championship Tournament**
May 18-19, 2019
San Jose, CA

National Championship Tournament**
June 19, 20, 21, 2019
Dallas, TX

**These tournaments are available by invitation only and require additional fees. Cost will vary based on tournament costs and number of participants.