Speech & Debate

The ACDS Speech and Debate Team

Competitive Speech and Debate at Almaden Country Day School is a fun and exciting way for students in grades 6-8 to develop their public speaking and debate skills under the guidance of nationally-renowned Coach Chris Wardner. Students take an elective class in the first trimester to prepare for competition. 

The ACDS Speech team participates in both middle and high school invitational tournaments including the State and National championship tournaments. In 2020, State was held on a virtual platform.

Speech & Debate Tournament Highlights

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

  • 2020 NSDA Middle School Challenge: Showcase Champion Congress Authorship Speech

  • 2020 SCJFL National Invitational: Tournament Champion, 2nd, 4th Dramatic Interp, Tournament Champion and 3rd Duo Interp
  • 2020 CMSF State Championships: State Champion, 2nd, and 3rd Dramatic Interp, State Champion Duo Interp, 8th Overall Sweepstakes

  • 2020 Golden State Invitational: Tournament Champion Spontaneous Argumentation, Tournament Co-Champion Declamation, 2nd and 3rd Humorous Interp, 2nd and 3rd Dramatic Interp

  • 2020 Berman Invitational: Tournament Champion, 2nd and 3rd Dramatic Interp, Tournament Champion Novice Spontaneous Argumentation

  • 2020 Stanford Invitational: 2nd Dramatic Interp, 5th Humorous Interp 

  • 2019 Panther Invitational: Tournament Champion Dramatic Interp, Tournament Champions and 2nd Duo Interp
  • 2019 Bay Area Congressional Debate: Chamber Champion 

  • 2019 Burnett Invitational: Tournament Champion Duo Interp

  • 2019 NSDA National Championships: 7th Humorous Interp, 9th Storytelling

  • 2019 Middle School State Championships: State Champion, 3rd, 5th Humorous Interp. State Champion, 2nd, 5th Storytelling
  • 2019 Bay Area Middle School Championships: 2nd Dramatic Interp, 2nd and 3rd Humorous Interp, 2nd Duo Interp

  • 2019 Stanford Invitational: 3rd Duo Interp, 2nd and 4th Humorous Interp

  • 2018 Panther Invitational: Tournament Champion, 2nd, 3rd Humorous Interp, Tournament Champions and 2nd Duo Interp, 3rd Dramatic Interp

  • 2018 NSDA Middle School National Championships: Humorous Interp Quarter Finalist

  • 2015 Middle School National Championships: 5th Original Oratory

  • 2015 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Tournament Champion Informative 

    Click here for full results

About Coach Chris Wardner

Coach Wardner has been the Public Speaking teacher and Speech coach at Almaden Country Day School for over 25 years. He is a National Speech and Debate Association Three Diamond coach. Coach Wardner also coaches at Leland High School, which has been recognized as a National Speech and Debate Association School of Distinction, an award for the top ten schools in the country. He has coached numerous students to the State and National championship final rounds where they have won 2 National Championships and 10 State Championships.

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


I'm blown away that ACDS has a middle school speech program of this caliber. This program is world class and a natural extension of the school's values. Beyond trophies, I'm impressed and grateful for how dedicated a coach and mentor Chris is, whether students are managing disappointment or are winning state. Middle School Parent

Speech & Debate News

2019-2020 Tournament Season 

University of Pacific
October 26-27, 2019
Stockton, CA

Panther Invitational
November 9-10, 2019
Presentation High School

Dempsey-Cronin Invitational
November 23-24, 2019
Santa Clara University

Stanford University Invitational
February 8-9, 2020
Palo Alto, CA

Bay Area MS Championship Tournament
May 2-3, 2020
Golden State (Virtual)

Middle School State Championship
May 15-17, 2020
CMSF (Virtual)

MASQ Junior
May 30, 2020
Middle School TOC (Virtual)

National Junior Forensics Invitational
June 13-14, 2020
SCJFL (Virtual)

National Championship Tournament
June 15-19 2020
NSDA (Virtual)