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 John Lewis Invitational: Tournament Champion, Runner Up and 6th Place Humorous Interp, Tournament Champions Duo Interp
  • 2020 Wolpert-Gawron Invitational: 2nd Place and 3rd Place Duo Interp, Tournament Champion and 4th Place Declamation
  • 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

2020-2021 Tournament Season 

Stephen Steward Invitational
September 25-27, 2020

NSDA Springboard Series 
October 24, 2020

Wolpert-Gawron Invitational
October 31, 2020

NSDA Springboard Series 
November 14, 2020

John Lewis Invitational
November 21-22, 2020

NSDA Springboard Series 
December 5, 2020

SCJFL League 2
December 12, 2020
Golden State (Virtual)

Cabot Classic
January 15-16, 2021

SCJFL League 3
February 20, 2021

SCJFL League 4
April 10, 2021

CMSF State Tournament 
May 21-23, 2021
SCJFL (Virtual)

National Online Forensics Championships
June 2-6 2021

National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament