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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 2019, State will be held in Fresno and Nationals will be held in Albuquerque, NM. 

Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament - Recent Highlights

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

  • 2019 Presentation Invitational: Tournament Champion and Second Place Duo Interpretation, Tournament Champion and Fifth Place Dramatic Interpretation, Fifth Place and Sixth Place Humorous Interpretation, Semi Finalist Oratorical Interpretation
  • 2019 Dempsey Cronin Invitational: Finalist Duo Interpretation, Finalist Original Oratory, and Top 10 Public Forum Debate
  • 2019 Jon Schamber Invitational: Semi-Finalists Open Division Humorous and Dramatic Interpretation
  • 2019 Bay Area Congressional Debate: First Place
  • 2019 Burnett Invitational: Tournament Champion Duo Interpretation
  • 2019 National Championships: 7th Place and two Quarterfinalists Humorous Interpretation, 9th Place Storytelling
  • 2019 Middle School State Championships: State Champion, Third Place, Fifth Place Humorous Interpretation. State Champion, Second Place, Fifth Place Storytelling.
  • 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 Panther 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 Middle School National Championship: Tournament Original Oratory Finalist

* Denotes a High School tournament

About Coach Chris Wardner

Chris 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. Chris is also a coach 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. Chris has coached numerous students to the State and National championship final rounds and they have won 2 National Championships and 7 State Championships.

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

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

Spring Invitational
March 28-29, 2020
Santa Clara University

Bay Area MS Championship Tournament
April 4-5, 2020
Presentation High School

Middle School State Championship
May 1-3, 2020
Clovis North High School

National Championship Tournament
June 15-19 2020
Albuquerque, NM