Speech & Debate Team Discusses Re-organization

On Wednesday, February 4, the Mountain View-Los Altos (MVLA) Speech and Debate team held a meeting between parents and its leadership to discuss the commencement of a five-month search to find individuals to replace current team coordinators.

At the meeting, head coach Karen Keefer and assistant coaches Teri Young and Dr. Sharon Moerner announced that they can no longer dedicate the necessary time required to keep the club afloat due to the high time commitment requirements and relatively low pay.

Since the establishment of the club in 1989, its administration has primarily been parents, teachers and volunteers, including former head coach and middle school mathematics teacher Dr. Moerner and an ensemble of local college students.

“What we’ve done has been driven by student interest and we have expanded over the years not by any design,” head coach Teri Young said. The club is currently the largest one in the MVLA school district with one hundred and five active members.

Currently, the club has nine coaches, four of which are parents, three of which are college students and one of which is a volunteer. These instructors work with the three head coaches to manage responsibilities such as finance, logistics, judging and team coordination.

Prior to the meeting, the club invited parents to hold a brainstorm to discuss alternative methods of management that could replace the current structure. At the meeting, parents brainstormed ideas that ranged from hiring a paid head coach or creating an entirely new Speech and Debate class to establishing a parent committee.

As of the initial meeting, the club continues to discuss the topics of determining future funding, parental involvement and district cooperation to successfully resolve the issue. The team has until the end of this school year to consider logistics and solidify their choices of new leadership.