Student Leadership Strengthens the Speech & Debate Program


Anna Clevenger

Michael Miller ’18 leads the Debate Leadership class during 9th period.

The Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team has been through a tumultuous two years of transition, going through several faculty directors. Thankfully, the 300 person team found their perfect match in Mr. Huth, a Social Studies teacher, who took over the administration of the team last year.

Mr. Huth has been taking a new approach to maintain the team’s reputation as one of the best national level teams. Shifting the team’s focus to working directly with student leadership, Mr. Huth and new Speech & Debate President Michael Miller ’18 have revitalized the team, creating a more collaborative student-led effort to victory.

Two years ago, the Debate Leadership class was formalized, in which leaders from all five events in Speech & Debate would meet during 9th period to work on different organizational projects and to improve their squad and team as a whole. This was instrumental in providing a smooth transition for the team under new directors.

Today, the student leadership has a larger role than ever before, to ensure that the directors are well informed and have the full support of the students on the team.

Throughout his time on the Bronx Science Speech and Debate Team, Michael Miller has competed under all of the three different faculty directors. He remembers, “While all this administrative change was occurring, I think it emphasized the need for student leadership to take more responsibility,” Miller expressed.

“I think the past few years’ events have brought this team closer and showed that the team endures by sticking together and supporting one another.”

Michael Miller and Mr. Huth are now ready to go into this season head-on and take on the great responsibility of  running one of the largest Speech & Debate teams in the country.

Caroline Gallagher ’19, a novice director of Congressional Debate, has worked with Miller since her freshman year. She explained that this was his third year of being a leader of the debate team, first as a Novice Director, next as a Captain, and now, as the President.  “Michael has worked exceptionally closely with many of us, and he is therefore extremely aware of what we have the capacity to achieve as one body working towards individual goals,” she explained.

Other members believe that Miller and Mr. Huth make the ultimate power team. Anika Kalra ’19, novice director of Lincoln Douglas, explains that “Mr. Huth is such a hard-working, caring person, and his enthusiasm always shines through. Michael balances his school work with his debate successes, and he oversees the team, embodying the dedication that makes the team so great.”

Mr. Huth said, “What makes Michael a joy to work with is his capacity to recognize the larger issues that can be improved upon, and his ability to understand how to foster team spirit. I am beyond excited to work with our executive leaders, squad captains, and novice directors during the 2017-18 academic year. So far this year, all of our Speech & Debate leaders have demonstrated a willingness to emphasize competitive excellence and to imbue our novice students with the highest ideals of the Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team.”

Mr. Huth’s top goal this year is to bring the Speech & Debate Team back where it belongs, as the number one ranked team in the country. He is working to get more competitive opportunities for every member.

Anna Clevenger
Michael Miller ’18 and Mr. Huth explain a strategy to achieve the maximum number of points for the Speech & Debate team.

Students on the Speech & Debate team are sure that this year will be more successful than ever before. Artea Brahaj ’19, a novice director of Congress, says, “This is the time to truly define our team and to set the groundwork for years to come.”

Michael Miller grateful for the support that his team has received.  “The Speech & Debate Team is no longer in transition.  We are incredibly thankful for all of the support that has been provided to us by the student body and the administration.  With the support that we have received, we are ready to take this team back to its national prominence,” Miller said.