Team Picker


  • Debate

    2019 - 2020
    Head Coach: Lani Frazer

Team News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Speech & Debate wins 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at Santa Clara Invitational

    SA Speech and Debate had an incredible weekend at the Santa Clara University Dempsey Cronin Invitational. Competitors endured three days of competition on the SCU campus and emerged victorious: Sonoma Academy won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies at the tournament, and had semifinalists in multiple events.

    The 1st place trophy went to Adri Kornfein '21, who was recognized as the tournament's best speaker in varsity debate. Adri was given top marks from her judges and outranked all 70 competitors in her division! This incredible honor is a product of Adri's hard work throughout the season. 

    The 2nd place trophy was won by Christian Hernandez '20, who wowed his judges with an emotional piece in varsity Original Prose and Poetry. This unique event allows competitors to craft and perform their original work, and judges were moved by Christian's story and delivery. 

    3rd place was awarded to the team of Iris Anderson '23 and Maddy Jannes '22, who competed in novice debate. After a strong showing in their preliminary rounds, Iris and Maddy were one of just eight teams to advance to elimination rounds. After winning their quarterfinal debate, they advanced to semifinals where they ended their run on a split 2-1 decision from the judging panel. Iris and Maddy were awarded 3rd place trophies in their divison, and also were recognized as 6th and 9th place speakers respectively. 

    Semifinalists in speech included Bert Garner '21 in varsity Impromptu, Veronica Aranda '21 in varsity Dramatic Interpretation, and Anika McCarthy Belash '20/Emma Hartley '20 in varsity Duo Interpretation. For all four competitors, this was an impressive finish in their highly competitive events.
    Christian and Bert also received bids to the Tournament of Champions, the most prestigious national championship in the country! Students must obtain two bids to compete at the TOC. We have multiple bid tournaments left in the season, and given the track record of these two students, it is probable that Sonoma Academy will be present at nationals this year.

    This weekend would not have been possible without Rodney Fierce and Travis Fierce! Next up, debate heads to the Alta Silver and Black Invitational in Sandy, UT. 
  • SA Debate Competes at Second League Debate

    SA Debate had a successful weekend at the second league debate tournament of the year, hosted at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Our team squared up against teams from across the Bay Area, and each SA team that participated won at least one of their debates!

    In varsity debate, the team of Adri Kornfein '21 and Miron English '21 earned a 2-1 winning record. The team of Jack Jacobs '22 and Mateo Mijares '22 impressed their judges and won all of their debates, leaving the tournament with the undefeated trophy. Jack and Mateo were one of just two undefeated teams in their entire division. 

    In novice debate, Sierra Greene '22 and Fiona Smith '22 debated at their first tournament, and earned an impressive 2-1 winning record. 

    Huge thanks to Luna Michelis '21, Micaela Peavey '20, and Izzy Cohen '20 for judging at the tournament! Next up, the speech team heads to the Santa Clara University Invitational.
  • Speech Team Succeeds at First League Tournament

    The SA Speech Team had an amazing showing at the first Golden Gate Speech Association league tournament of the year, held at James Logan High School in Union City, CA. Our league is one of the most competitive in the state and contains a high concentration of California's heavy-hitting speech schools, so our local tournaments always make for good competition.
    In Varsity Original Prose and Poetry, Zoe Price '21 wowed the judges with her emotional piece, and won 1st place in the division. Christian Hernandez '20 also competed in OPP, and finished in 3rd place. Both Zoe and Christian are already positioned to be strong contenders for the State Tournament this year.
    Meanwhile, seniors Anika McCarthy-Belash and Emma Hartley performed their rendition of Shakespeare's Macbeth in Varsity Duo Interpretation, and broke to finals in a highly competitive field. They ended with a strong 3rd place finish in their division. 
    Bert Garner '21 and Adrian Hanson '20 competed in Varsity Impromptu, an event where competitors are given only 2 minutes to prepare a 5 minute spontaneous speech. Bert and Adrian both advanced to the elimination round and finished as finalists.
    Luna Michelis '21 entered in her first varsity speech tournament following her success in novice at CSU Long Beach. She competed in Varsity Original Advocacy, and judges were impressed with her passionate speech advocating for change to school-based mental health services. Luna advanced to the final elimination round, and ended with an impressive 4th place finish.
    And finally, Talulah Juniper '23 made her speech debut and entered in Novice Humorous Interpretation. She performed an amusing piece about a wedding gone awry, and won the 3rd place trophy at her first tournament.

    Congratulations to all who competed, and huge thanks to Dan Reiter, Jason Elder, and Chris Huynh for judging at the tournament.
  • SA Debate Shines at First League Tournament

    SA Debate had an incredible showing at the first league debate tournament of the year. We compete in the Golden Gate Speech Association, a league that comprises Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties, as well as San Francisco and the East Bay. This tournament kicked off this year's competition in our league about whether the U.S. ought to reduce its arms sales to other countries.

    In varsity debate, every SA team came away from the tournament winning a trophy. The team of Jack Jacobs '22 and Mateo Mijares '22 went undefeated in the varsity division, earning a perfect record throughout the tournament and winning all of their debates. Adri Kornfein '21 and Zoe Price '21 earned a winning record. The freshman/sophomore duo Ivy Brenner and Tabatha Stewart challenged themselves to debate in varsity at their second tournament ever, and also earned an impressive winning record at the tournament, outranking some of the best teams in our league. 

    In the novice division, Maddy Jannes '22 and Amelia Packard '22 debated at their first tournament, and finished on a 2-1 winning record. Iris Anderson '23 and Ziggy Meieran '23 also earned a winning record in novice. 

    Huge thanks to Kelly Castañeda, Luna Michelis '21, and parents Ana Stewart and Lisa Jacobs for judging at the tournament! Next up, the speech team heads to the first league tournament on October 19th.




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Sonoma Academy is the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.