Gabrielino High School

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Speech & Debate
Quotes from Screamin' Eagles Alumni
A History of Success
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Freshmen Help Earn 22nd Straight League Championship

By Zoe Perez



The Southern California Debate League’s League Championships/State Qualifying Tournament highlighted the first weekend in March.  Twenty-one schools, including Gabrielino, came to California State University Long Beach to compete for spots in the 2019 California Speech and Debate State Championships.


In the pouring rain, our students tried their best to place high enough to qualify. Despite the weather, our Eagles still flew through the rain and soared!


The Screamin’ Eagles have been preparing for this tournament for the past several months. In this competition, there are four to six spots available for state qualifications depending on which event the students are competing in. The student who wins first place gets the title of League Champion in that event. This year, our speech students won four out of the twelve events!  For the first time in league history, the seven finalist positions in the Expository event from the same school, Gabrielino.  We couldn’t be more proud of our Exposers!


Speaking of breaking records, Gabrielino ended the day with thirty-one state qualifiers. Out of those talented thirty-one students who are headed to State, are twelve talented freshmen! It’s a big accomplishment for our underclassmen!  Besides our amazing state qualifiers, we also had seventy-one semi finalists and thirty-three finalists.


This year, GHS had only ten seniors competing, compared to the 50 seniors the previous year. The Class of 2019 has been small throughout their high school careers.  They were part of the first class coming into Gabrielino with decreased space in their schedule for elective classes such as Speech and Debate.   Senior co-captain Stephanie Rubio said, “this year we were really underestimated but we still showed up and gave it all we had.  Seeing all the kids walk out of their rounds proud of their performances showed how our hard work paid off and is what makes State Quals so special”


As a result of the small senior class, the league championships this year had more Screamin’ Eagle freshmen qualify for state than seniors competing!  It goes to show Gabrielino’s speech team is growing every year.


Senior co-captain Jaycob Wahinehookae, who had already qualified for State because of his year-long successes, said, “I felt so happy to see the kids I watched all year long give it their all at State Quals.  It warmed my heart seeing how much they’ve grown from the beginning of the year and their drive to qualify to the State Championships.”


We are proud of our underclassmen and all the potential they have yet to develop. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our team and what our bright students will bring on at the California State Championships in May and in the coming years.

After a long day of pouring rain and the Awards Ceremony, the 110 Gab students who were a part of the State Quals Team gathered in an adjoining lecture hall to celebrate their 22nd straight Southern California Debate League Championship trophy with a picture.


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!!!


Photos courtesy of Katherine Xie




Happy Speech & Debate Education Day
March 1, 2019


A First For Spring Novice

By Zoe Perez


There’s always a first for everything! Our Gabrielino Eagles as well as nineteen other schools made their way down to Millikan High School in Long Beach for the first time to participate in The Southern California Debate League’s Spring Novice Tournament.


Given the new setting our Eagles were placed in, they were able to adapt and perform just as well as if they were in a home environment.  “We are super proud of all of our novices and junior varsities because they were all super energized despite how early they had to get up,” stated varsity Noli Thai, senior.


The entire layout of the tournament was also new as the judge’s room and the scoring room were placed across campus from each other. This made it harder than usual for the team to run ballots quickly. That was not the only challenge the ballot runners faced. Some of the rooms flooded midway through the day, creating more problems for those organizing the tournament behind the scenes.


Sophomore Eric Zhang mentions, “There was a lot of sweat. I wore two jackets and for the first half of the A pattern [events] I was sweating.”  Due to his hard work and speedy efforts as a ballot delivery runner, he has earned the nickname ‘Amazon Prime’. Running back and forth from each room was a bit of a hassle, but our Eagles made the best of it.  The Screamin’ Eagles ended the day with twenty-six trophies; well over half of the forty awards handed out.


This year, Spring Novice was one of the fastest tournaments the team has been to all season. After the quick but exhausting day, students were able to head home before 4 p.m.


However, a little mix-up with the Eagle’s transportation caused a little chaos for the team. The three buses that the team had, took three separate routes.  Junior Felicia Tang shared her experience stating, “My bus wasn’t able to exit because there was an accident, so our initial route took us an extra forty-five minutes, which wasn’t fun at all.”


The team was separated and students arrived back at Gabrielino at different times. Despite the confusion, the Eagles were able to make the most of the competition and had a successful day. Keep up the amazing work Screamin’ Eagles!


Photos by Katherine Xie




Storming Spring Varsity

By Zoe Perez


It was raining, it was pouring, but our Eagles were soaring! Sheltered by Arcadia High School’s cafeteria, the Screamin’ Eagles began their day in a frantic effort to stay dry before the first round of Spring Varsity. As the day went on, cats and dogs continued to fall unforgivingly from the sky, but our Eagles fought through!

Memories were made, lessons were learned, and suits were soaked. Sophomore Eunice Kay says, “It was a wild ride. The wind was blowing really hard and the rain was pouring. I didn’t have an umbrella so that made everything a little more difficult.” Despite the weather, Spring Varsity turned out to be a success! A little rain wasn’t able to hold our students back. Eighteen schools were present at the tournament; all competing against our Eagles to try and take the win, but once again, our bright students took Spring Varsity by storm.


After a stressful week of nonstop practice, the Screamin’ Eagles had 95 Semi-Finalists, 43 Finalists, six champions and won the tournament for the 20th straight year earning well over 200 points. 


Four of our potential 12 students that had the first “leg” went on to qualify for State Championships. Juniors Felicia, Jaden, and Khin along with Senior Jaycob all placed in the top two of their event and thus earned the second “leg” necessary to become an automatic qualifier for State.


Hard work and focus really does pay off! As Spring Novice and the State and National Qualifying tournaments quickly approach, the Screamin’ Eagles are working harder than ever at practice.


We couldn’t be more proud of our Eagles, and we can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us!


photos by Katherine Xie



Legs Get Excited About Spring Varsity

By Zoe Perez


The Southern California Debate League’s State Qualifier isn’t until next month so speech students are relaxed, and fixing their speeches here and there as they slowly prepare for the big event. However, the twelve Eagles who earned a leg at Fall Varsity have a different mindset. This weekend is a big deal for them. After earning their first leg, they have a huge opportunity to automatically qualify for the State Championships. Legs are earned by placing 1st or 2nd at Fall Varsity, to automatically qualify students need 2 legs. There has been nothing but hard work and dedication from these students who must perfect everything and win over the judges one more time. If their second leg is earned, the students’ diligent work will most definitely pay off. If not, they must focus even more to make sure they secure one of the five spots available at the tournament for the league.


While preparing themselves, discipline is key. Critiques and feedback are critical this week. The character development in HI’s or the convincing tones in OI’s must be taken seriously. Now is not the time to go wild and try or add new, drastic changes to their speeches. Not only are our Eagles working on the persuasion of their speeches, but also finishing within the time limit. Whether they’re big issues or small flaws, they must be resolved in the best way possible. With the help of their peers, our Eagles will make the best out of what they have.


With all the stress that’s been placed upon these students, it doesn’t quite help that Gabrielino decided to try out a new school schedule this week. After working hard on coming up with an efficient schedule, they decided to perform a trial week of block schedule. Every day possesses different classes, which affects the amount of homework that speech students’ have. Nevertheless, we believe our students will pull through the confusion, and balance everything that has been put on their plate.


After giving their all, we are hopeful that all twelve students will earn the crucial second leg and automatically qualify. There is definitely a lot of pressure present, but we know our Eagles will make us proud!


photos by Noli Thai





Logan Leaves Lasting Memories


For the first decade of the program, the Screamin’ Eagles journeyed up The 5 Freeway to Oakland for the James Logan High School National Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. And in that first decade, it always seemed to rain. The green hillsides, visible through the large charter bus windows, were green and the rest stops were wet or covered in snow. And every January, for the first decade, team members wore trench coats on top of their suits and carried umbrellas and expos cases from classroom to classroom - the walkways were wet and the trek was a challenge.


Conversely, in the past few years, it has been dry. Sometimes there was a threat of rain, sometimes there was none. But the rain never fell and the tournament came and went without any moisture beyond the morning dew that covered the bay area in the middle of winter.


This winter, however, has offered above average rainfall and the drive up the interstate connecting California from North to South was reminiscent of the nostalgic lush, green scenery that befell the students from decades before.  


Luckily, the rain was light during the drive up the 5-freeway allowing the students to enjoy the roadside tourist spot, Casa De Fruita, like so many students before them.


When the 50 GHS speakers exited the bus at school on Saturday morning to begin their two long days of competition – the rain fell. But that would not dampen the energy or spirit of the Screamin’ Eagles. They boarded the bus 370 miles ago with one purpose and one job – to deliver their message through their speeches.


The 2019 James Logan Tournament hosted nearly 100 schools. 10 of those schools are National Speech School of Excellence Award recipients – an award given only to the very best programs in America. It was evident The Screamin’ Eagles were in for a storm of competition.


After enduring 12 long hours of performances in the biting cold and wet Northern California winter– 9 speeches later – the students ended the first day of competition excited that 37 would be competing in the quarter-finals Sunday morning.


With only 7 seniors and 25 freshman and sophomores on the trip, our young team’s success is remarkable – given most of the students had never been to a tournament of this magnitude.


Regardless of their youth and experience, the speakers knew they needed to bring their best if they were to continue their march through the tournament. By late Sunday morning, 14 students broke to the Semi-Final round. By noon, 8 students advanced to the finals with the junior duo Jaden and Khin having the privilege of representing the team on stage at the James Logan Performing Arts Complex in front of nearly 400 spectators.


Nearing the end of the tournament, the team made their annual stroll down the street to a nearby shopping plaza to enjoy their dinner before a long bus ride home to San Gabriel. To bid farewell to the team, the bay area unleashed the biggest downpour of the weekend on our students.


Despite the weather, the team placed 5th overall in the tournament.  Sophomore sensation Sharron took 7th in U.S. Extemp. Placing 6th in Duo was the Duo of Jaden and Khin, juniors. Gabriel placed 6th in Humorous Interpretation followed by Freshman Phenom Melanie in 6th place for POI/Thematic.  Jaycob was 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation and junior Felicia got 2nd in Informative. Winning the tournament in Original Oratory was junior Jaden.

On the way home, rain fell on top the dimly lit bus as the students listened to the reading of the scores. Halfway through the drive, some students finally rested on their pillows, while some students enjoyed the movies. The moon was in full sight welcoming The Screamin’ Eagles back to their nest as the bus arrived late Sunday night in San Gabriel.


The rain came and went but the memories and success remain. While the storms will water and help the hillsides of the 5-Freeway to bloom and grow, the tournament will do the same for our students. The Screamin’ Eagles will blossom and grow into more passionate, more talented, and more successful speakers for the future.


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!


photos by Katherine Xie and friends








Fall Varsity Brings Christmas Legs

By Zoe Perez


Winter Break and the holidays were right around the corner but speech and debate students were spending their time practicing for Fall Varsity. This time, our Eagles won’t have the comfort of being home because Fall Varsity is the first league tournament of the year that is taking place at a different location, Schurr High School. Despite the preparation for their upcoming tournament, competitors still felt the Christmas spirit drawing near and were eager to finish their final meet before break.


When the phrase “break a leg” is told to someone, it is usually to convey good luck, however, breaking a leg is usually not something competitors want to do at a tournament. Fall Varsity, and the Spring Varsity tournament in February, are chances to earn legs to the State Championships.  One leg is earned by receiving first or second place in one of the 12 different events. After earning two legs, a competitor automatically qualifies for The State Championships tournament in May. This tournament was not just an opportunity for these students to showcase what they have worked on all season, but it was also a chance for them to prove that they deserve their place at the State Championships.


As students made their way over to Schurr on competition morning, some brought with them blankets and extra jackets. The competitors could not help but feel a little chilly. However, the eagles huddled together and surrounded themselves by their fellow teammates, giving themselves the warmth they needed to feel good before their speeches.


Most of the Eagles compete in two events, giving them two chances to speak and two chances to earn a leg for their events. From a character-filled performance to an inspirational public address, competitors were rushing around Schurr to make it to their rounds to impress their judges.


Along with Gabrielino, nineteen other schools headed over to Schurr in an attempt to take the Screamin’ Eagles’ series of wins away from them and claim legs for themselves. However, after putting their all into their speeches, the spirit of giving reached the judges as they awarded Gabrielino with a sweet win at Fall Varsity meet for the 20th time in a row and 10 of the 24 leg positions. Since 1999, Gabrielino has upheld its ongoing Fall Varsity winning streak and in the years to come, they hope to maintain this series of wins up and ongoing.


After a long day, the Eagles head back home with another victory and ready to enjoy their upcoming winter break. As they continue to move on to Spring Varsity, they are determined to take a second leg!

The Future Looks Bright At Fall Novice

By Zoe Perez


As the fall season was coming to an end, Fall Novice was only the beginning as it was a chance for novices to participate their first tournament without varsity competitors. This event was the third tournament hosted at Gabrielino High School after Icebreaker and The Screamin’ Eagles Invitational. After multiple practices and critiques, speeches were perfected and were ready to be presented. It was the novice kids’ first chance to perform their speeches thoroughly and they did amazing.

Thanks the help of the varsities, novices were proud to present their hard work. Varsities worked frivolously this year to develop the novices’ understanding of their speeches and deliver them in the best way possible. 

 “We’ve been helping out the novices for the past couple months and we were really excited to see their work pay off,” explains junior Felicia Tang. “It’s a privilege to see these kids develop and understand their messages and be able to speak out on something that is important to them.”

Since varsities were not competing, they were able to give immediate feedback, critiques, and advice to the novices in between each round. If they were not judging, observing, or helping the novices, varsities were running the judges’ table and managing the concession stand.

 These underclassmen have come a long way from when they first started the school year in August, and the improvement shows.

Captain Stephanie Rubio, senior, mentions, “Seeing them compete against other schools made me realize how much they improved which couldn’t have made me prouder.” 

The passion, effort, and dedication in these students drew out the talent in them and it is undeniable that they will keep improving in the coming years. The competition day ended with the Screamin’ Eagles winning over half of the awards, proving that the future of the team is bright with these young team members.



photos by Katherine Xie


By Zoe Perez


On Saturday Oct. 20, speech members gathered at Gabrielino High School to participate in the Screamin’ Eagles Invitational, more commonly known as, Gab Gab Gab. Eleven schools made their way over to Gabrielino, some from as far as West LA and Orange County. Over 500 students presented their speeches at the tournament, including 155 of our own Eagles. Three of the top five teams in the southern half of California were on the GHS campus for the meet..


Previously, the Screamin’ Eagles attended the Jack Howe Invitational at Cal State Long Beach. Its removal from Gabrielino’s competition schedule led to the creation of Gab Gab Gab. Since the trial run last year, the number of schools attending and entries nearly doubled.


 If there’s one thing our speech team has trouble with, it’s finding the competition rooms. Kids were running all over campus trying to find their event rooms. It didn’t help that our campus grew this past year. Over the summer of 2018, construction workers were finally able to complete our newest addition to the Gabrielino campus: the F building. Since such a large amount of kids came to participate, we were given the opportunity to use science rooms for the first time ever. Despite some confusion, our Eagles and their fellow competitors were able to find the rooms in the nick of time.


 To help the tournament run smoothly, the parents of the speech and debate students contribute their afternoon to volunteer. The concession stand was completely run by parents, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their help. It was a complete success and we couldn’t have done it without them!


  “I came in very prepared, eager to perform, and excited to see others perform,” stated HI event leader, David Campos, junior.  Campos goes on to say, “As an event leader, I felt like the event did really well but there is always room for improvement.”


This year at Gab Gab Gab, we won almost half of the twenty-two events. Our Eagles did a great job at the second annual Screamin’ Eagles Invitational, signaling the start to a phenomenal competition season.


photos by Katherine Xie






Speech Season Kicks Off With The Icebreaker


The 25th edition of the Gabrielino Speech & Debate Team began their year in the very same classrooms they study in all week long as the Screamin’ Eagles kicked off their season at the Icebreaker Speech and Debate Tournament at GHS.


This kick off tournament was created in year four of the program (in the late 1900s) and has been held every year since at Gabrielino.  The idea is to pair seasoned veterans with the newcomers in the program to spend the day guiding them and building unity amongst the team members.  This year’s Icebreaker featured nine high schools and over 500 students from around the area; 150 of which were from Gabrielino.



“This tournament is really about the novice students,” senior Co-Captain K.P commented.  “They can get so confused. I’m really glad we have this to help them out.”


For the fourth year in a row, the Screamin’ Eagles celebrated National Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) by using the holiday as a theme for the event.  At this year’s tournament, the team added two pirate back drops so students could pose for pictures as mementos of their day.


Senior Co-Captain J.W. commented, “it felt good hearing how excited all our new students were.” 


After four rounds of competition and over 20 judge scores, there was a 3-way tie for first place, a first for the tournament.  Both Gab teams lost the tie-breaker and took home second and third place. 


Junior Lidskin said of the close finish, “it just shows we have a lot of potential, but it wasn’t that good of a day for us.”   In total, six team members were awarded one of the pirate themed awards. 


The 2018 Icebreaker was a fantastic and fun experience to kick off year 25 for the Screamin’ Eagles.  The seniors and the debaters now turn their attention to the large CSU Long Beach Invitational. 


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles


The Screamin’ Eagles have consistently placed in the top 13 schools in America and have been THE top program in the southern half of California for 15 of the past 18 years. Only one or two of those schools ahead of us in America are Title 1 schools (low socioeconomic schools). Speech and Debate is an activity greatly favoring rich students and schools.


Donations help us give all 250 students various opportunities throughout the year and not just a select few.


If you would like to support one of the best speech & debate programs in America, please send check or money order to:
Gabrielino High School Speech & Debate Team
1327 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776


Payable to: Gabrielino HS Speech Team

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