Speech & Debate
Jared Padalecki
2020 National Speech & Debate Spokesperson

league champs

League Champs 26 Years In A Row

by Noelle Chan and Cindy Tran

Finally, it’s time for the State Qualifying tournaments! During the past few weeks, our Screamin Eagles’ competed at the Southern California Debate League State Qualifiers for Speech and Debate Events. The first weekend was for speech events and the second for debate! For our Eagles who didn’t auto-qualify for States during Fall Varsity/Debate or Spring Varsity/Debate, this was their last chance to qualify for the State Championships in

Held at Montebello High School, the State Qualifiers for speech events, State Quals for short, consisted of 3 guaranteed rounds, a semi-final, and a final round. A total of 346 students across 15 schools (including Gab speech) entered to compete. Students were able to take up to 2 events like Freshman Justin Chia who took his Original Oratory (OO) and his Declamation.

Throughout the day, students ran across the Montebello campus to make it to their rounds on time, gave amazing speeches, and enjoyed the delicious Mexican cuisine served by the Chanos food truck.

After a long day of emotional and stress-filled competition, our seniors spent their bus ride home preparing to give their senior speeches. As a tradition, seniors have given speeches after the State Qualifying Tournament every year since 1999. These 3-minute speeches include a lot of shout-outs to other members of the team, sentimental items to pass down to the underclassmen and a heartfelt recap of their experience in Speech and Debate. Senior Rachel Young qualified for State in drama and gave an impactful speech to the underclassmen. “I decided to pass down items like my 4-year senior medal and first high school speech trophy. Overall, it was a really emotional night because I’ve been doing speech since 7th grade so I’m not ready for my speech career to end,” senior Rachel Young said.


Just one week later, our debaters competed at the Debate Qualifier held at Schurr High School. With a total of 116 entries and 14 schools entered to compete at the tournament, this was definitely a challenge for our Eagles.

After two weekends of qualifiers, we would like to congratulate 19 of our Screamin’ Eagles for placing in their speech event and earning their spot to compete at the State Tournament: Aaron Situ, Aidan Scannell, Emi Naito, Karina Vargas, Zoe Nimpoeno, Chenlu Yang, Zyra Dango, Kate Hamamoto, Bryanna Quach, Thao Le, Allyson Lay, Kailey Trinh, Josephine Scannell, Sofia Villagra, Ashley Lau, Kaylyn Thai, Gabby Sanchez, Addyson Diep, Marco Cisneros Farber, and Rachel Young. “Even though my experience was a complete rollercoaster, I’m glad all my hard work paid off because that means more people got to see my message,” junior Emi Naito said.  

All these students will be joining the four students who automatically qualified earlier this year for an exciting weekend in San Diego at the State Championships next month.

And for the 26th year in a row Gabrielino is the Southern California Debate League Champion

To all of our Screamin’ Eagles that qualified, good luck at State in April and congratulations to everyone for once again being League Champions.





Spring Novice Back In LBC

by Cindy Tran and Noelle Chan

From finalizing scripts to adding the finishing touch on an Expos board, our Novice and Junior Varsity members got ready to compete once again at Southern California Debate League’s Spring Novice tournament on February 4th at Long Beach Polytechnic High School! 

It was the first time Long Beach Poly in Long Beach, California (LBC) has hosted a tournament since 2015.  Garfield High School hosted it for four years, it was online one year and last year, in 2022, it was held on the Gabrielino campus.   

After a week of debriefing and reflecting from the Spring Varsity tournament in January, our novices were ready to soar at this tournament! Our Eagles competed in 3 rounds across 24 events. 

Out of the 220 competitors, 21 of our Eagles placed first in their event(s) and won the tournament! 22 of our members won an excellence award and 25 won a superior award. 

Congratulations to sophomore Kara Mak, freshman Kayley Thai, and sophomore Sofia Villagra for placing first in both of their events! “I didn’t go in expecting anything and I just wanted to have fun,” Kara said. “But, I gave it my all and I feel like it was a good way to end my novice and JV career!” 

We would like to give a big thank you to Varsity members like Allyson Lay for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and judge our novices! Allyson described judging as “very interesting and fun seeing all the performers from our school as well as other schools.”

Although they did not judge, our event leaders were also at the tournament to support our novice and JV Eagles! Duo event leader Christopher Torres observed the duo rounds and proudly said, “I really enjoyed watching the novices grow and improve both their speeches and as a speaker.”

We hope to see everyone at the State Qualifying Tournament/League Championships at the end of February! 





A Sunny D Day at Spring Varsity

by Noelle Chan and Cindy Tran

On January 28th, our Screamin’ Eagles kicked off the start of their weekend with The Southern California Debate League’s Spring Varsity Tournament at Arcadia High School! 110 of our team members competed in 2 preliminary rounds with an additional semi-final round and final round if they qualified. Competing against 15 other schools across 14 events, this tournament was definitely a challenge. 

As an act of encouragement, Duo Interpretation event leaders Nicole Diep and Thao Le carried on the tradition of making goodie bags for the Eagles participating in Duo. The bags were filled with various snacks like Rice Krispie treats, Fruit Roll-Ups, a bag of chips, a Caprisun, and Welch’s fruit snacks. To make these bags even more memorable, they customized them to fit each person! “This was my first tournament as an event leader so I really wanted to go all out on the goodie bags to support everyone in Duo,” Nicole commented.

After weeks of intense preparation prior to Spring Varsity, our Eagles’ hard work and dedication definitely paid off at the tournament. Over 60 GabSpeech members advanced to semis and 32 broke to finals.

duoJunior duo Lindsay Wong and Melinda Do broke to semi-finals through their strong communication and amazing teamwork! As novices, they wanted to make sure that their first year of speech was worthwhile. “We worked really hard on our speech so it was nice to see it pay off,” Lindsay said. “Honestly, I didn’t expect to break to semis but I’m proud of us for getting this far,” Melinda added.

Congratulations to junior Sherry Shi in Oratorical Interpretation/Declamation (DEC), junior Chris Torres in Program Oral Interp (POI), as well as senior Violet Wang in Informative/Expos who all automatically qualified to go to the 2023 State Championship Tournament in April! All of these amazing members earned a “leg” (by placing 1st or 2nd in their event) at both Fall Varsity and Spring Varsity! “I’m really happy that I qualified to state and I’m grateful for all the help and support I got from my friends in speech during the weeks of Spring Varsity and Fall Varsity,” Sherry commented. “I’m really looking forward to seeing good speeches from all over California and going on my first ever overnight tournament!”


We would also like to give a special congratulations to Senior Captain Gabriel “Sunny D” Sundaramoorthy, who auto-qualified in both of his events (United States Extemp and Policy Debate)! Sunny secured his position in the State Championships for his debate event by earning a leg at Spring Debate and Fall Debate. He did the same for his speech event by earning a leg at Fall Varsity and Spring Varsity.

This day marked the 24th year in a row Gabrielino has won the league’s Spring Varsity Tournament! With this tournament coming to an end, our first-year Eagles will be back for Spring Novice and we can’t wait to see members of our team at the State Qualifying Tournament/League Championships next month!




SD Team

Spring Debate Back at San Gabriel

By Cindy Tran and Noelle Chan 

To start off the New Year, our Screamin’ Eagle debaters competed in the Southern California Debate League’s Spring Debate Tournament.  The novice portion consisted of 3 rounds while the Varsity portion included 4 preliminary rounds and a final round. This was the chance for our debaters to earn a leg to the State Debate Championships!

For the first time in many years, Gabrielino entered 9 debaters in the novice portion of this tournament which took place on Friday, the day before the Varsities got to compete. In the past, novices weren’t able to compete at Spring Debate due to the long distance. However, this year, Spring Debate was held at San Gabriel High School, making it the first tournament that the high school has held in over 10 years!

Right as the 3:30 p.m. bell rang on Friday, our novice debaters wasted no time rushing over to San Gabriel High School to get ready for their first round. Since this was a novice tournament, they didn’t have the opportunity to earn a leg to States. However, this was a great way for our novice debaters to gain experience for future competitions.

Junior Ashley Lau stated, “My favorite part of the tournament was how after each round everyone would just sit together and talk. It made me feel like I really belonged to debate since I was still really new.” This was Ashley’s second debate tournament and through her hard work she went on to be named the champion in Lincoln Douglas Debate!

Congratulations to Eagles senior co-captain, Gabriel “Sunny D” Sundaramoorthy, and sophomore Aaron Situ who placed first in Policy Debate! Just a few months ago, Sunny and Aaron earned a leg at Fall Debate. With this win, they officially qualified for the 2023 State Championships! 

Other winners at the tournament were senior Aidan Scannell and junior Sheri Shi placing 7th in Public Forum Debate, junior Sophia Pu and sophomore Marco Cisneros-Farber 6th place in Public Forum and Senior Violet Wang and freshman Isabella Lam 3rd place in Policy Debate

Our Screamin’ Eagles did an amazing job and we can’t wait to see our debate State Qualifiers progress!

Leg logo

Legs Give Added Meaning to Spring Meets

By Noelle Chan


Racing against time, our Screamin’ Eagles are scrambling to finalize and polish their speeches before their next round of Southern California Debate League tournaments. With only a few days left on the clock, the 16 students who earned a leg at the Fall Debate or Fall Varsity tournaments are looking forward to winning another leg at either the Spring Debate or Spring Varsity tournaments.

A leg, which can be earned by placing 1st or 2nd in their event during the fall tournaments, is something to take seriously. Any competitor who gets two legs automatically qualifies for the State Championships!

From adjusting their speeches to fit in the time limit to fixing minor mistakes in their scripts, members like Anson Law who got a leg at the Fall Tournament in Original Prose and Poetry are determined to soar. “I feel less nervous about my speech after Fall Varisty. I’m not too worried about the results from Spring Varsity as long as I have fun with my speech,” Anson said. 

While the next few weeks may bring a lot of stress to our performers, it’s also important to stay calm and focused. We hope that you all do your best at the tournaments, but don’t forget to have fun! Good luck at both Varsity Tournaments.




Eagles Show Holiday Spirit at Fall Varsity

By Cindy Tran and Noelle Chan

With the holiday season approaching, our Screamin Eagles put away their ugly Christmas Sweaters and brought out their Christmas spirit through their speeches. For the first time, the Southern California Debate League held its Fall Varsity Speech Tournament at Montebello High School! 14 area schools with a total of 450 entries competed in the meet.2


It’s no doubt our Screamin’ Eagles felt some sort of nervousness or anxiety leading up to the tournament. But, they didn’t let that stop them. With passionate deliveries and motivated mindsets, our Eagles soared in 3 preliminary rounds and a qualifying final round.

At every Fall Varsity tournament, the league has San Gabriel’s very own Chanos Restaurant come on campus to prepare and sell their excellent Mexican/American cuisine to the competitors.   For those who were craving something warm and delicious to counter the cold weather, Chanos offered a classic quesadilla or maybe a plate of tacos. This tradition is a great addition for our hungry competitors as well as the judges that take the time out of their day to help out.

Like Fall Debate last month, Fall Varsity was a great opportunity for our competitors to earn a “leg”, meaning they placed 1st or 2nd place in their event. Out of all the amazing competitors and their speeches, these Eagles really shined. Sherry Shi, Joseph Peng, Ivy Wang, Violet Wang, Kate Hamamoto, Kailey Trinh, Sofia Villagra, Anson Law, Christopher Torres, Gabriel Sundaramoorthy, Allyson Lay, and Alexis Do all earned a leg for the State tournament, which means if they earn another leg at Spring Varsity, they automatically qualify for the 2023 State Championships!

Being cheered on by his peers during his final round of POI, or Program Oral Interpretation, Varsity member Chris Torres describes the excitement he felt to perform. “I think I did really well in my final round because I spoke loudly and was really feeling my speech. Speech is a great community because we all uplift and encourage each other to do better and I think that really helped me during my final round,” Chris said.  With this motivation and encouragement, Chris went on to win 1st place in POI.



42 GABSpeech members advanced to the final round (the top seven competitors) and were presented with trophies during the awards ceremony. The team won the tournament for the 23rd consecutive year by earning 196 points. The point total was more than the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams earned, combined.

Our Screamin’ Eagles worked hard this semester and we are so proud that they were able to show off their speeches.

We hope to see you all in 2023 at State Qualifiers. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year! Happy holidays to everyone!


Screamin’ Eagles Warm Up At Fall Novice 

by Noelle Chan and Cindy Tran

For the past 26 years in a row, The Southern California Debate League’s Fall Novice Speech Tournament has been held on our very own campus.  This year was no exception. Our JV and Novices were up against 18 other schools with over 400 competitors.

The morning started off cold and rushed with ties being tied and hair spray being sprayed. The smell of freshly baked donuts filled the air as our Screamin’ Eagles got ready for their first round of the day. Per usual, Fall Novice consisted of 3 rounds, no final rounds. 


FN 1

As the day went on, our team began to warm up to both the weather and the livelihood of the tournament. “I was really excited to perform and watch other people’s Original Advocacy speeches so I could learn more about their topics,” said one of our Junior Varsity Eagles, Angelina Chung.

After hours of after-school practice, finalizing performances, as well as additional preparation over the weekend, our team’s hard work paid off. 18 of our Screamin’ Eagles were champions of their events! The competitors who placed first in their events received a medal, while 2nd-3rd places received Superior ribbons, and 4th-5th places received Excellence ribbons. But remember, placing isn’t what’s important. As long as everyone is having fun while performing, that’s a win-win!

We would like to give a big thank you to our Varsity members for dedicating their time to judge and help out as well as the Gabrielino teachers that allowed us to use their classrooms. “Judging was really fun because I was able to teach the novices things that would be useful to them in future tournaments. I’m just glad I could help them improve overall,” said Varsity Eagle Ivy Wang.

Our Screamin’ Eagles did a fantastic job yet again! We can’t wait to see what you all accomplish as the year progresses!



photos by Alex Lai and Jordan Liu




Fall Deb 1

Debaters Find Success at Schurr

By Cindy Tran and Noelle Chan


With the spooky season ending, our Screamin Eagles’ hopped out of their costumes and into their speech attire to get ready for Southern California Debate League’s Fall Debate Tournament on November 5th.  16 of our debaters competed in four preliminary rounds and a qualifying final round of Public Forum, Policy, Lincoln Douglas, and Parliamentary Debates.


As the first league debate tournament of the year, held at Schurr High School in Montebello, it's no shock our Screamin' Eagles spent countless hours preparing for Fall Debate. For debater Mark Liu, that meant, "going to practice, watching news related to America, and getting a good night's sleep".


Although it may have been a stressful tournament, our Screamin’ Eagles knew how to keep calm and have fun. In between rounds, our debaters spent time eating, talking about their rounds, and meeting people from other schools. Debater Anson Law recalled that he “enjoyed going back to the prep room in between rounds because [he] got to debrief and talk to my teammates”.

Fall Deb 3

To end off Fall Debate, Duo Sophia Pu and Marco Cisneros-Farber placed 2nd in Public Forum, followed by Garrison Chan and Isaac Chan in 4th. In Policy Debate, duo Aaron Situ and Gabriel Sundaramoorthy placed 2nd and duo Isabella Lam and Violet Wang placed 4th. Finally, in Lincoln Douglas, Sofia Villagra placed 7th. “It was so surreal and it was my f

irst time doing the event and I had so much fun. I love LD (Lincoln Douglas).” Sofia said.


Since our debate pairs of Sophia Pu/Marco Cisneros-Farber and Aaron Situ/Gabriel Sundaramoorthy placed second in their events, this means they get a “leg”. Debaters get a “leg” if they place 1st or 2nd at Fall Debate and Spring Debate. If those same teams get one more leg at Spring Debate, they’ll automatically qualify for the 2023 California State Championship Tournament! 

Congratulations Eagles! Good luck to everyone at Fall Novice! 

photos by Johnny You





Gab Gab Gab is Back to Normal

By Cindy Tran and Noelle Chan


On October 15th Gabrielino hosted the Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles Invitational Speech Tournament, better known as Gab Gab Gab, once again on our very own campus! Last year it was modified because of Covid-19, where the three preliminary rounds were hosted online and only the five finalists in every event came to perform in either the Goodson Theater or the multi-purpose room. The 2020 version was completely online.


This year, the Screamin’ Eagles got to experience the whole tournament live, in person! Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Gab 3 ANovice members from 12 schools across Southern California traveled to Gabrielino to compete in 22 different events.


For novices like Jaslin Situ and Zachary Tang, GabGabGab was brand new. It was their first formal tournament where they got to perform the event, or events, they’ve been practicing and preparing. 


But, if you thought one event was difficult, try doing two, like Thao Le. Thao double-entered and performed a total of 8 rounds of her Program Oral Interpretation, and her Duo, with partner Nick Lee. When asked about how Thao feels about being double entered, she explains, “In the beginning of the school year, it's kind of stressful to get both of your events done. But, as time progresses, it's really cool to see your events get better.”


With over 89 awards given to Gabrielino students in their respective events, our Screamin’ Eagles shined through the rainy weather.  Brianna Chen, Divine McKenzie, Nick Lee, duo Asiel Castro and Jeffrey Wu, Isabella Lam, Jordan Liu, Jasmine Bonilla, Sofia Villagra, Ximena Mercado, Alexandra Naito, Zyra Kate Dango, and Veena Sundaramoorthy all placed first in their events!


Congratulations to our Screamin’ Eagles, we look forward to seeing you all at Fall Debate and Fall Novice!





Debate at the Beach

By Noelle Chan and Cindy Tran


 Last month, our Screamin’ Eagle debaters competed at the 30th annual Jack Howe Memorial Invitational on the campus of California State University Long Beach. This was our current debaters' first ever Jack Howe Invitational and their first debate tournament of the year! From September 24th to September 25th, 6 teams from Gabrielino competed in 6 difficult preliminary rounds of debate from sunrise to sunset.


Our debaters focused on 2 main events at Jack Howe, Open Public Forum and Open Policy.  The two-person debate teams of Sherry Shi/Aidan Scannell, Sophia Pu/Marcos Cisneros-Farber, Anson Law/Hinson Yuen, and Isaac Chan/Garrison Chan competed in Open Public Forum. Violet Wang/Isabella Lam and Gabriel Sundaramoorthy/Aaron Situ were in Policy Debate. 



Our Screamin’ Eagles worked especially hard to prepare for their rounds. “We first analyzed the topic and talked about different aspects of it to build up a fundamental understanding.” Aaron Situ said. Aaron and the team dedicated a lot of time to form their arguments, but it didn’t just stop there.


The debate team consistently practiced their cases during the weeks leading up to the tournament. “My team (worked hard) preparing for this tournament to make sure we were ready. Overall, the tournament was a very helpful experience because it helped me figure out what I needed to work on,” Garrison Chan said.


Even with the ups and downs that came along with Jack Howe, debaters like Sophia Pu walked out of the tournament with newly found skills and memories. “My least favorite part was the stress of preparing beforehand, but by far my favorite part was being there with my friends and improving my skills,” Sophia said. 


Our Screamin’ Eagles had a tough competition and even though they didn’t win, we are very proud of our debaters. 


As Cal State Long Beach would say, Go Beach! And Go Eagles!



Ice 1

Icebreaker Kicks Off Season Indoors

By Noelle Chan and Cindy Tran

September 10 kicks off the 2022-2023 school year with the annual Icebreaker Speech & Debate Invitational! This marks the first tournament of the school year for our Screamin’ Eagles! A total of 6 schools competed on the Gabrielino campus. Last year’s Icebreaker tournament consisted of rounds that took place outdoors to comply with COVID-19 regulations. However this year, all rounds took place in classrooms!

The invitational was a great way to ease novices into the new Speech & Debate school year! Junior Varsity and Ice 2Varsity members paired up with a Novice, or people new to Speech & Debate, to help them get used to competition and get the full tournament experience. All competitors got a ballot to judge their own rounds which relieved some pressure on the competitors as it was their very first tournament of the year.

The 162 pairs competed in 3 rounds of Improvisational Duo, Spontaneous Argumentation, or Spar for short, and Character Debate. 

After an exciting first round, Juniors Brianna Chen and Silvia Truong described their nerve-racking yet exciting round. “So far, I think Icebreaker


has been pretty fun because I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new people from different schools,” Brianna said. “Honestly, I was kind of nervous at first, but overall, Brianna and I worked really well together so it wasn’t too bad,” Silvia added.

Once again, as a tradition, the Icebreaker was Pirate-themed in honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, which is on September 19th this year. Our Speech & Debate captains wore pirate hats and hung up pirate-themed banners in honor of this tradition.


JV and Varsity members were encouraged to make goodie bags for their Novice partners.  Junior, Christopher Torres made his partner, freshman, Divine Mckenzie, a welcome gift. “Chris has been a really good partner and I really like the goodie bag that he made me because it had a very detailed drawing of a pirate ship,” Divine said.

Each and every one of our Screamin’ Eagles did an amazing job! Duos Gabriela Sanchez and Marco Cisneros-Farber placed 3rd, Divine Mckenzie and Christopher Torres placed 7th, and Keen Lai and Karina Vargas placed 8th. 

Great job Eagles and good luck at GabGabGab!


photos by Noelle Chan, Alex Lai, Silvia Truong



Screamin' Eagles Welcome Everyone To New Year

By Noelle Chan

Welcome back, Screamin’ Eagles! On August 25, many returning members and newcomers joined us on campus for a fun-filled afternoon of food, performances, and all things Speech and Debate! This welcome day was an amazing opportunity for novices to meet and bond with everyone on the team, while also getting a glimpse of what after-school practices are like.

InformativeFrom pizza and brownies to Jollibee spaghetti, everyone brought a variety of food and drinks to enjoy at the potluck. 

Sophomore Karina Vargas performed her Expository, or Expos, on Blood, where she created detailed boards to illustrate the importance of the different blood types.

The second performance of the afternoon was from Sophomores Stanley “Grandpa” Ho and Kyle “Wildman” Tang, who performed their Duo Interpretation, Employees must wash hands before murder. Their Duo, for short, featured workers at a fast food restaurant, called the Burgatorium, who must hide their dead manager during a surprise health inspection. “Kyle and I are near polar opposites since he’s very serious and I’m more laidback, but I think that’s why we actually work so well together”, Stanley said. “It’s always great to perform with Stanley because we both have something to bring to the table,” Kyle added.


Finally, to end off the afternoon, Sophomore Marco Cisneros-Farber performed his Extemporaneous, or Extemp. For his Extemp, he was presented with the question, “Will there be an Iran nuclear deal by the end of the year?”, and had 30 minutes to prepare his performance. “Even though I was really nervous before I started speaking, I just got into my zone and everything felt natural from there because I was just talking about what I enjoy talking about,” Marco said. 


After watching some incredible performances from our JV and Varsity members, everyone broke out into their event groups to begin an introductory after-school practice. “For my event, Drama, we had to act out different scenarios with a variety of emotions. It was challenging, but also fun to try out and I feel like I really bonded with everyone on the team at Welcome Day!”, Novice Gwendolyn Chu recalled.

Work hard and stay focused, but remember to always have fun, Screamin’ Eagles!






Rocking Success at Nationals In Spite Of Challenges

When you start a trip sitting on a plane behind two rock stars, it may be a good indicator your upcoming journey is going to be Montanowild and crazy. On their way to the National Speech and Debate Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, the Screamin’ Eagles found themselves seated behind heavy metal bassist Jerry Montano and drummer Scot Coogan. The musicians have played with Ace Frehley (Kiss), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), and Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue). They were on their way to play a festival in Atlantic City with some of the all-time Rock Legends.  

As it turned out, meeting the metal duo was a perfect indicator of the journey that quickly became the longest trip the Screamin’ Eagles have taken in the team's 28-year history.  

After traveling halfway across the country to Louisville, the 15 Screamin’ Eagles competitors who qualified for Nats spent their first few days in the Bluegrass State practicing and preparing for the National Tournament.

Excitement and anticipation seemed to radiate through all the competitors. For the first time since June 2019, the best high school speakers in America were coming together, in person, to compete. Finally, students no longer had to Zoom into their rounds from their bedrooms, garages, and even dining rooms. The world’s largest academic competition was back and The Screamin’ Eagles were more than ready.

kids with horseHowever, once the sixth and final preliminary round was completed on the second day of competition, a text came through that changed the entire trajectory for the rest of the trip. Like a heavy metal drum solo, the tension rose. One of the members became ill and tested positive for Covid-19. 

Quickly, the Gabrielino administration instructed all students who shared a room with the team member to test. An additional student then tested positive. Unfortunately, after testing the rest of the team, another student, as well as two of the three coaches-turned-drivers received the same results. Immediately they were confined to their hotel rooms.  Once again, team members were in their bedrooms for a speech competition.  

In the midst of the chaos of the competition and covid testing, nine Screamin’ Eagles advanced to the Octofinal rounds of their events. This was a huge achievement, with only the top 60 students (out of 250-450 qualifiers) in each event moved forward.  The students, however, had to perform their next two rounds knowing some of their teammates were isolating in their hotel rooms. 

A and GRising to the occasion yet again, six of the nine Octofinalists advanced to the Quarterfinal rounds and earned two more opportunities to spread their message. Top 30 in the nation in their respective events, GabSpeech proved nothing could truly stop them. The team was down to six competitors, one coach, and one van to escort the students to their performance venue for the third day of competition.  

It was a struggle to shuttle competitors back and forth while ensuring the remaining team members at the hotel were comfortable, and well, in their rooms. On top of fighting for a spot in the Semi-Final round, the Screamin’ Eagles had to do everything they could to prevent more students from catching the disease. Yet again, the team rose to the challenge and performed their best. Soon enough, breaks were announced and four-time National qualifiers and senior team co-captains, Melanie “Melmo” Hsiang and Gabriel “Frank”-McPheter were preparing for their Semi-Final rounds. Both students were announced to be part of the top 14 competitors in their events!


In the end, Melanie just missed the finals and placed 7th in Program Oral Interpretation. Frank was 10th in United States Extemporaneous Speaking. But instead of celebrating these victories, the team was faced with more Covid-19 cases, meaning more students were required to isolate themselves in their hotel rooms. 

Sunny with trophyYet through all the turmoil, the team still secured high achievements. Gabrielino was recognized as a Speech National School of Excellence for the 15th straight year, placed 11th in the Speech division, and proudly finished 15th overall (out of 2500 schools) across the country. Despite everything the students were forced to overcome during the pandemic, the program continued to strive for excellence and never took the easy way out. 

For rock stars, the concert is only the beginning of their day. Afterwards, the excitement continues and life only gets more interesting. The same can be said for GabSpeech. The post tournament adventure began with figuring out how to get the team home as soon as possible. Luckily, the San Gabriel Unified School District came to the rescue. Superintendent Symonds and his leadership team met with officials to create plans which included sending another district administrator to Louisville to escort the healthy members of the team back to California. The remaining members of the team would be split into two groups, meaning the coaches would bring students back once they were released from their hotel quarantine.

“When we were talking to the musicians in front of us (on the plane ride to Louisville) about challenges in traveling,” one of the Screamin’ Eagles coaching staff stated, “Scot [Coogan] said they just go with the flow. We were in the same situation. Our head coach and all the people at the district office were busy behind the scenes making many, many different arrangements to get everyone home safely.”

The epic Screamin’ Eagles Nationals “Tour” lasted seven days past the last round of competition.  

Congratulations GabSpeech. You once again faced adversity and came out on top. Welcome home.


Melmo Makes Semis

A big part of the Screamin’ Eagles' history is nicknames.  For the past quarter century, there have been tons of names with hilarious origins: Bieber Dancing, Lotion, Little Richie, Bamer, Blok, and Klok are only some of the classics. For senior Melanie Hsiang, she earned her nickname, Melmo, from GabSpeech’s youngest fan, two-year old Dakota Lee. Her freshman year, Melanie often wore a red suit. Dakota, whose mom was an assistant coach at the time, was at tournaments and in the speech room afterschool. For children, red is one of the first colors they are able to see. As such, Dakota quickly marked Melanie as “Melmo”, after the Sesame Street character, Elmo.

She rarely sports the red suit these days, but Melanie’s successes have made her a well known competitor in the speech and debate world. This fact was no different at Nationals. She qualified for her fourth National Tournament, becoming only the 6th person in the team’s 28-year history to make it to the most prestigious tournament all four years of high school. She has competed in a staggering 45 rounds of competition in main events at Nats.  

Melmo was recognized as a National Semi-Finalist when she was a sophomore, placed 4th overall as a junior, and was 7th place in all of America her senior year. Her program oral interpretation this year focused on the weaponization of technology. “I hope that my message about the threat of technology was able to touch the hearts of those that have watched my performance. It’s unfortunately something

Mel Sal

that everybody can relate to,” Melanie commented, after picking up her award in the Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Expo Center. 


Like Elmo, Melmo is a great role model for others. She was a senior co-captain of the Screamin’ Eagles and was named Salutatorian of her class. “It was an honor to earn these achievements, and I’m really lucky to have these opportunities,” the always-humble team leader said.  

To Melanie, you have been an incredible performer, leader and team coach to so many on our team. Everyone on Gab Speech is grateful for having a front row seat and getting to watch you perform at the highest caliber for the past four years. Thank you and congratulations on all of your successes.  We will miss you!





Frank Finishes Career in National Semi-Final Round

By Connie Yuan

Senior team co-captain Gabriel Frank-McPheter, nicknamed “Frank”, established one of the greatest speech and debate careers in Gabrielino’s 28-year history.  

This summer, a few days after wearing his cap and gown for graduation, Frank was back in a suit performing at the 2022 National High School Speech & Debate Championships.  He made it all the way to the National Semi-Final round, placing 10th against over 250 competitors in United States Extemporaneous Speaking. He qualified for Nationals all four years and competed in an impressive 37 rounds of competition, both online and in-person, at Nationals.

Frank with AlexYet the numbers don’t stop there. Frank is only the seventh Screamin’ Eagle to qualify for Nationals all four years. His 37 rounds  of competition at one of the most selective tournaments rank him fifth all time at Gabrielino. Most impressively, Gabriel was announced the 2022 California State Champion in US Extemporaneous Speaking.  

Last year, he performed in the final round of the Great Communicator Debate Series at the Reagan Library. This was a selective event granted to him after placing second in the nation in US Extemp! To add to his long list of achievements, Frank is the only Gabrielino student to be invited twice to the prestigious Frank at ReaganMontgomery Bell Academy National Extemp Invitational. 


This year, Frank became the team’s all-time leader in accumulated speech and debate points. He passed fellow alum Alexandra Singleton who held the record since 2017. His final total of 2,926 points - almost 400 more than Alexandra - will be exceptionally difficult for anyone to ever catch. 

Although he competed in US Extemp each year at Nationals and the California State Championships, Frank has also qualified multiple times for State in Public Forum Debate.  

Fellow senior and Extemp event leader, Daniel Candia shares that “[Frank] has an exemplary worth ethic and is very engaged with the team. He’s always there to help people even if it means under-prioritizing himself. He leads by example, prioritizing the future of the team over his own success and that's what has led to a lot of his accomplishments.”

Congratulations Frank. You’ve been an incredible part of this team, league and activity for many years. You will be greatly missed, but we cannot wait to see where you will go in the future. 




Daniel Grad
GABSpeech Rocks GABGrad
The Class of 2022 held their graduation ceremonies at the beautiful Santa Anita Racetrack.   It was an incredible night as 50 of the nearly 400 seniors were current, active members of the Screamin' Eagles Speech & Debate Team.  
GabSpeech is saying goodbye an extremely memorable class. 
Everyone in attendance was treated to speeches from Gabrielino and San Gabriel Unified School District Administrators.  The best speeches are usually given by the students themselves.  And this year was no different.  Halina
Students audition in late April to be one of the two speakers who get to represent their class at the ceremony.
This year, both speakers were members of the Screamin' Eagles.  
Senior Daniel Candia spoke about his journey to graduation as an immigrant from Colombia.  He discussed how the Class of 2022 embodied great perseverance and determination.  "It was a great honor to be able to represent my class and my fellow Eagles," Candia stated.
Senior Halina Kwan spoke about the ability of the students and staff to be able to pivot and adapt during the past four years.  
Each year at Gabrielino for the seniors was completely different.  Daniel and Halina did a fantastic job reminding everyone of their achievements and resilience and communicated a shared hope and optimism for a great future for everyone.
Great job Screamin' Eagles Speakers.  Congratulations to the Class of 2022.  You did it.

Senior Awards

GabSpeech Seniors Receive Several Honors

By Lam Chung

After two years of the Senior Awards Ceremony being a YouTube video, the Class of 2022 had their ceremony in person at Gabrielino   The seniors were rewarded for their hard work. This year, many of the Screamin’ Eagles Seniors received awards based on their academic and Speech & Debate achievements. 

During the ceremony, Co-Captains of the Screamin’ Eagles Speech & Debate team, Gabriel Frank-McPheter and Priscilla Chin were chosen to be the senior speakers at the event. Gabriel “Frank” spoke about the importance of time management and Priscilla discussed the resilience shown by the class of 2022.  Priscilla explained, “itt’s such an honor to be speaking at Senior Awards night because I can represent our Senior Class and voice all the struggles we’ve faced--not only through COVID but throughout high school.”

The Salutatorian, ranked second out of all 400+ Seniors of the Class of 2022, is one of the most prestigious titles given to a Senior. Recognized for her academic excellence and engagement within the community, Screamin’ Eagles’ Co-Captain, 4-time State and National Qualifier, Melanie Hsiang, has earned her rightful place as Gabrielino High School’s Class of 2022 Salutatorian!

11 GabSpeech members were named Academic All-Americans In order to earn this prestigious title, Seniors of the Speech & Debate team receive superior distinction from the National Speech & Debate Association, and also have a cumulative 3.7 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). The 11 Academic All-Americans are Priscilla Chin, Lauren Chiou, Vincent DeMarco, Gabriel Frank-McPheter, Kelly Hoang, Melanie Hsiang, Michelle Li, Geraldine Ly, Logan Tan, Trisha Tanaka, and Luccia Yaccoub. Recognized for their devotion and dedication to Speech and academics, these 11 seniors rightfully earned the title of Academic All-Americans!

The Screamin’ Eagles Speech & Debate Boosters awarded Gabriel and Melanie along with Daniel Candia, Melanie Hsiang and Luccia Yacoub each $250 scholarships. 

Congratulations to all the seniors who have been awarded for their hard work!

All State Team

Screamin’ Eagles Named to All-State Team

By Lam Chung

As always, the Gabrielino’s Screamin’ Eagles Speech & Debate Team continues their impeccable legacy with 20 Screamin’ Eagles members named members of the California All-State team.

Out of the 20 members of the All-State team, our 15 seniors proved their undying talent for Speech & Debate. Seniors Katie Do, Trisha Tanaka, and Victor Lucas qualified in Dramatic Interpretation (DI). Nick Cao, Joe Lee, Vincent DeMarco, and Karyme Pena were honored in Duo. Halina Kwan and Helen Benitez qualified in Original Advocacy (OA). Thien Le was distinguished in Humorous Interpretation (HI). Melanie Hsiang was honored in Program Oral Interpretation. Lauren Chiou qualified for Original Prose & Poetry (OPP). Elizabeth Chou was honored in Original Oratory (OO). And Senior Co-Captain, Luccia Yacoub qualified in International Extemporaneous Speaking (IX).

The All-State team also included both of Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles State Champions: Gabriel Frank-McPheter in U.S Extempt, and Kate Hamamoto in Informative! Both Champions have continuously made the team proud this past year, proving the excellence of Gab’s well-renowned speech program.

Underclassmen Christopher Torres, Jojo Scannell, Alexandra Naito, and Sherry Shi were also honored in the 2022 All State Team.

Sophomore Alexandra Naito stated, “It’s a really rewarding experience and I’m really proud of everyone on the team. I want to thank the event leaders and everyone who helped me get on the All-State team. It’s impossible to do speeches on your own--speech is a communal effort.” 


The Screamin' Eagles were the top program in the Southern Half of California this year for the 17th time in the past 22 years.

It is clear that the effort and passion each All-State Team member has towards Speech & Debate. Congratulations Screamin’ Eagles!



The Screamin’ Eagles Showcase Showed Up With Spirit

By Shirley Wang

The Screamin’ Eagles Showcase was annually performed in the Goodson Theater for 23 years in a row.  The pandemic canceled the 2020 show.  Last year, the Screamin’ Eagles took over the football field at Eagle Stadium to perform.  

This year, GabSpeech was back on the permanent stage in the theater.  The showcase, once again, gave our performers opportunities to share their talents in front of loved ones. This was some of our seniors’ last performances in their high school speech & debate journey. 


The showcase happened from 7 pm to 9 pm. There were 16 performances held over the course of 2 nights, and the excitement to watch all of them coursed throughout the campus. A large crowd of families and friends came to support our performers each day. This would be the first back-to-normal showcase for our juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, but the energy was the same as every other year.  

With its rich history and amazing performances, having the opportunity to deliver a speech during the showcase is an honor. On the first night, the lineup consisted of Alden Do with his Humorous Interpretation (HI), Melanie Hsiang with her Program Oral Interpretation (POI), Sherry Shi with her Oratorical Interpretation (OI), Gabriel Frank-McPheter with his National Extemporaneous (NX), Ashley Lau with her Informative Speakin Alden(INFO), Trisha Tanaka with her Dramatic Interpretation (DI), Hana Thai with her Original Oratory (OO), and Geraldine & Alex with their DUO. The second night had just as many, with Lauren Chiou and her Original Prose and Poetry (OPP), Christopher Torres with his POI, Halina Kwan with her Original Advocacy (OA), Luccia Yacoub with her International Extemporaneous (IX), Kate Hamamoto with her INFO, Victor Lucas with his DI, Elizabeth Chou with her OO, and Karyme & Vincent with their DUO. This year, 12 senior Eagles were given the chance to perform their speeches, alongside 3 of the team’s state-qualifying underclassmen. Well done Eagles!

After the showcase, we interviewed our Eagles about how they felt after their performance. The first night, Hana Thai stated, “I feel really good! I was really interactive [with the audience] and I’m glad they laugh[ed] at all my jokes. This is probably my last performance since I’m a senior, so I really tried to make the most of it.”


Sophomore Ashley Lau stated, “It was a completely different experience. I was so honored to be up there knowing that people were there to watch me. I’m glad that’s how my first speech season ended.” 

Congratulations to our Eagles who performed at Gab’s 24th Showcase! Also, congratulations to all the seniors on the team who are graduating this year! 



Nov Champ Team


Screamin’ Eagles Win JV/Novice Champs

By Katelyn Corona 

On May 6th and 7th, the non-varsity students in the Southern California Debate League were given the chance to showcase their talents at one of the last tournaments of the year: Novice-JV Champs. After spending over a year competing at different invitationals, online meets, and league tournaments, the underclassmen had the competition all to themselves. 

SCDL Novice-JV Champs is a tournament dedicated only to first and second-year speakers. Normally, the tournament is only open to first-year students. However, due to a lack of an in-person Novice Champs tournament last speech season, our second-year speakers were welcomed to enter the competition. After tirelessly working on their speeches, our Eagles were prepared to give it their greatest performances of the year. The morning of, students were handed event goodie bags and listened to their coaches and event leaders give pep talks before the first round. 

There were a total of 27 schools present for the Novice-JV Champs Speech and Novice-JV Champs Debate. On Friday, May 6th, the league held the Novice-JV Champs Debate, with the Individual Events competition following the day after on May 7th. With over 350 entries and 120 Screamin’ Eagles present, we soared over the competition. Both tournaments consisted of three guaranteed rounds and one final round. 

The day was filled with varsity coaching, giving speeches throughout the Gabrielino High School campus, and eating savory snacks. “Novice Champs was a very warm day. The temperatures were comparable to the first tournament of the year, IceBreaker. The nostalgic feeling provided a very full-circle moment to end the year,” one of our freshman novices stated. 

By the end of the tournament, Gab had accumulated a total of 49 students competing in the final round and won 10 of the 12 speech events.   Kyle Tang & Stanley Ho were the champions of DUO, Kailey Trinh won both Humor and Original Advocacy, Aaron Situ won Impromptu, Karina Vargas won Informative, Marco Cisneros-Farber won International Extemp, Violet Magallanes won Oratorical Interpretation, Ava Doron in Original Oratory, Thao Le in POI, and Sofia Villagra in United States Extemp. This was just at Novice Champs Speech! Adding to the long list of successes, Marco Cisneros-Farber & Aaron Situ won the Policy Debate, and the team of Isaac Chan & Garrison Chan won Public Forum Debate at Novice Champs Debate! Congratulations to all our champions and everyone else who participated!

A huge appreciation to our Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles parent boosters for dedicating their Saturday to selling snacks, drinks, and food to everyone at the tournament!  Thanks to our amazing event leaders, assistant coaches, and the dedication of our novice and JV competitors, the team won the tournament for the 25th straight year. 

Keep on Soarin’ Eagles! 

For more past speech stories, click HERE

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

Follow us on Instagram