Speech and Debate

Since 2007, DA Speech and Debate has had six teams finish in the top 10 and four teams place in the top three at the national championship tournament. In recent years, Durham Academy debaters have won major tournaments such as the Harvard University tournament and the North Carolina state championship tournament.

In 2009, for the first time, two DA students won the national championship tournament and the school has since won the tournament twice more. But our success hasn't made us snobby — we're also a fun group that welcomes all students, no experience required.

Almost fifteen percent of DA's student body participates. The team holds two regular practices a week for each event, but students often come to additional practices as they see fit. Students who wish to compete locally in North Carolina tournaments aren't required to attend a minimum number of practices, but of course, the more often students practice, the faster they progress. To join the national travel team, there are more stringent requirements. But the advantages of joining the travel squad are many, including travel to wonderful college campuses and cities around the country.

When they're ready, team members compete in speech and debate tournaments throughout North Carolina, testing their skills against debaters from other schools. Varsity-level competitors have the opportunity to travel to national competitions, usually on university campuses.

If you're not already a member of the team, and think you might like to join, stop by one of our practices. There are no try-outs, and we're always glad to have new team members.


Director of Speech & Debate

Crawford Leavoy


Assistant Directors of Debate: Public Forum

Jeff Welty
Michael Adams 
Catherine Yang '14

Assistant Director of Debate: Lincoln Douglas 

Daniel Lumpee

Assistant Director of Speech: Interpretation Events

Molly Harris

An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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