Gray Academy’s debate and public speaking program is known across Canada as one of the best in the country. Starting in Grade 6, students learn the fundamentals of researching a topic, forming an argument, and speaking in front of a crowd. In high school, debate and public speaking becomes an elective course that students can choose to take. Within debate and public speaking, there are many different categories students can compete in. British parliamentary debate sees students in teams of two or four discuss a political statement in the style of our House of Commons. On the public speaking side, the categories range from impromptu speaking, where students get a short time to prepare an argument, to interpretive reading, where students choose a passage from a piece of literature and compete to read and present it with the most animation and intrigue.
Students in the debate and public speaking program also have the opportunity to travel across Canada and the world competing. In the past, our students have competed in national and world competitions. They have traveled to Halifax, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Bermuda, Hong Kong, Cape Town, South Africa, and more.
The program is led by teacher and coach, Mr. Andrew Kaplan who is also the vice president of the Manitoba Speech and Debate Association.