Over the past few years, the debate organization at DSHS has been home to several of the best student debaters in Texas.
Junior Seeley Haas is one of the few who has excelled past the expectation by pursuing a state title.
“I’ve done debate since freshman year, and I like it a lot,” Haas said.
This year, Haas debated in the TAPT regional competition. The organization focuses on bus safety, this year’s theme being “#stoponred.”
“You have to write a speech for the competition and memorize it, so I’ve been preparing for this since last semester,” Haas said.
Haas advanced at the regional level last year and placed 3rd overall at the state contest.
“From here on out, I just keep practicing and keep working,” Haas said. “My speech is my main priority right now.”
Haas has held her own in the past few debate contests, competing against kids from all around central Texas.
“She’s competed against students from Del Valle, Round Rock, Lake Travis, Hays, and several other schools,” debate teacher Christy Trussel said.
Although Haas’ achievement is a great feat, the meaning of her speech is extremely important.
“The topic of this year’s speech competition is ‘Stopping on Red,’” Trussel said. “Which addresses the issue of people passing school busses when a flashing red stop sign on the bus signifies the unloading or loading of students.”
Haas took time to explain the dangers of passing school busses while students are exiting or entering the bus, which she addressed in her speech.
“Her speech dealt with the impacts of that. Not only are student’s lives in danger but if we were to lose a child on a school bus, that would have a great impact on the community,” Trussel said.
Haas is in good shape for the upcoming state tournament in April.
“Seeley is a great public speaker. She’s very poised,” said Trussel. “When she speaks, that charisma comes across and people are really confident in what she’s saying.”
Written by Rylee Matousak