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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Speech and debate captains and coaches announced

New captains and coaches were announced during the speech and debate team’s first meeting on Sept. 17.

Since English teacher Erick Rector stepped down from leading the program, Chris Harris, who coached Lincoln Douglas debate and extemporaneous speech last year, is now the new head coach, and he is winning support from returning members.

“Mr. Harris is a great addition,” senior Supriya Khandekar said. “He is implementing changes that will make people feel a little more focused during practice so that every practice can be more productive.”

Harris feels that although changes such as more serious practices are important, the retirement of Rector will have a large impact.

“Mr. Rector’s [leaving] is the big change, because he won’t be part of the program this year. It’s the first time [he will not be coaching] in 10 years,” Harris said.

The captains Harris recently named include seniors Rohith Krishna and Deepti Kannan for Lincoln Douglas debate and Jimmy Xiao and Agastya Gupta for Extemporaneous speech.

Captains for Individual Events (speech), public forum debate and parliamentary debate will be determined after Harris interviews with each of the candidates.

Along with new captains, Harris has hired new coaches who are specialized in different events to support the program.

The new coach for parliamentary and public forum debate is Mariel Cruz, a veteran competitor in high school and college debate, and the new coach for individual speech events is Lindsey Ayotte, a coach at San Jose State University. Harris will continue his past position as the coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Khandekar, who has been on the team for three years, said she “hopes this year’s group can make connections with others and be kind. That that would set us apart and lead us to even more success together.”

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