FEATURE: Premier of Success

Junior Anwen Williams working on debate.
Junior Anwen Williams working on debate.
Eli Roust

Junior Anwen Williams recently received the highest award that can be received in speech and debate. In order to win the highest award, The Premier of Distinction, Williams must receive 1500+ points by winning competitions over all of her high school speech tournaments. As a junior, she accomplished this and won the award after working on it since her freshman year. 

“I have been working on this since I was a freshman. Every spring, I work hard to prepare speeches and then hone down the presentation and get ready for tournaments,” Williams said. 

This award spans more than one tournament. Her points accumulated since the first tournament in high school. Because of this, Williams mentioned that this award is much more than one accomplishment. Other forensics participants have not won this award, so this will be a first.

“[The award] just shows how much work you’ve put in over your entire high school career. But it’s not like you’re just winning one tournament or one weekend. It’s you’ve consistently doing well and putting in effort,” Williams said. 

Even though she is in a zero-hour debate class, most of her work is done outside of school, especially in the springtime, where she focuses more. Overall, Williams spends around six to eight hours throughout the whole season, three-to-six in practice slots and about two hours coaching other teammates. Williams proceeded to finish the final stride in receiving this award happily. 

“I was pretty happy [to win this award]. I knew I was getting close to the amount of points, so I just wanted that last 20 or so,” Williams said. 

At first, Williams only took debate because her friends were in it and she needed a filler class, so as a freshman she only went to four or five tournaments as opposed to eight, the maximum. Then, she had taken interest in the more individualized coaching. She then put in more effort and she succeeded more which in return collected her more points.

“My freshman year I didn’t go to that many tournaments because the max you can go to is eight. So I went to maybe four or five,” Williams said. “Then last year, I tried really hard and I was going to a bunch of tournaments. Then this year, I did five events when people usually do two or three. I just loaded them on so I could get more points.”

Doing five events has been said to be difficult. Instead of writing speeches for two events, speeches have to be written for all five and practiced every week. Williams events are multi-genre and can spread out over a wide variety. Her teammates have observed this, and one in particular has described her to be “very flexible.”

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About the Contributor
Emi Stone
Emi Stone, Reporter
Emi is a sophomore and a second year reporter on the FS Journalism staff! She's active in three school sports during the school year and likes to bake.
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