Follow the Team

The Anoka Speech Team, in its current form, has been around since 2014. Originally with three coaches, our program grew from three returning students to 13 in 2015-2016. In 2016, we lost our beloved friend and coach Keith Roberts, and since that point we have worked tirelessly to make sure that the activity he loved would continue to grow. Our Tournament, the Keith Roberts Invitational, is named for him. 

Our goal is to continue to grow. Our hope is that everyone at Anoka High School who wants to find their voice will have a place within the Speech family.

Who
We
Are

Speech is an MSHSL Varsity activity, nationally recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA), that dedicates itself to the education of High School and College students in the art of public speaking and performance. It is broken into two wings, and comprised of thirteen categories. The first Wing of Speech is called "Interpretation." It is the larger of the two, and is made up of Creative Expression, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Reading, Humorous Interpretation, Serious Interpretation of Poetry, Serious Interpretation of Prose, and Storytelling. The second Wing is called "Public Address." Its focus is primarily on matters of research and traditional public speaking. It is comprised of Discussion, Extemporaneous Speaking, Great Speeches, Informative Speaking, and Original Oratory. For more information on categories, please see our Categories page.

We require at least one practice a week, recommend two, and encourage more. Our tournaments are on Saturdays, with the exception of Sections, which can change dates. For more information, please contact a coach or see our Team Schedule.

What
is
Speech?

Encourage Creativity
We want to build a program that encourages students to not only create, but learn how to use the skills of creativity in ways that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives. Our coaches will work tirelessly with our speakers, teaching them to think through complex issues creatively, research their claims using proper sourcing, and write a well-structured argument. From start to finish, our speakers will grow to be autonomous and creative through the creative process.
Build Speech Culture
Our speakers will work together to build each other up. From group practices to share what was seen at tournaments, to captain's practices where new speakers will learn about our culture, and how we do things at Anoka Speech. Through our school policies, team expectations, and belief in the principles of the National Speech and Debate Association Code of Honor, our team will always be a safe, accepting place that allows all students to find their voice and speak openly about themselves and their struggles through the art of performance speech.
 "Own Every Round"
Ultimately, our goal is to build a winning team. We want to cultivate winners through an intelligently applied work ethic aimed directly at improvement. We ask for full commitment, like any Varsity activity. Our team asks that our speakers demonstrate honor, loyalty, and integrity. Further, that our speakers demonstrate a ferocious and aggressive hunger for constant improvement, never letting themselves be outworked. Finally, we ask that students undertand the process, and that failure is required to find success. By following these tenets, we can together build a successful, winning program. 

Our
Team's
Three
​Missions

Culture must be reinforced with guidelines that keep us on the path to our goals. This is our accountability, our method of ensuring continual growth, and these expectations will be our framework.


  • ​This activity is an MSHSL Varsity activity. It requires practice and attention, and it requires effort to improve. Like a sport, meeting deadlines, registration fee payment, going to practice, and competing are required to be a part of the team. Failure to do these things may result in removal from the roster.


  • Lettering in Varsity Speech will require competing at five INVITATIONALS. Sections is a reward for the best on the team, and will no longer be considered a lettering fulfillment.


  • Lettering in Varsity Speech will also require a practice written in the practice logbook and signed by coaches to make sure that all competitors are held to the same standard.


  • Last-minute drops hurt the whole team. Drops for the upcoming tournament must be submitted to the coaching staff no later than Wednesday of the week of the tournament.


  • Every speaker will be on a three-strike system. The first last-minute drop will be a free pass. The second, the speaker will pay the drop fee. The third will result in payment and a meeting with the coach, and will result in not lettering. Any drops past the third may result in removal from the team.


  • Adhering to the NSDA* Code of Honor.


  • Being sold out the “OER” philosophy at all practices and tournaments. We want to be the best program in the district and the best activity in the school. “Own Every Round” is your reminder that you represent not just yourself but your teammates, the program and Anoka High School


Team Expectations
​ 

NSDA Code of Honor

Integrity:
An honor society member obeys the highest ethical standards and adheres to the rules of the organization. Members recognize that integrity is central to earning the trust, respect, and support of one’s peers. Integrity encompasses the highest regard for honesty, civility, justice, and fairness.

Humility:
A member does not regard him or herself more highly than others. Regardless of a person’s level of success, he or she always looks beyond oneself to appreciate the inherent value of others.

Respect:
A member respects individual differences and fosters diversity. He or she promotes tolerance, inclusion, and empowerment for people from a variety of backgrounds.

Leadership:
A member influences others to take positive action toward productive change. Members commit to thoughtful and responsible leadership that promotes the other core values in the Code of Honor.

Service:
A member exercises the talents he or she has been given to provide service to his or her peers, community, and the activity. At all times a member is prepared to work constructively to improve the lives of others.


This activity is recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA,) and membership requires 25 points to become an NSDA member. Membership is optional, but is permanent with a $20 entry fee upon reaching your 25th point. NSDA membership has numerous benefits including scholarships, preferential standing in the college admissions process, lifelong membership, additional attention from recruiters for companies, and preferential treatment in numerous companies’ hiring processes.