San Gabriel Unified School District
San Gabriel Unified High School Speech Showcase Celebrates Verbal Expression
SAN GABRIEL, CA – Gabrielino High School sophomores Ze Hao Deng and Jia Liu took the stage at the Gary E. Goodson Theatre with stone-cold poise, then quickly launched into an energetic performance of childish voices, animal sounds and feminine pantomimes, eliciting uproarious laughter and cheers of applause.
The duo’s comedic retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” was one highlight of the annual Gabrielino Speech and Debate Showcase, staged on May 5 and 6 for more than 400 parents, students, staff and community members.
Nineteen students from Gabrielino’s nationally acclaimed speech and debate program performed a medley of lively acts, highlighting topics like corruption in the dairy industry, the disappearing American middle class and a ghost haunting his ex-wife.
“It’s important for us to show the community the results of our students’ hard work and demonstrate what speech and debate really is,” speech and debate adviser Derek Yuill said. “This showcase is our way to say thank you to everyone who supports our program every year.”
The event also celebrated the team’s latest achievements at the 2017 California High School Speech Association State Tournament in April, where they placed second out of 163 schools from around the state.
Senior Tim Chung, who won the state title in the international extemporary category for his speech about the credibility of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was among the select state championship winners and national tournament qualifiers who earned a coveted spot in the showcase.
“There was a lot of pressure to showcase all of the work our team has to offer to people we knew,” Chung said. “At first it was kind of surreal but then I just settled into it.”
Yuill said the team’s latest state achievements and energetic showcase will act as a springboard for success when they compete in the 2017 National Speech and Debate Tournament from June 18 to 23 in Birmingham, Alabama.
“It’s always inspiring to witness the talents of Gabrielino’s award-winning Speech and Debate program in action,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We wish these students the best of luck as they represent the District in the national tournament.”
051117_SANGAB_SPEECH1: Gabrielino High School sophomores Jia Liu and Ze Hao Deng act out a comedic retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” during the Gabrielino Speech and Debate Showcase on May 5 and 6. The event showcased the talents of 19 students who are either state championship winners or national tournament qualifiers.
051117_SANGAB_SPEECH2: Gabrielino High School senior Tim Chung discusses the danger of the United States supplying weapons to Yemen during the Gabrielino Speech and Debate Showcase on May 5 and 6. Chung won first place in the international extemporary category at the California High School Speech Association State Tournament in April, securing him a spot in the annual showcase.