NPHS Speech and Debate
The mission of the North Platte Speech and Debate team is to prepare students to be successful in interscholastic speech and debate competition at local, state, and national levels. All students will be eligible for membership in the National Forensic League if they compete regularly and maintain high academic standards.
The North Platte Speech and Debate Team gives students the chance to improve their public speaking, research, and persuasive writing skills. Members will get the chance to express and argue their opinions in an organized manner, while in a welcoming environment.
Debater will be able to argue both sides of a topic, and in the process they will become better listeners. Speech participants will be able truly grasp an audience and have listeners hooked onto every word. The team will compete in formal tournaments against other schools within our league and beyond, all while raising self-confidence and having fun.
Students will also get more hands on experience by practicing with each other. Coaches and the director will assist in giving the students the resources they need to be the best speaker they can be.
Students will use the skills they learn from the team in school and during the rest of their lives.
Educational Goals of Speech
Speech contests are conceived and structured to provide educational experiences for high school students. Specifically, the various contest events are designed to provide training toward the following educational objectives:
1. To read, speak, and perform with a clear purpose, applying the principles of research, organization, effective
language, and critical thinking;
2. To enable the participants to become more stable and mature people through the development of self-discipline,
ethical behavior, self-esteem, and communication skills;
3. To encourage self-expression and creativity;
4. To offer an opportunity for social growth through exposure to new people, places, and ideas through shared
5. To improve delivery by emphasizing vocal expression, bodily responsiveness, and poise;
6. To increase cultural awareness and understanding of human behavior through a greater appreciation of
7. To instill a sense of ethical responsibility.
Mr. Cooper has several years of experience in the field of mathematics and has completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with endorsements in business administration, bachelor’s degree in education, three masters degrees in mathematics and another in educational technology and his last one in 7 – 12 administration. He earned all of those degrees from Chadron State College. Mr. Cooper has taught in the mathematics department at North Platte High School since 2006. However, over the last twenty years he has worked with the North Platte Speech/Debate/Theater team as a judge, tournament assistant, and assistant coach and head coach and director. He has created several pieces of software that have been used to assist in the running of Speech/Debate Tournaments for North Platte and surrounding schools. He has also taught programming as part of his courses for North Platte High School. He currently teaches standards math, college algebra, trigonometry, statistics and calculus. He is an adjunct instructor for Chadron State College and for Mid-Plains Community College.