December 2-3, 2016

A Mile High Thank You!!

Congratulations to everyone involved in making the Mile High Tournament on December 2nd and 3rd, 2016 a tremendous success! As you know, this is our program’s signature tournament. We are thrilled to report that we had over 30 schools from Colorado and around the country participate and everything ran incredibly smoothly. The event was successful due to the outstanding volunteer work of several key people. Please give them a big thank you when you see them next! East High School Speech Coach Brent Dysart, Parent co-chairs Elise Barish and Ann Geldzahler and Judges Coordinators Sue Presta and Susan Wroble and food coordinator Stacey Toevs.

THANK YOU to the many parent volunteers who served as judges, donated food and who helped staff the event. Also to the East speech and debate students who were instrumental in coordinating logistics throughout the two-day tournament.

June 21, 2016


One Graduate Places 5th in the Nation

East’s Team Recognized as A School of Excellence for Speech

Denver – June 21, 2016 – The speech and debate team from Denver East High School (Denver East Forensics Team or DEFT) is home from the National Debate & Speech Tournament in Salt Lake City, and is thrilled to report its best ever team showing at this national tournament.

Since 1931 this annual tournament has brought together approximately 3,300 of the best high school students from around the country for a weeklong tournament that is recognized as the most prestigious in high school academics. The East High School team has consistently performed well at Nationals. This year, however, the team’s achievements will go on record – including a 5th place finish for Charlie Schmidt in Original Oratory. Schmidt’s win marks East High school’s first Oratory Finalist since 1949! Schmidt graduated in May and will be attending University of Colorado, Boulder in the fall.

Notably, DEFT was also the only Colorado school, and one of 20 in the nation, to receive a “School of Excellence” award in Speech.

DEFT finishes included:
Max Davidson (sophomore) – Top 60 in International Extemporaneous Speaking
Nick Chavez (junior) and John Walsh (sophomore) – Top 60 in Duo Interpretation
Jack Cohen (junior) and Ross Snyder (senior) – Top 60 in Public Forum Debate
Oliver Round and Paul Yang (seniors) – Top 60 in Duo Interpretation
Isabella Mollica (junior) – Top 30 in Dramatic Interpretation
Tuuli Sandvold (senior) – Top 60 in Dramatic Interpretation
*All grade levels are as of May 2016

“This was a record-breaking year,” said Matt Murphy, head DEFT speech coach and mentor to many of his students. “These are wonderful kids who have worked so hard and consistently remind us what’s possible with focus and determination. It’s been a privilege to join them on this journey – and many of them will be back next year!”

The DEFT team is coached by the exceptional teachers, Matt Murphy (speech), Susan McHugh (debate), and Brent Dysart (speech).