The State of teachspeech

Dear teachspeech family,

Over thirteen months ago, Lekha Sunder and I had an idea on Facebook Messenger (where all good ideas start). We wanted to make a wave in the speech & debate community: to turn public speaking from a sometimes inaccessible after school activity into a mandatory part of each student’s academic career. We shot for the moon, but I’m unbelievably proud that we landed on the best star.

teachspeech has experienced a lot of change in the past year. We started as a lobbying organization and became just an educational initiative. We’ve had a number of catalytic leaders both join and exit our organization. We wanted to change the lives of American students, and in the process, have expanded to Afghanistan. 

In all of this change, our team’s commitment to amplifying student voices has not wavered, and I feel that we have a lot to celebrate. By the end of this October, teachspeech will have organized over thirty Dialogues workshops in ten states, created an intercultural debate exchange in Afghanistan, and published the stories of countless inspirational speech & debate alumni. Nearly 7,000 people have engaged with teachspeech digitally or through our programming. Nearly 7,000 student voices have been amplified.

I wanted to pen this brief note to both celebrate these past accomplishments and give some auspicious news for the future. First, our core team of directors has seen a wonderful metamorphosis, with Matthew Yekell and Connie Liang replacing Nikhil Dharmaraj and Haris Hosseini as Dialogues Director and Media Director, respectively. I’m so proud to know each of these speech & debate superstars, and I know that this change will bring new life to teachspeech. Beyond that, I’ve been invited to represent teachspeech at the Reagan Leadership Summit, teaching a workshop on Political Discussion in the 21st Century. Finally, stay tuned for various publicity and website updates over the next few weeks! 

Thank you for all of your support over the past year. Your shares, reactions, and participation in programming have warmed my heart and helped us truly find our voice as an organization. 

Yours in power,

Christopher Maximos

National President & Founder