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The Charger Online

The official news source for Oxford High School

The Charger Online

The official news source for Oxford High School

The Charger Online

OHS Spanish teacher takes on new role as Speech and Debate coach


James “Señor” Jimenez first came to Oxford School District in 2022 as a Spanish teacher. With many changes to the coaching staffs of several activities this academic year, Jimenez has stepped up to take on coaching the OHS Speech and Debate team in addition to teaching his Spanish classes. Jimenez has an extensive background coaching speech-related extracurriculars, so he feels well prepared to lead this Speech and Debate team this upcoming season.

“I took the Speech and Debate position because I am previously familiar with a program called Youth Legislature, which operates within some of the same kind of rules, as the congressional debate aspect of speech and debate,” Jimenez said. “This sounded like a cool opportunity for me to get more involved with our student body while also participating in an activity that I really like.”

Jimenez and his team have already begun preparing for their first tournament,the John C. Stennis Novice Invitational.

“We are going to be coaching and training up our new speech and debaters for our first novice-only tournament coming up on September 22nd in Starkville, MS,” Jimenez said.

Though he is only beginning his first season coaching the activity, Jimenez has big aspirations for the team’s success.

“My goal for this season is to obviously rack up as many trophies as possible,” Jimenez said. “I also want to see these students develop not just as better speakers and debaters, but as better positive role models for our school community.”

Jimenez hopes to follow in former coach Ryne Bankston’s footsteps and continue to grow the program. Jimenez hopes to take OHS Speech and Debate to the next level with new strategies in prepping for tournaments.

“I plan to structure my practices within the certain categories of the differences within Speech and Debate. We’ll meet before school is smaller groups based on events, and they will be mentored by some of our veteran members that are familiar with those rounds and programs. It’s important for students to have the chance to build their confidence, especially when they are new to a program like this.”

Jimenez believes that some of the techniques that he uses to help him teach in the classroom will be beneficial to his competitors as well.

“My plan is to give students lots and lots of reps and strategies to build their confidence, such as speaking to themselves in the mirror,” Jimenez said. “I think as a teacher, I benefit a lot from watching my own instruction. I will sometimes videotape my-
self during a lesson, and I have found that that’s a great way to build confidence in which I need to learn from my mistakes on strategies or things that I do in the classroom that work or don’t work.”

OHS junior and Speech and Debate member, Tommy Nichol, is interested to see how a new coach will affect the team this season.

“I am very excited to see the new novices start competing, they are a true reflection of the program and what its legacy will become,” Nichol said. “But, I am still concerned about the transition period and everything that comes with getting a new coach.”
Jimenez hopes that the OHS Speech and Debate team will continue to perform at the high level it always has, but to also evolve into an even stronger team this year.

“Our program will continue to be one of the top programs in the state and hopefully we can continue to build a positive reputation among all other speech and debate teams and delegations,” Jimenez said. We will be strong representatives at state on the state and national level when it comes to speech and debate tournaments that we attend.”

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About the Contributor
Jackson Nemesek
Jackson Nemesek, staff writer
Jackson is a freshman at OHS. He is a writer for the The Charger. This is his first year in the newspaper. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and tennis and playing video games with his friends.