What we're all about

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The Thomas Jefferson Speech and Debate Team was reestablished in 1993 and has been one of the premier programs in Washington State ever since. With 20 state champions, 66 national qualifiers, and 19 top-5 team finishes at state, few programs can equal TJ’s success. The 2017-2018 year was the best ever as Thomas Jefferson produced at the national level. Our World Schools Debate team finished 45th in the nation and an impromptuer finished 7th! We are on our way but need your help. To continue to ascend at the national level we need to participate on the national circuit. We already compete at the Stanford Invitational and NSDA National tournament every year, but we would like to add the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions and at least one other destination tournament.

TJ graduated 12 really strong competitors last year so this year should have been one of rebuilding. But at TJ we don’t rebuild, we reload. Currently we have won 40 trophies in the 2018-2019 season and are planning the Stanford trip in February. We plan on improving on our second place finish at state from last year and are preparing for the national qualifier, both in March.

TJ also boasts the strongest coaching staff around. Outgoing coach Andrew Buchan and his 26 years of experience has passed the baton to co-head coaches Isaiah Parker and Meykia Smith and assistant coaches Jessica Finnsson, Tim Runge, and Mary Kaye Soderlind. The entire staff works tirelessly to promote speech and debate. 

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  • meykia smith
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  • Brian Kim
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  • Maria Deck-Thompson
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  • Carlos Santana Jr
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  • Praises Orji
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  • Jacob Norris
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  • Avanti Bryant
$615 Raised since January 19, 2019

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Greatly impacts every member

What we're up to

  • We Are Going to Dallas!

    With June on the horizon we competed at the NSDA District Tournament to determine who gets to go to Nationals in Dallas, TX. We are please to say that we have 9 kids going to nationals this year! Maria Thompson and Brook Meadows in Dual Interp, Luke Sorenson in Humorous Interp, Allen Tugade in Programmed Oral Interp, Praises Orji in Dramatic Interp, Amy Ojeaburu in Oratory, and Mantak Singh in Congressional Debate. TJ has the honor of taking another World Schools Debate team comprised of Cade Homfeldt, Gunnar Appleton and Luqman Shibly. Join us in congratulating these Raiders!

  • Stanford Invitational Didnt Know What Hit Them!

    We had the opportunity to go down to sunny San Jose, CA to attend the Stanford University Invitational. We had a blast! One of the more successful tournaments we have had this season. With 9 kids who went in 5 different events we had 6 kids make it to finals and take home trophies! Luke Sorenson with 2nd place in Humorous Interpretation and a semifinalist in Dramatic Interp, Allen Tugade 7th place in POI, Christiana/Diviana 7th place in Duo Interp, Maria/Brook 6th place in Duo Interp. Next stop, Nat Quals to see who all gets to go to Dallas in June!

  • Pacific Lutheran University/Puyallup HS TOH Karl Inviational

    January 25th and 26th we competed at a joint tournament at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and had yet another successful tournament! We brought home a total of 10 trophies: Luke Sorenson 1st place in Humorous Interp and 2nd place in Dramatic Interp, Carlos Santana 2nd place in Programmed Oral Interp and 4th place in Humorous Interp, Praises Orji 1st place in Dramatic Interp, Diviana Sumer and Christiana Terrazzas 2nd place in Dual Interp, Amy Ojeaburu 2nd in Oratory, Maria Thompson and Brook Meadows 4th place in Dual Interp, and Stephen Kaminski finalist in Extemporaneous Speaking. Congrats to these Raiders and several others who are now qualified for state March 16th! Next stop: Stanford University for more trophies and sun!

  • Casey Yamasaki donated "Go team!"
  • Erin Lopez donated "CONGRATS RAIDERS! Do us proud in Texas :)"
  • Alyssa Yun donated "Go kill it team!"
  • Donald Schumer donated
  • Marcus Turner donated
  • Margo Buchan donated
  • Keith Meadows donated
  • See How We Did: University of Puget Sound Invitational

    This past weekend January 11-12, we competed at the University of Puget Sound Invitational Tournament we had an outstanding showing! We had 11 students take home awards and we could not be prouder. The following students placed accordingly: Humorous Interpretation: Luke Sorenson 1st place Humorous Interpretation: Carlos Santana 2nd Place Humorous Interpretation: Diviana Sumer Top Novice Dramatic Interpretation: Luke Sorenson 1st place Dual Interpretation: Christiana Terrazas and Diviana Sumer 5th place Dual Interpretation: Brooke Meadows and Maria Thompson 1st place Expository Speaking: Nina Solozhuck 1st place Expository Speaking: Isabelle Borchers Top Novice Oratory Speaking: Amy Ojeaburu 5th place Extemporaneous Speaking: Mary Wood 6th place Programmed Oral Interpretation: Allen Tugade 1st place

  • Thomas Jefferson High School has started online fundraising!

    Our team has officially started accepting credit card donations. We need awesome team members and donors like you to share this link and tell your community why you support Thomas Jefferson High School Thomas Jefferson High School Speech and Debate!


  • meykia smith is now a leader for the Thomas Jefferson High School Thomas Jefferson High School Speech and Debate

  • At 07:03 pm, the fundraising platform for Thomas Jefferson High School was born.

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