By Ari Mistry | April 29, 2019
This weekend, the Greenhills upper school forensics team will be competing in the MIFA state tournament. This event will mark the end of a victory filled season, as well as our last tournament ever with beloved coach Barbara Ebeling leading the charge.
As someone who has been doing forensics since middle school, I can confidently say that it has been one of the highlights of my time at Greenhills, and many alumni will tell you the same. Even those who don’t actively participate in the program know that it is a huge part of the school culture. So, how did forensics become such a big deal at Greenhills, and why does it continue to thrive? Mrs. Ebeling herself has given some insight into these questions.
While public speaking was a part of some curriculums in the 80’s, the forensics team we know and love today began in 1993 when Mrs. Ebeling and Janet Repp reinstated the Individual Events program from the 70’s. The team started small, but within five years they had become state champions and forensics was offered in both middle and high school. By 2017, Greenhills had won the state title thirteen times.
These victories have given the school a lot to be proud of, but the thing that really makes the forensics team special is not the number of trophies we take home. As Mrs. Ebeling put it, we “collectively believe that communication matters, that words are important, that logic and reason must prevail. We believe that words strung together as stories teach empathy, and that words logically arranged on the page convince. If our children have the courage to read for meaning, to research thoughtfully, to write eloquently, and to speak with confidence, we all win!”
In short, participating in forensics gives students so many lifelong skills, not to mention a team full of wonderful and talented friends. Stay tuned during assemblies for previews of different events and results from the state tournament, and wish the states team good luck this weekend!