It was a special day for more than 60 students at Lexington Junior High School as they participated in the first speech and debate event in the school’s history. This event, which took place April 16, was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Cypress as part of club president, Sal Sapien’s vision to prepare our students for public speaking and critical thinking.The students participated in pairs for the debates while others gave impromptu and prepared speeches. The event was a complete success due to the tireless efforts of teachers Ms. Marianne Stewart and Mrs. Tracy Heck, with administrative support from Mrs. Amber Houston, the school’s principal and Henry “Hank” Machal, Kiwanis member and program chair.Special thanks also to the eleven members of Cypress High School’s Speech and Debate teams who donate their time each week to the education and training of these middle school students. “We want to get these kids excited and prepared for our high school program.Plus, it’s just fun to work with these guys,” said River Robles, Cypress High School debate club president. The Kiwanis Club of Cypress provided donuts, juice, water and coffee for breakfast with sandwiches, chips and water for lunch as well as medals which were awarded for first, second and third place in each of the three events.Judging consisted of a three panel team of a teacher, high school mentor and Kiwanis Member. Former Mayor of Cypress and Kiwanis President Elect Lydia Sondhi sounded excited about the debates. “I was very impressed by the students who made compelling arguments for the affirmation and negation of their given topics,” Sondhi said.All in all, the First Annual Lexington Speech & Debate Event had tears, fears and cheers but in the end, the kids, the parents, educators and Kiwanis members were saying, “That was fun. When are we going to do it again?”Stay tuned through the Kiwanis Club of Cypress on Facebook and also Lexington Junior High School for details on these and other local events.