This Saturday, Plymouth High School will be hosting the annual John Oliver Speech Invitational at PHS. This is one of the state’s largest tournaments of the year, that will attract hundreds of guests and virtually every room in the building will be utilized to host this event. In all 24 schools from Michiana and beyond, such as Elkhart Central, Concord, Bethany Christian, and Knox, have registered to compete in the fifth annual John Oliver Speech Invitational.
Rounds will begin at 8:30 a.m. with preliminary rounds held throughout the morning and final rounds are scheduled for approximately 2:00 p.m. Preliminary and final round rooms for this year’s John Oliver Speech Invitational will be posted in the Plymouth High School cafeteria.
The public is welcome to attend this event at any point throughout the day. Spectators are asked to enter through door #1, which is located in the front of the building. PHS asks that visitors turn off cell phones and use good audience etiquette while attending all competitions.
John Oliver is a long time community philanthropist and supporter of multiple activities at PHS. He owns U.S. Granules Corporation, a specification aluminum granules business that has been a fixture in Plymouth for more than 35 years. Plymouth High School English and Speech Teacher Dave McKenzie is one of the main organizers of Saturday’s competition. He said, “Mr. Oliver has been a supporter of our Plymouth High School speech and debate activities in various ways for decades. He began when my predecessor, Dan Tyree was building the program in the 80’s and 90’s. He has continued to support our program under my tenure as coach for the last 17 years.”
McKenzie said he and school officials take pride in the event being named after John Oliver. “This is our way of showing our appreciation for everything Mr. Oliver has done to support our community, our local schools, and our PHS Speech and Debate team.”
The high school speech season began in November throughout the state and will continue strong throughout the next two months. McKenzie said the season culminates in late January for state debate, in early March for state speech, and in June for the the National Speech and Debate Tournament that will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.