Forensics finds new parent leadership

This school year, the Brookfield Central Forensics Team has seen a change in leadership. Even when it seemed like BC was not going to have a Forensics team, new coaches Julie La Rose, Vasanti Vayas, Ritu Backliwal, and Patrick Balles invested their time in order to sustain the forensics club at BC. The situation seemed dire as last year’s coaches were unable to continue coaching, and for a long time, the school could not find any other coaches. In an interview, head coach Julie LaRose described how she discovered in November that the forensics team was supposed to be discontinued. She decided she did not want to let that happen, because she was a former forensics member and was also a parent involved in forensics.

LaRose began contacting other parents to see if they would be willing to help keep the club alive and received a very enthusiastic response. Parents saw the need for help and offered graciously to judge the competitions. Mrs. Schiro, speech teacher at BCHS, has also coached kids and handled team logistics for the team. Two former BC students and competitors, Sarah Nevsimal and Stephanie Siewert, have also volunteered to support the team and Dylan Pashke (’16), seeing the needs of the team, has stepped forward to represent the students on the team and advocate on their behalf.

Organization was a challenge that the team had to face this year, and it became difficult with a fairly large group of volunteers. Parent volunteer Vasanti Vayas took care of the issue by enrolling the team in TeamSnap, which was a savior in not only organizing the coaches and volunteers, but the students as well.

Because the club is sustained, students in the club can continue to benefit from the club; forensics helps to improve skills such as public speaking, collaboration, confidence, and creativity. Coach LaRose said that she has seen “reserved, soft spoken students become powerhouse presenters in the course of a season.”

These skills are especially applicable in the real world sphere, in which public speaking is a necessary skill associated with most careers. Forensics can help students become more comfortable with future presentations and interviews.

Along with the new coaches, there are now new changes in the club itself. Students still go to weekly team meetings, but they are now required to attend one-on-one coaching sessions as well. Aparna Jayashankar (’18) said her coaching session was helpful because it “allowed me to get direct feedback from the coaches and find out what I could do better.”

Though the continuation of the team was a struggle in the beginning, the club has pulled through, showing a lot of potential for future years. As the students work persistently, the team hopes this is could be a strong start for an active forensics club at BC.