What we're all about

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The Thunder Speech Theater and Debate Company is a group of Desert Vista students, teachers, alumni, coaches, and parents that give young people speaking, debating, performing, and leadership skills, along with unforgettable memories and an irreplaceable lifelong community. Through these experiences, its members learn the value of hard work and the appreciation of success. In order to continue giving young people the opportunity to find their voices and become leaders in their communities, TSTDC is requesting financial donations to fund students' tournaments and travel, and to ensure that they can be coached by the best in the nation. The opportunities given to TSTDC members spark the leaders of tomorrow, and with donations, more students can be given the opportunity to become those leaders. 

TSTDC has won three National School of Outstanding Distinction Awards (2013, 2014, 2015) given to the top ten overall speech and debate teams in the United States. Desert Vista has won three National Speech School of Excellence Awards (2008, 2009, 2011) and one National Debate School of Excellence Award (2010). In 2015 Desert Vista won the the Senator Karl E. Mundt Trophy which is awarded to the school with the largest number of cumulative participation points in Congressional Debate at the National Championship Tournament. Students from Desert Vista have reached twenty two national final rounds in main events and five supplemental event finals, winning the 2012 national championship in Expository Speaking.  

TSTDC has won 13 AIA Division 1 team state championships. 

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  • Victor Silva
$1,050 Raised since February 11, 2015

Suggested Giving Levels


Helps keep our team going


Buys needed supplies


Greatly impacts every member


Pays for registration for one in state tournament

What we're up to

  • Deborah Simon donated "Dear Vic and Stacy and the THUNDER SPEECH THEATRE and DEBATE COMPANY: It is my honor to award excellence!" - via Victor Silva
  • Joseph Guffey donated "No Choice."
  • Katelyn Giel donated "Love you, TSTDC! No choice!"
  • Barbara Bosch donated "Good luck to you, Johanna, and your wonderful team."
  • Jacquelyn Romanish donated "Good luck Johanna!"
  • Michael Watson donated "Good luck! No choice!" - via Victor Silva
  • Results of TSTDC's 12th State Championship

    For the 12th time in 13 years the Desert Vista Speech and Debate Team won the AIA Division I Speech and Debate State Championship. The Thunder won an impressive 7 individual state championships as they surged to victory. Team captains Mackenzie Saunders, Alex Wakefield, Amy Lin and Haley Witt provided key leadership and kept the Thunder focused and poised throughout the tournament. Desert Vista was lead in scoring by Senior Ruthvik Gundala who appeared in three state final rounds culminating in winning the Congressional Debate state championship. Desert Vista was bolstered by an incredible showing by its freshman class. The Thunder had an astounding 9 freshman appear in state final rounds.

  • ASU Debate Results

    Congress Finals: Lane - 3rd, A. Wakefield - 5th, Gundala - 6th, Fiber - Finalist, Essig Aberg - Finalist. Lane, Essig Aberg, & Wakefield are fully qualified to the Tournament of Champions! Policy Breaks : Lin - Quah Public Forum : Crowl - Shah Congress Breaks: A. Wakefield, Goswick, Lane, Fiber, Xie, Yang, Braun, Essig Aberg, Raju, Gundala

  • Alison Brown donated
  • Desert Vista's Winter Trophy Debate Results

    Public Forum Debate Neel Hunter Patel & Kyle DeLashmutt - Top 8 Ruthvik Gundala & Alex Wakefield - 3rd Place Erica Lane & Ethan Fiber - 1st place Novice Policy Debate: Nasim Mohandes & Zaid Usmani - 3rd place Congressional Debate: Jackson Wakefield - 6th place Ethan Fiber - 5th place Nathan Anders - 4th place Ruthvik Gundala - 1st place

  • Desert Vista's Winter Trophy Results

    Dramatic Interp Maritza Kozicki-Top 14 Elise Lange-Top 14 Kailey Osborn-6th Haley Witt-4th Impromptu: Ruthvik Gundala-Top 14 Alex Wakefield-5th Kshitiz Singh-3rd Extemp: Alex Wakefield-Top 14 Erica Lane-5th Ruthvik Gundala-3rd Poetry: Lindsay Brannen-Top 14 Sami Davis-Top 14 Megan Koehler-Top 14 Elise Lange-5th Isaac Lemus-4th Prose: Alex Parra-4th Dylan Ketcham-2nd Mackenzie Saunders-1st Original Oratory Monica Essig Aberg-2nd Programed Oral Interp: Lucas Selby-5th Taylor Gilliam-4th Bri Ralston-2nd Haley Witt-1st Expos: Simon Shen-6th Isaac Lemus-5th Hanven Yang-4th Humorous Interp: Emily Godin-6th Alejanjandro Parra-5th Duet: Taylor Gilliam - Zachary Hills-6th Duo Interp: Dylan Ketcham&Emily Godin-6th Hanna Dawson&Lucas Selby-3rd Mackenzie Saunders & Bri Ralston-1st

  • Desert Vista's National Championship Results

    In June of 2015 Desert Vista’s Speech and Debate team capped off an incredible year with a historic performance at the National Speech and Debate Association's National Championship Tournament. For the third year in a row DV finished the National Championship Tournament as a School of Outstanding Distinction given to the ten highest scoring teams in the United States. DV was led by a recording breaking performance from its Congressional Debaters. The Thunder placed a record six students in the final round, three of whom placed in the top 6. This strong performance lead Desert Vista to winning the Senator Karl E. Mundt Trophy. The Mundt Trophy, awarded since the first National Student Congress in 1938, is presented to the school with the largest number of cumulative participation points in Congressional Debate at the National Tournament

  • Jen Summers and Carl Putnam donated "Good luck students and coaches!!!!"
  • Isabel and Warren MacKenzie donated "Congratulations and good luck in Dallas -- to Philip MacKenzie and the entire talented TSTDC Team!"
  • Timeline 250

    $250 First Funds Power Grant™ achieved

    Our team just raised $250 with Edco and earned another $250 through the First Funds Power Grant™.

    Help us grab the next grant: $50 for 50 donors. Share this link with friends and family today. https://desert-vista-high.ed.co/thunder-speech-theater-and-debate-company

  • Monne Andersen donated "Good Luck to the team. This donation is from one of Philip MacKenzie's supporters!"
  • The Hekels donated
  • Isabel & Frank MacKenzie donated "Thanks Philip MacKenzie for the opportunity to support you."
  • Linda McCormack donated
  • Kevin Stevens donated
  • Linda Essig donated "Go Thunder! "
  • Don and Carol Christian donated "Congratulations and Good Luck in Dallas to Philip Mackenzie and the Desert Vista team."
  • The Crowl Family - Chris, donated "Congratulations TSTDC National Competitors! We are so proud of you!"
  • Deborah Browning donated "This donation is on behalf of Emily Giel. The drop down bar to select a team member would not let me choose her name."
  • Desert Vista 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 Desert Vista High School Thunder Speech Theater and Debate Company !


  • Victor Silva is now a leader for the Desert Vista High School Thunder Speech Theater and Debate Company

  • At 11:18 pm, the fundraising platform for Desert Vista High School was born.

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