In 1965, the CMHS Speech and Debate Team won the State Title at the Ohio High School Speech and Debate Tournament giving the school the first of its many State Championships. This victory didn’t just begin filling the school’s trophy case; it blazed a trail for the entire Speech and Debate community. With Mooney’s place in the State solidified, Head Coach Denny Barrett ’s influence grew.
Denny Barrett, the man who was so influential in starting Cardinal Mooney’s football program, now assumed roles in Speech and Debate’s governing bodies. Soon, the number of competing schools grew. Now, nearly every school in Ohio is represented in Speech and Debate. However, Barrett’s primary focus was still at Cardinal Mooney, where he guided the team to additional State Titles in 1971, 1973, and 1974.
In 1974, Mr. Barrett passed away, and left the program in the talented hands of Mooney English teachers Diane Mastro Nard and Allan Williamson, who served as co-directors. For ten years, the duo continued to build the program. In 1982, Mr. Williamson stepped down, leading the charter inductees into the Ohio Speech and Debate Association Hall of Fame.
With the torch placed firmly in her hand, Mrs. Mastro Nard began to light a way to one of the most storied careers in the country. Known for her ability to find talent in any student, she inspired hundreds of young people to step out of their comfort zones, and discover this amazing culture of oratory, self expression, and productive dialogue that is high school forensics and debate.
Leading an army of empowered young people, Mrs. Mastro Nard claimed State Titles in 1989 and 1992. Her last title season was capped off with an induction into the OSDA Hall of Fame.
Students spanning four decades will still speak of Mastro Nard’s influence on their lives. Championships are always an inspiration for the team, but the lessons Mastro Nard taught reach much further than trophies.
She officially stepped down in 2004, but she continues to contribute to the program to this day. For her, the program has always been about finding what each individual is capable of achieving — even if it’s something that person never knew he or she could do.
With that new-found inner strength, Speech and Debate alum have carried out the mission of Cardinal Mooney — to that extent “the Gospel values and the teachings of Jesus Christ call the members of the Mooney family to live a life of service and to commit to the practice of social justice.”
The CMHS Speech and Debate Team proudly continues the legacy of those that inspired our past and look to build upon their successes for a dynamic future. For more information on how you can support or join our Team of Champions, please email Head Coach Vince Taddei at email@example.com .