Greetings! My name is Kaitlyn Johnston.
1. What did you do directly after high school?
After graduating high school, I attended and graduated from University of Florida where
I received my B.S. in “Communication Sciences and Disorders.
2. What are you currently doing?
As of the summer of 2014, I am about to marry my best friend and former debate partner
before we move China where I will be teaching English as a Fulbright scholar and he will be
studying international law. After a year in China, I will be attending Vanderbilt Medical School to obtain my M.S. in speech-language-pathology.
3. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA? I remember attending Legacy’s first club meeting, and I am grateful I was able to participate in and compete in speech and debate for four years (8th - 11th grade). I was also honored to serve as a Legacy student leader my last three years. I am thankful for the opportunities I had to learn and grow through speech and debate.
4. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
Not only did I have the chance to improve my thinking, speaking, teaching and writing skills, but I also learned more about relationships. Debate stretched me to think quickly, to organize my thoughts, and to analyze ideas, and speech encouraged me to consider professionalism, speak with clarity, and to show passion. These skills not only gave me an academic edge in college, but they also gave me employment and internship opportunities from working as a public speaking instructor at a private school during high school to publishing research internationally in college to interning at a local hospital. The act of competing and improving my speeches and debate ideas was stretching. Learning to appreciate critique was a valuable lesson I still try to draw on today as was learning to win or lose graciously. I also made some of my best friends through speech and debate. My speech and debate friends challenged me to think, encouraged me in my spiritual life, and inspired me to dream bigger. I am particularly thankful that I met my husband, Joshua Minchin through speech and debate. I also learned more about my relationship with God through apologetics and through conversations with other students and parents who challenged me.
5. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
If you are considering speech and debate, I would encourage you to consider the costs and opportunities for you and your family, as it was one of the most beneficial activities I have ever participated in.
6. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
If you are currently participating in speech and debate, I would encourage you to not take yourself too seriously--that is, remember that we learn most when we are humble and when we recognize that we have a lot to learn. And, make friends--something just might come of it!