A Safe Space to Try Hard Things


Horace High School’s First Team State Championship was Student Congress.

Flint Dignan, Student Writer

Mr. Amberg is the coach for the Student Congress at Horace High School. Now, you may be wondering what Student Congress is. Congress is a great way for students to think about topics they normally wouldn’t and voice their opinions on them. Student congress has debated a wide range of topics over the years such as gun control and sanctioning countries like Russia or China.

The Horace team finished in 5th place at state their first season, before the high school was even finished being built! Last season they finished in second place, so Amberg feels pretty good about the direction the team is headed. Like with anything, there are some concerns, the main one is teaching kids how to argue for both sides. It’s good to be able to see every side, but integrity and proper evidence use is still important.

Amberg began coaching Congress 7 years ago, and this is his third year coaching here in Horace. When asked why he chose to come to Horace and to teach and coach, he said, “I saw that this was going to be an amazing fine arts school and I wanted to be a part of it, and the record already kind of shows that we are building rapidly in the right direction for that.”

According to Amberg, joining Student Congress improves rationalization skills, and the ability to compare data points. It also brings awareness to the students about legislation that the actual Congress is passing. As a coach, Mr. Amberg never tries to put in more effort than the students do. He wants to show them good integrity, and that you want to win the right way, which isn’t by walking on other people. Joining Student Congress looks great on college applications, and you’re automatically in the National Speech and Debate Association Honor Society, which also looks good on college applications. Coach Amberg says, “Even kids who aren’t competitive, they gain something from the camaraderie and family-like attitude we have.”

Joining Congress is kind of like taking another year of English, which may not sound exciting, but you’d be that much ahead of your peers at reading, analyzing, and writing. Amberg is excited for the tournament that they’re adding this year in Moorhead. According to Brian Bubach from the North Dakota High School Activities Association, research shows that people who are involved in one of the fine arts, are less likely to go to commit crimes. Student Congress would also benefit people who want to go to college, want to do something with debate, law, or even with theatre. It’s a great place to work on your public speaking skills. As Mr. Amberg said, “It’s a safe place to try hard things.”