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Students set to compete at nationals this summer

The speech and debate team recently traveled to the annual National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) district competition in Center, Texas to participate in hopes of being able to advance to national competition this summer in Dallas.

“I have competed in NSDA all four years in high school,” senior Josalyn Taylor said. “It was sort of sad that this was my last year, but I still had a lot of fun.”

The speech and debate competitors stayed in Center for three days, competing in a wide range of events. The main events included Program Oral Interpretation (POI), Duo, Original Oratory, Congress and Informative speaking.

“Tana and I did a thing called Duo,” senior Sheri Donaldson said. “It is this event where we act out a story together and we can play multiple characters; however, the biggest rule is that you can’t look at or touch each other.”

Several students advanced to finals. Sophomore Raeleigh Rhodes, junior Nishit Tailor and Taylor all competed in POI and advanced to finals. Junior Colby Menefee received alternate for informative speaking and advanced to nationals in Congress.

“I was very surprised to hear that I advanced as far as finals,” Rhodes said. “I worked pretty hard, but now I know what has to be done to advance even further in the future.”

Josalyn Taylor was chosen to be a part of the World Schools Debate team that will represent the district at national competition, as well.

“I am so excited that Josalyn will have the opportunity to compete this summer,” coach Melonie Menefee said. “She is one of our hardest-working students, and she has definitely earned a spot on this team.”

The national competition for NSDA will be held the week of June 16-21. This competition is the largest academic tournament in the world and includes people from everywhere.

“I’m glad I get the chance to compete in the national competition,” Colby Menefee said. “I hope to place high at nationals, but even if I don’t, it is still a wonderful experience.”