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High School students qualify for NSDA tournament and earn all-american honors

Recently, Raytown High School and Raytown South High School students qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Tournament, June 14-20. The tournament will be held in a virtual format this year due to COVID-19. Students from both high schools were also selected as NSDA Academic All-Americans.

Talking Bluejays who qualified for the national tournament included Presley Stewart in Informative Speaking, Amber Walter in Original Oratory, Lillian Rhodes in Congressional House Debate, and Mesmariah Hall in United States Extemporaneous. Talking Bluejays who were selected as alternates include Riley Harris in Congressional Senate Debate, and Sirneh Asangwe in Humorous Interpretation.

Raytown South High School students who qualified for the national tournament include Samantha Parvin in the Big Question Debate, Ahmea Parham in Program of Oral Interpretation and Derek Porter and Justice Thompson in Duo Interpretation. Raytown South High School students who were selected as alternates include Breanna Bonner in Informative Speaking and Donovan Cusick in Congressional Debate. 

In addition to students competing in the national tournament, NSDA has named Academic All-Americans from Raytown High School and Raytown South High School for the 2019-2020 school year. 

The NSDA Academic All-Americans from Raytown High School include Bracey Odums, Lillian Rhodes, and Riley Harris.

The NSDA Academic All-Americans from Raytown South High School include Donovan Cusick, Shelby Hill, and Samantha Parvin.

In order to receive the award, students must earn the degree of Superior Distinction in the National Speech and Debate Association, maintain at least a 3.7 GPA, and score at least a 27 on the ACT. 

The Raytown High School Speech and Debate team is coached by Zachary McGee and Sydney Crank. The Raytown South High School Speech and Debate team is coached by Maureen Thomas.