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Central High School Debate Team competed in the 2024 National Speech and Debate Tournament

The Central High School Debate team sent 17 students to compete in the 2024 National Speech and Debate (NSDA) Tournament in Des Moines in June. A team from Central won first place and were awarded the title of National Champions in the tournament competing in World Schools Debate. Each student received a large trophy and $200 college scholarship. 

The students on the 1st place team are:

Kwaku Asare-Bawuah

August Kleiboeker

Imani Lwali

Quinn Smith

Trisha Tewari

“The World Schools team had to collaborate together to create cases for prepared motions, and use the prior knowledge that they have to create cases for impromptu rounds without the use of the internet or any form of connectivity,” said speech and debate teacher Karissa Talty. “They debated a total of 14 rounds over the week, but while all five had to work together to construct the arguments, only three were able to debate at a time. They had to decide who knew the most about each topic, who could carry the weight of each speech the best, and really come together as a team to put the interests of the team over the interests of the individual.” 

The Debate Team displays trophies

To qualify for the national tournament, most students qualify through a local district competition. However, since World Schools Debate is not a format of debate that is offered at local competitions, the five students competed in the NSDA’s “Last Chance Qualifier” national online tournament.

In addition to the 1st place team, the following Central students placed at the tournament:

Eli Moody earned top 64 in World Schools Debate

Alyviah Terry earned top 64 in Big Questions Debate

Matteo Francis earned top 32 in Big Questions Debate

Evan Siever was a semifinalist in Congressional Debate (House)

The Central Speech and Debate students also attended the NCFL Grand National Tournament in Chicago in May. Students were invited based on results for the entire season. The students awarded in this tournament are:

Eli Moody and Garrison Taylor placed 12th out of 176 Public Forum Entries

Evan Siever and Quinn Smith placed 5th out of nearly 100 Policy Entries

“I am in awe of these students and their drive and dedication,” said Ms. Talty. “I could not be prouder of their accomplishments, but I’m even more impressed by how they represent Central High School as people - their attitudes, composure, and their work ethic. They are proof that we are in good hands with the leaders of tomorrow. Mr. Tuckness believes that the last time we had a national debate champion was in 1962.”

According to NSDA, “World Schools Debate is a unique and dynamic form of debate, unlike any other in the United States. World Schools Debate is a dynamic format combining “prepared” topics with “impromptu” topics, encouraging debaters to focus on specific issues rather than debate theory or procedural arguments. This highly interactive style of debate allows debaters to engage each other, even during speeches. This challenging format requires good teamwork and in-depth quality argumentation.”