Photo courtesy of Hoover City Schools.
0613 debators National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament
High school students participate in the National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament.
Thousands of student debators, speech/debate coaches and parents are in Hoover this week for the nation’s largest annual academic competition, the National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament.
Now through Thursday, several sites across the district will host speech and debate activities during the four-day event, including Hoover High School, Spain Park High School, Berry Middle School and R.F. Bumpus Middle School.
HCS debate team sponsors Oliver Parker of Spain Park High School and Kristy Kruse of Hoover High School have been collaboratively planning with NFL leaders for years to make the 2013 tournament a success. More than 5,000 students from across the country are expected to attend the tournament.
Both HCS high schools will field teams for the NFL tournament, both having had very successful runs during the 2012-2013 school year.
"This is unprecedented that, for the second time in four years, Hoover has landed this prestigious event,” Parker said. “It has taken tremendous coordination among the administrators of our local schools, central office and the National Forensic League to pull this off. Local programs who use HCS buildings during the summer have had to be housed in alternative facilities temporarily while the tournament is going on. HCS has gone to tremendous effort to create this opportunity for our community,"
Hoover City Schools last hosted the NFL tournament in 2009.
Parker's debate team at Spain Park High School has enjoyed success over the past few years. His team, as well as competitive teams at Berry Middle School and Hoover High, have represented the Hoover school system at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Emory, Wake Forest, Samford, University of Alabama, University of Florida, and countless other state and national tournaments.
“Our team made giant strides this year, placing in the top six in various events at every tournament we attended. Next year we hope to travel to Chicago and either Harvard or Stanford to compete on the national circuit. Our team is growing and becoming quite competitive,” Kruse said.
Kruse says interest in her team for next year stands upwards of fifty students. That's a considerable boost, considering the team started with fewer than ten students just three years ago.
The National Forensic League National Speech & Debate Tournament marks the capstone of high school speech and debate activities for nearly 120,000 students around the country. To attend, students must place among the top competitors at one of 109 District Tournaments. Qualifiers compete for more than $200,000 in college scholarships in a variety of speech, debate and performance events. The National Tournament moves to a different city each year. Final rounds are judged by blue ribbon panels including CEOs, former Cabinet members, stage and screen celebrities, sponsors and acclaimed community members.
-Submitted by Hoover City Schools