Several students on Wooster High School’s (WHS) Speech and Debate Team were recently recognized as National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) Academic All-Americans. This coveted award recognizes academic rigor, competitive speech and debate success, and personal excellence.
From more than 141,000 student members of the NSDA, fewer than 500 students earn the Academic All-American award each year. To be eligible for this award, students must complete at least five semesters of high school, earn the degree of Superior Distinction in the NSDA Honor Society (a total of 750 or more merit points, which are earned at Speech and Debate competitions), achieve rigorous criteria for GPA and/or test score requirements and demonstrate outstanding character or leadership.
This year, 11 WHS students received an Academic All-American designation, including: Grace Buchholz, Alexis Florence, John Gorman, Anna Nacci, Dominique Nguyen, Lexi Nolletti, Bryn Savidge, John Schmidt, Cate Strong, Olivia VanSickle and Sophia VanSickle.
“The fact that we have 11 Academic All-Americans is a great recognition of the tradition of excellence we have established here at Wooster,” said Holly Custer, WHS Speech and Debate head coach. “The members of our team know that they are ‘students first,’ which means that academics are our priority. We want our students to succeed both in and out of the classroom, and as an extra-curricular activity, we place additional emphasis on the ‘in the classroom’ portion. Our students are incredibly driven, and they strive for excellence in every arena.”
Wooster High School has 47 students on this year’s Speech and Debate Team, 31 of whom have qualified to compete at the state tournament, which will occur at Jackson High School during the first weekend of March. Four students have also qualified to compete at the NSDA national competition in Dallas, Texas, in June.