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ETHS debate team among top 20 in nation

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Debate team members from Evanston Township High School earned the high school a Debate School of Excellence Award from the National Speech & Debate Association at their annual capstone event.

This marks the 30th time that ETHS has qualified students to the National Speech & Debate Tournament, held June 15-20 in Kansas.

Top competitors from around the country attend the tournament where ETHS finished in the top 20 out of more than 1,000 schools. In addition, ETHS Debate coach Jeff Hannan received a Diamond Coaching Award from the NSDA, the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States.

According to Hannan, each of the five ETHS competitors reached new milestones for Evanston. Results include the following:

  • Aaron Clarke received a four-time qualifier award as one of only 35 students to qualify to NSDA Nationals in each of the last four years. He is ETHS’s first ever four-time qualifier. Clarke also advanced to the first elimination round in poetry interpretation.
  • Kevin Klyman finished in the top 32 students of Extemporaneous Debate (a supplemental event with 665 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.
  • Joey Schnide finished in the top 24 students of Lincoln-Douglas debate (out of 252 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.
  • James Long and Russell Fillmore-Brady finished in the top 30 teams in Public Forum Debate (out of 284 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.

These performances collectively earned ETHS the Debate School of Excellence Award. Coaches receive one point for every ten merit points earned by their students; coaches who attain 1,500 points and have been coaching at least five years are awarded a “First Diamond,” the honor received by Jeff Hannan.

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