PHS Speech & Debate Team Earns Milestone National Distinction
Perry High School’s (PHS) Speech and Debate team became the first group in school history to be recognized as a Speech School of Excellence during the 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament held in Dallas, Texas from June 16-21. With hundreds of competing schools representing every U.S. state and students from around the world, Perry finished among the nation’s top 20 speech schools. “This was a fitting end to an outstanding year,” said Superintendent Scott Beatty. “Our students and coaching staff have worked tirelessly for this level of success. They are prime examples of what we strive for in the Perry Local School District.” Eight Perry students also earned individual recognition during the six-day event, hosted by the National
Speech & Debate Association:
-Leah Moore – 11th of 230 United States Extemporaneous Speakers
-James Condo – International Extemporaneous Octo-finalist
-Taylor Anthony – Original Oratory Octo-finalist
-Vincent Throckmorton – Humorous Interpretation Octo-finalist
-Maya Polen & Reid Kennedy – Duo Interpretation Octo-finalists
-Simon Bailey – Informative Speaking Octo-finalist
-Nick Forchione – Lincoln Douglas Debate Octo-finalist
“Our students gave phenomenal performances,” said Kathy Patron, director of the PHS Speech and
Debate program. “They represented our school with pride and excellence and we are humbled to
receive these honors. Our administrative support has allowed us to grow and has been instrumental to
our success. In a world where communication skills are the most essential tools for success, we are
beyond proud to work in a community that believes in us and what we do.”
The National Speech & Debate Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world.
Earlier this year, Perry won its sixth state title after qualifying a record-shattering 53 of its students for
the state tournament.
Students who register for Patron’s competitive speech and debate class at PHS are automatically a part
of the team. During the 2018-19 school year, the team was made up of nearly 150 students. With the
support and financial backing of the Perry Local Schools Board of Education, the team competes in select
“Our Speech and Debate team have set the bar high and we look forward to seeing what our students
can accomplish in the future,” Beaty said.
For updates on the PHS Speech and Debate team, follow the team on Twitter @phsspeechdebate.