The National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) has named the Shawnee Mission East Speech and Debate Team one of the Top 100 Schools in the association for the 2019-2020 school year.
SM East ranked 49th out of more than 3000 schools nationwide. “As named one of the top programs in the nation, this is the most prestigious membership award the association can bestow upon a school,” shares NSDA.
Students earn points and degrees in the NSDA honor society based on competitive and service-related activities, ranging from the Degree of Merit with 25 or more points to the Degree of Premier Distinction with 1,500 or more points. These degrees contribute to a school’s strength points.
Coach Trey Witt, SME Speech and Debate coach, attributes the Lancers’ success to the team’s dedication, work ethic and teamwork, saying they compete “with perseverance, that includes stumbling and failing, but then learning from those losses and working hard to make corrections and improve.”
The organization also earned membership in the association’s prestigious Pentagon Club by achieving 500 or more strength points last year.
“This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills, including communication, research, listening, writing, and organization,” according to a statement from the NSDA. “The National Speech & Debate Association commends your leadership of an active speech and debate program.”
Additional Shawnee Mission schools earning a club award based on their NSDA strength points included Shawnee Mission Northwest (100 Club), Shawnee Mission South (200 Club), and Shawnee Mission West (100 Club).