Great debaters continue their tradition of success

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Lanier Middle School students know that oratorical skill can be a powerful tool. The debate team from that campus attended the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament for High School and Middle School Speech and Debate recently—and walked away with one of the top honors.

The competition was held June 16–19 in Dallas and hosted 120 teams from all over the country. Lanier emerged triumphant by winning one of three Overall School of Excellence Awards.

“There were teams from 30 states and five different countries, so for us to rank in the top three is quite an accomplishment,” said speech coach Franz Hill. “It’s the eleventh time in 12 years that we’ve won the tournament or received this award.”

The Lanier team had several quarter-finalists and semi-finalists in a wide range of categories, including Poetry, Original Oratory, Declamation, and Public Forum Debate. This year marks the latest victory in a long line of achievements, including seven back-to-back championships at the National Junior Forensic League competition in the 2000s.

The team credits its success to the support of the Lanier community, parents, and alumni coaches.