Debate team earns 66th in the nation


Photo by: Elishia Seals

Members of the debate team pictured broke a top 100 national ranking, earning 66th out of 3,000 programs. The team is coached by Julie Laflen.

On Oct. seven, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) listed the PHS Debate Team ranking 66th out of over 3,000 programs across the nation. 

The NSDA is an honors society where students earn points and degrees based on competitive and service-related activities. The PHS Debate Team received their ranking as number 66 due to the number of points and membership they have achieved. 

Julie Laflen, the PHS team’s debate coach, says it is an honor to be ranked in the top 100 in the nation.

“The rankings are based off students competing at tournaments and it is evident how much time, effort, and energy they’ve put into being the best debate and forensics competitors they can be,” Laflen says, “They have worked very hard to earn this ranking and I am so proud to be their coach.”

They have worked very hard to earn this ranking and I am so proud to be their coach.

— Julie Laflen

Junior debater Audrey Goode has been a part of this association since her freshman year. She says the Pittsburg debate team has a lot of passion for what they do.

“I think that our administrators and our teachers who deal with fine arts are really great,” Goode says. “I know that Laflen puts in a bunch of work and time and passion into debate and forensics, she takes time off of her Saturdays and Fridays to take us to tournaments and to help us get better as debaters.”

Goode says that her coaches have a passion for speech and debate. This passion, she says, transfers to the students involved and participating in the activities.

“When you’re really passionate about something like debate you actually put work into it,” Goode says. “That’s what it takes to actually see those results and see [us] getting higher in points and see the win-loss record start to improve. It takes a bunch of hard work and passion and that’s what our coaches instill in the students who participate.”