Morgan Spehar and Tia Speece are among 4,200 high school competitors from across the country participating in the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament this week in Birmingham, Alabama. Morgan is competing in Informative Speaking, in which she will present a ten minute speech she wrote about the use and benefits of cadavers. Judges listen to six competitors at a time, and rank the speakers against each other based on speech content and delivery. Tia is competing in World Schools Debate, where she is part of a team of five top debaters from Cleveland area high schools. At Nationals, she is debating topics including (1) whether the rise of alternative media is beneficial, (2) whether secondary schools should have compulsory climate science education, (3) whether sanctions should be increased on Russia, (4) whether the commercialization of feminism is detrimental to the movement, and (5) whether the rise of global populism is beneficial. Later in the week, Morgan and Tia might have an opportunity to compete in the following supplemental and consolation events: Poetry and Storytelling for Morgan, and Extemporaneous Debate and Impromptu Speaking for Tia. They have both put in hundreds of hours of work since September. This is the first time in six years that Kenston has had a student qualify for Nationals. Special thanks to the Kenston Academic Boosters, National Honor Society, and the numerous parents and alumni that donated funds to make this trip possible. Thanks also to the dozens of Kenston students and parents who participated in the debate-a-thon fundraiser in May.