No Debate That Roosevelt Debate is Among the Nation’s Best

Roosevelt sophomore Lily Nellans accepts her trophy for finishing 3rd in the International Extemporaneous category.

There’s no debating the fact that the Roosevelt High School debate team ended the 2011-12 season once again as one of the top teams in the nation.

At the recent National Forensics League national tournament in Indianapolis, Roosevelt earned the School of Excellence Award in debate, placing them among the top ten teams. This marks the second time in four years that Roosevelt earned the award. Students from more than 850 schools across the country qualified to compete in the NFL national tournament.

The strong team showing resulted from strong individual performances by the Roughrider debaters, starting with sophomore Lily Nellans who finished third in the International Extemporaneous category. Her appearance marked the second year in a row that Roosevelt had a debater in the final round of the national tournament.

Roosevelt also had three Public Forum debate teams that advanced to the double-elimination round of the championship. The team of junior Madi Holmes and senior Samantha Gerleman made it to round eight. The team of senior Becky Hall and junior Carolyn Evans made it to round ten. And the team of junior Nathan Leys and senior Kayleigh Courard-Hauri advanced all the way to round eleven.

Members of Roosevelt's three public forum debate teams pose at the NFL national tournament in Indianapolis.

Samantha Gerleman also went seven rounds in the Parliamentary Debate category, putting her among the final 49 competitors in a field that began with 611 students. In addition, senior Katy Roat advanced in the Prose Interpretation category as did sophomore Murphy Burke in the Poetry Interpretation category. 

In total, all nine Roosevelt students competing in the NFL national tournament advanced beyond the preliminary round in at least one of their events.

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