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Roosevelt senior Charlie Timm was named the IFL’s 2024 Student of the Year.

The Iowa Forensic League State Championship is the biggest tournament of the year for speech and debate. At last weekend’s event, Roosevelt High School showed once again why they are one of the top teams around, earning multiple individual honors and points to be the overall state champ in 2024.

A number of different events make up a speech and debate tournament, and Roosevelt scored points up and down the board.

Finishes by the Riders speech and debate team members included:


  • Nanees Abakar, STATE CHAMPION
  • Hadley Harvey, 4th place

United States Extemp

  • Charlie Timm, 2nd place
  • Jonah Cornelisse, 3rd place
  • Vaughn McIver, 5th place

Original Oratory

  • Hadley Harvey, 2nd place


  • Charlie Timm, 5th place

Program of Oral Interpretation

  • Henry Godar, 6th place

Humorous Interpretation

  • Henry Godar, 7th place

Congressional Debate

  • Roland Preston, 2nd place
  • Jonah Cornelisse, 6th place
  • Harry Hansen, 9th place
  • Nanees Abakar, 10th place

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

  • Lilah Hopper-Hedges, Octofinalist (only 9th grader to move past elimination rounds)

Public Forum Debate

  • Charlie Timm/Anna Lundy, STATE CO-CHAMPIONS
  • Calvin Goldsberry/Ingrid Alg-Liening, STATE CO-CHAMPIONS
  • Vaughn McIver/Livi Wilke-Brown, Quarterfinalists
  • Nirmal Melam/Parker Magill, Quarterfinalists
  • Vaughn McIver, 2nd place speaker
  • Anna Lundy, 3rd place speaker
  • Charlie Timm,  4th place speaker
  • Calvin Goldsberry, 7th place speaker
  • Ingrid Alg-Liening,  8th place speaker

In the end Roosevelt won the overall debate sweepstakes and finished 2nd in speech sweepstakes, giving them a combined score that placed them as the top team in Iowa.

As Roosevelt High School celebrates their success, Des Moines Public Schools is excited to be one of the hosts of both the 2024 and 2025 National Speech & Debate Tournament, expected to welcome more than 10,000 visitors to the Des Moines metro during the summer.

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