Roosevelt Debate Student Earns NFL’s Highest Rank

Roosevelt High School sophomore Lily Nellans, under the guidance of coach Harry W. Strong, has earned the degree of Premier Distinction — the National Forensic League’s highest degree of student membership. A degree of Premier Distinction reflects sustained excellence in classroom activities, competition rounds and service projects. Students may earn points in six separate categories: speech, debate, congress, service, district, and national

A total of 96 high school students earned the degree of Premier Distinction between January 15, 2012, and February 15, 2012, placing them among the top half of one percent of NFL student members.

Nellans also currently holds the #1 ranking in Extemp Speaking on the national debate circuit. She has won three national circuit extemp events this season at the University of Florida Blue Key, Schwann’s Speech, and the prestigious Montgomery Bell Academy’s Extemp Round Robin.

“Lily is a gifted speaker, debater and competitor who has the drive to accomplish much on the national debate circuit,” said Strong. “She is a student who will agonize over a single word in preparation for an extemp speech. Nellans is well advanced for her age when it comes to word economy, word choice, word coloring and argumentation. She is a voracious reader with exceptionally high comprehension skills. The fact she reached the highest level of the National Forensic League in less than two full seasons says it all.”

About the NFL
The National Forensic League (NFL) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit honorary society whose mission is to promote high school and middle school speech and debate activities as a means to develop a student’s essential life skills and values. More than 112,000 high school and middle school students, representing more than 2,900 schools nationwide, are currently building their communication, leadership, cognitive, and presentational skills as members. Since 1925, more than 1.3 million students have found their voice in the NFL. For more information, visit