After finding success in this season’s debate tournaments, 13 Fort Scott High School students qualified for nationals, the largest number in the team’s history.
“Personally, I am proud of their hard work,” coach Amber Toth said of the students, some of whom had qualified in the past while others were first-time qualifiers. “I realize that hard work doesn’t always yield just reward, but I am happy to say that it did in most cases.”
Those students include Darby Toth, Zach Humble, Joe Adams, Mark Adams, Alex Gorman, Isabella Provence, Rebekah Sweyko, Brooklyn Lyons, Madi Toth, Emma Faith Humble, Elizabeth Ngatia, Seth Cross and Chloe Studyvin.
“I felt relieved, accomplished, because all of my hard work finally paid off,” said sophomore and first-time qualifier Chloe Studyvin.
Each team participates in 12-14 regular season tournaments before moving on to district tournaments in the National Speech and Debate Association. The students can compete in two of the 13 different events in an effort to be one of the two students to qualify for nationals from each category.
The categories Fort Scott students qualified in include Student Congress-House, public forum debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, humorous interpretation, informative speaking, duo interpretation and program of oral interpretation.
“I am really excited to qualify as a freshman,” Madi Toth said of her achievement. “My goal is to be a four-time qualifier. I was worried about having to beat seniors to make it, but we worked hard and we did it.”
The students will travel to Birmingham, Al., in June to compete. The team has held a number of fundraisers throughout the year for the trip, but still lacks about $2,000 according to Toth. The final fundraiser will be a Community Showcase at the Ellis Fine Arts Center on May 1, at 7 p.m., with the team requesting free will donations from those attending.