STOW, OHIO—July 1, 2013— Eight students made history for SMFHS as they accepted their trophies on the national speech and debate tournament’s stage in Birmingham, Alabama last month. The SMFHS Speech and Debate team sent seniors Theresa Liebhart, Chris Browne, Anthony Erhardt, Jimmy Miller and Shelby Denton along with juniors Mitchell Felan, Ali Herman and Dani Herman to the national tournament.
“We were on stage receiving awards three times – I think Stow-Munroe Falls has made their mark!” said Speech and Debate Coach Sue Theisen.
The students from Stow placed well among the 3,000 student competitors. Theresa Liebhart was a semi-finalist in Dramatic Interpretation and received 14th place out of 257 qualifiers. She was also offered a scholarship for 60 percent tuition at Carver College in Hattisburg, Miss.
The team of Chris Browne and Anthony Erhardt placed among the top 97 of the 277 Public Forum debaters. Also in Public Forum debate, the team of twins Herman and Herman received 11th place along with a $2000 scholarship and an automatic invitation to next year’s tournament in Kansas City, KS.
Jimmy Miller and Shelby Denton finished in the top 70 of Duo interpretation out of more than 250 entries.
After two days of Congressional Debate, Mitch Felan continued in competition for five rounds of Extemporaneous Debate. As a junior Mitch hopes to qualify again for Congress at next year’s Nationals.
Because of the outstanding performance, SMFHS received the distinct honor of being named a School of Excellence in Debate. Only two other Ohio schools earned this award.
Every year the National Forensics League, a speech and debate organization, hosts a weeklong tournament with multiple categories of competition. The students competed from June 16 through June 21 along with approximately 260 other qualifiers from across the nation in their respective events.
The success of the SMFHS team would not have been possible without the generous donations of local businesses, faculty, and other contributors. Among those who donated are: Hair Creations Salon on Norton Rd., Chipotle, Handles, Kobelco Corp of Hudson, Sweet Frog, Oregon Plaza Florists, Stow-Munroe Falls PTA, Stow Teachers Association.
The team needed to raise approximately $9,000 and is still in the process of reaching this goal. Upcoming fundraisers include car washes at Dairy Queen on Fishcreek Road on July 13 and August 10.
Any support is welcome and appreciated. For those interested in donating or helping the team please send donations to Stow-Munroe Falls High School Speech and Debate Team, 3227 E. Graham Road, Stow, Ohio 44224.
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