NORMAN — Norman High School has been named one of the Top 40 Debate High Schools in America by the National Forensic League. Established in 1925, the NFL is the national regulator of secondary speech and debate competitors and competitions.
NHS and Bartlesville were the only high schools in Oklahoma to receive this honor for 2013, and NHS placed higher in the competition than Bartlesville.
The distinction for NHS, which is Debate School of Honor, follows two of NHS’ debate team members returning to Norman after both placing in the top 25 in the NFL’s National Tournament last week in Birmingham, Ala.
The national tournament is the largest academic competition in the world. To attend, students must place among the top competitors at one of 109 district tournaments across the country.
NHS Speech and Debate coach Kasey Harrison said junior Nathan Thompson finished 24th in the nation and sophomore Nicky Halterman finished 15th in the nation in the category of Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
“Norman High was the only high school in the country to have two of its students finish in the top 25,” Harrison said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my national competitors, as well as the entire NHS debate team for helping our qualifiers research, prepare and practice to be at their best at nationals.”
Principal Scott Beck praised the team and Harrison for his hard work and passion, as well as Amanda Mimms, his co-coach.
“This is huge news and a huge honor for our high school,” Beck said. “Congratulations to Kasey, Amanda, Nathan and Nicky and our amazing Tigers. Fight on.”