Tuloso Midway High School’s Speech and Debate team has qualified eight students for the National Speech and Debate tournament in Dallas, June 15-22. According to Tasha Jones, Speech and Debate coach at TMHS, this year’s team is made up primarily of underclassmen.

“We have a young team this year,” said Jones. “Our team is currently ranked seventh in the state and we have more qualifiers for the National tournament than anyone else in our region (which is comprised of 64 schools).”

Two students qualified in world schools debate, an event where students debate other peers from around the world; two students qualified in Lincoln/Douglas debate; two more in Congressional debate; one student qualified in international extemporaneous speaking and one more in Big Question Debate. Big Question Debate is new this year, and the winner of that event gets $10,000.

“Our team is very eclectic. We have those students who are art-minded and we have those who are more analytical debaters,” said Jones.

The team traveled to Boston in February to participate in a tournament at Harvard University and according to Jones, the students enjoyed seeing the snow and the airplane trip. Those in the TM community have also rallied around the team and provided business wear for students who needed it. Students are required to wear business dress in their competitions and those requirements can be cost prohibitive. To combat this issue, community members and school employees have donated business wear to the students and allowed them to “shop” for what they need.