PITTSBURG, KS.--- Upcoming Pittsburg High School seniors Ethan Hawn, Joseph Mathew, Haley Uttley, and Miranda Moore are preparing for the National Speech and Debate Tournament. They'll be tested on their research, oratory, rebuttal speed, and organizational skills during the six day competition.
"We've been doing practice rounds every couple of weeks, and just trying to make sure that we're still like in tip top shape as we go into the tournament. And we're just actually helping each other research as finding new positions, just find arguments. Just basically work up and develop our positions," said Joseph Mathew, PHS Debate Senior.
Joseph is the first student from Pittsburg High School to qualify for the Lincoln-Douglas debate. He will also be doing a five minute expository speech about the paparazzi.
"If I could win, that would be like just an amazing experience. Because being on the finalists stage and actually just winning, that would be glorious," said Mathew.
Miranda Moore and her partner are the first female duo from PHS to qualify for nationals. The girls will be competing in the policy debate.
"We're talking about Latin America and economic engagement with Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela," said Miranda Moore, PHS Junior Debate Student.
Ethan Hawn will be competing in the extemporaneous speaking category and the four students say they have been working hard all year for this competition. They're also hoping for a victory.
"It's really something that I wish every kid could experience. To be in a place with thousands of kids from all over the country is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Julie Laflen, PHS Debate Coach.
The National Speech and Debate Tournament will take place in Overland Park, Kansas on June 15th through 20th.