JOPLIN, Mo. — The school year may be over but that doesn’t mean some students at an area high school will have the Memorial Day weekend off. A group of four students from Joplin High School and one faculty member will soon be on their way to Washington D.C.. The reason, to take part in a national speech and debate competition in our nation’s capital.

The Joplin High School Speech and Debate Program has a rich history and they will be sending students to two different national events this summer. The first of which takes place over the Memorial Day weekend.

Misti Meads is their head coach and can’t wait to watch her team compete at the highest level.

“I’m super proud of this group that I get to take to D.C.. They worked really hard all year and this is a tournament where their hard work pays off because they get to go based on how they did all year. So I think the group I’m taking is super deserving,” said Coach Meads.

Both competitions will be the last two events of Christina Post’s high school career.

“This is a bid tournament which means we have to be doing well all year, so consistently trophying at the tournaments we go to and then we compete with the other schools in our district who also want to go to this tournament. In order to be able to go you have to have a better record than the people who are also trying to qualify, ” said Christina Post, J.H.S. Graduate, Team Member.

“It’s called “declamation.” It’s basically where I do an interpretation of a famous speech. Yeah this year I’m doing, it’s called “The Other America” by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior,” said Alissa Kean, J.H.S. Sophomore, Team Member.

“But I’m really excited with the group of people we’re taking and being able to compete with all these people from all around the nation is really going be amazing.”Jeana Compton, J.H.S. Junior, Team Member.

Some of these same team members will also compete for Joplin High School in the National Speech and Debate Competition in Louisville, Kentucky in mid June.