With the 2010 National Speech and Debate Tournament in Kansas City this year, Eastern Jackson County high schools are ready to make an impact.

With the 2010 National Speech and Debate Tournament in Kansas City this year, Eastern Jackson County high schools are ready to make an impact.

“It is always exciting to have students achieve their dream by qualifying,” said Blue Springs High School debate coach Sherri Shumaker. “Now, we will take some time off and begin (preparations) again in late April.”

Students have already qualified in forensics and debate events for the NFL National competition June 13 to 18, hosted by the Park Hill School District.

The qualifying tournament for Student Congress is in April.

“As the new coach here at Fort Osage this year, I have tried to carry on the tradition set by Jeri Willard,” said Bobby Phelps, debate and forensics coach at Fort Osage High School. “She was instrumental in the students’ development and continues to be a resource for them. They provided the skill, hard-work, and raw talent for which they have been recognized.”

The following students have qualified for the national tournament.

Blue Springs High School – A.J. Taula and Joelle Wight, public forum debate; Alex Eichstadt, Lincoln-Douglas debate; Chris Gunn, international extemporaneous speaking; Harsh Desai, U.S. extemporaneous speaking; Darius Wilson and Austin Groves, duo interpretation; Anna Stastny and Lainey Priddy, duo interpretation; Spencer Bergman, humorous interpretation; Tyler Eisenriech, humorous interpretation and Ariele Long-Seabra, dramatic interpretation.

Blue Springs South – Jack Hobbs and Leah Kucera, policy debate.

Fort Osage High School – Joshua Miller and Scott Needles, policy debate and Joshua Miller, extemporaneous speaking. Because a student can only compete in one NFL national event, Miller will only compete in policy debate.

Truman High School – Cody Keeble and Damon Brown, policy debate; Holley Lewis, Lincoln-Douglas debate; Daniel Plott, international extemporaneous speaking; Taylor Ambrosi, original oratory; Dillon Amaya, humorous interpretation and dramatic interpretation; Steven Finkle, humorous interpretation; Megan Reed, dramatic interpretation; Dana Masters and Jake Stapp, duo interpretation; and Spencer Wilson and Madison Greco, duo interpretation. Because students can only compete in one event at nationals, Amaya has chosen to compete in humorous interpretation.

Raytown High School – Kelsey Bonifield and David Clark, public forum debate.

Raytown South High School – Cody Shepard and Trey Sprick, policy debate and Garrett Poorman, Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Truman’s 12 national qualifiers breaks the previous record of nine set in 1995. Two years ago, Truman had eight qualifiers.

“Mrs. (Kim) Lenger and I are thrilled with the outcome of our NFL speech and debate qualifying tournaments,” said Chris Adams, debate coach at Truman. “This is one of the hardest working groups of students we have ever had, and their dedication and efforts really paid off.”