Holland High School seniors Elise Dye and Emily Timmer competed in the National Speech and Debate National finals in Salt Lake City, Utah held June 12-17.
Just three weeks after participating in their "Class of 2016" graduation activities, both girls departed for Salt lake City to compete against hundreds of students from across the United States at the National Speech & Debate Tournament—the largest academic competition in the world.
“The National Tournament showcases the brightest and most talented students in the country,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. “We are extremely proud of Emily for her outstanding accomplishment.”
More than 4,000 students representing more than 1,200 schools participated in the national tourney.
Emily, a two time state speech champion in Michigan, advanced to round 12 of the competitive national finals, an incredible achievement.
She was near perfect in early rounds and remained at the top throughout the week. Grouped with 311 other competitors, Emily increased in confidence and polish to be named one of the nationals elite speakers.
Elise Dye also qualified for her second national finals, an accomplishment that few people are able to achieve.
Both Emily and Elise were part of the Holland High Forensics team, ranked among the top 5 in Michigan and the top 100 speech programs in the nation! Coach Kevin Schneider said both girls were "standouts and leaders throughout the season."
Their active participation in Holland High School's award-winning theatre program and the school's Broadcasting class no doubt enhanced their onstage performance skills.
Mr. Schneider, who directs the theatre department, coaches forensics, and teaches the Broadcast class, was awarded his second coaching diamond last summer by the NSDA in recognition of his work in school broadcasting and speech.