Student Recognition

Student members of the National Speech & Debate Association compete throughout the school year, but tournament wins and honor society points are just part of the recognition received from our organization!

All Americans

Each year, the top student point earners in the country are named All Americans. The All American award is based on a combination of competitive and service points, of which no more than 25% of the point total can include service. In order to qualify, a student must have competed once at Nationals. Following the National Speech & Debate Tournament, the 25 students with the highest total points in our Honor Society receive this recognition. No application is required to receive this award.

Congratulations to Jacob Thompson from Des Moines Roosevelt High School in Iowa for being named the top point earner in 2016-2017!

Academic All Americans

The Academic All American award recognizes high school students who have earned the degree of Superior Distinction (750 points); completed at least 5 semesters of high school; demonstrated outstanding character and leadership; and earned a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent). NOTE: If the GPA is between 3.5 and 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent), students also must have received an ACT score of 27 or higher, or a New SAT score of 1300 or higher.

District Student of the Year

The District Student of the Year award is presented to a graduating senior in each district who best represents the tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor: integrity, respect, humility, leadership, and service. Nominees must also demonstrate strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community. Each year, six students who win the district award are selected as finalists for the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year award.

2017 Recipients
Deep South (AL) • Hannah Edwards • Prattville HS

Arizona • Jaywon Kim • Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

Arkansas • Juliette Jung • Little Rock Central HS

Big Valley (CA) • Pedro Ribeiro • Delta Charter HS

California Coast • Lilly Hackworth • Notre Dame HS

Capitol Valley (CA) • Peter Zhu • Davis Senior HS

East Los Angeles (CA) • Eddie Diaz • Alhambra HS

Southern California • Aaron Ing • Los Osos HS

West Los Angeles (CA) • Manpreet Parmar • Granada Hills Charter HS

Colorado • Alec Greven • Castle View HS

Colorado Grande (CO) • Kam Lee • Widefield HS

Rocky Mountain-North (CO) • Aidan Dykstal • Fort Collins HS

Rocky Mountain-South (CO) • Kathryn Swan • George Washington HS

Florida Manatee (FL) • Brian Levy • Cypress Bay HS

Florida Oceanfront • Caramen McDaniel • Wellington HS

Greater Illinois (IL) • Jordan Killion • Pekin Comm HS

Illini (IL) • Lydia Walsh-Rock • Downers Grove South HS

Northern Illinois (IL) • Jonah Jacobs • Glenbrook North HS

Hoosier Heartland (IN) • Lauren David • Fishers HS

East Iowa • Afnan Elsheikh • John F. Kennedy HS

East Kansas • Michael Franklin • Sumner Academy

South Kansas • Nathan Wells • Caney Valley HS

Sunflower (KS) • Gabe Esquivel • Kapaun Mount Carmel HS

Three Trails (KS) • Alexa Kathol • Blue Valley Southwest HS

West Kansas • Tyler Ross • Salina South HS

Kentucky • Corey Newsome • Rowan County Sr. HS

Louisiana • David Ramachandran • Ruston HS

Maine • Sydney McDonald • Bangor HS

Chesapeake (MD) • Quinn Crawford • Marriotts Ridge HS

Northern Lights (MN) • Luke Norquist • Brainerd HS

Southern Minnesota • Olivia Shoemaker • Lakeville North HS

Central Minnesota (MN) • Kevin Bi • East Ridge HS

Magnolia (MS) • Derek Collins • Hattiesburg HS

Carver-Truman (MO) • Ian Cooley • Neosho HS

Eastern Missouri • Aramis Rickey • Ladue Horton Watkins HS

Heart of America (MO) • Natalie Schaller • Liberty Sr. HS

Ozark (MO) • Connor Rothschild • Kickapoo HS

Show Me (MO) • Romeo Bagunu • Raytown HS

Montana • Jacob Linfesty • Billings West HS

Nebraska • Brent Hausmann • Norfolk HS

Golden Desert (NV) • Lance Ledet • Northwest Career and Technical Academy

Sagebrush (NV) • Heather Foster • Reno HS

New England (MA & NH) • Kory Turner • Sacred Heart HS

New Jersey • Matthew Colon • Summit HS

New Mexico • Erick Beltran • Rio Grande HS

Iroquois (NY) • Joshua Beckles • McQuaid Jesuit HS

New York State • Zach Kapner • Scarsdale HS

Carolina West (NC) • Chloe Dennison • Asheville HS

Tarheel East (NC) • Rafael Montes • Cumberland Polytechnic HS

North Dakota Roughrider • Arcilla Davis • Richardton-Taylor HS

North Coast (OH) • Ananya Kalahasti • Hathaway Brown School

Northern Ohio • Carson Markley • Canfield HS

East Oklahoma • Layla Mortadha • Tulsa Washington HS

West Oklahoma • Cheyenne Martin • Bishop McGuinness HS

Pennsylvania • Hunter Stecko • Norwin HS

Pittsburgh (PA) • Kolten Hilterman • Knoch Senior HS

Valley Forge (PA) • David DeMarco • Unionville HS

South Carolina • Devin Remley • Riverside HS

Northern South Dakota • Raina Grimsley • Mitchell HS

Rushmore (SD) • Alexander King • O’Gorman HS

Tennessee • Preston Johnston • Ravenwood HS

Central Texas • Juan Nunez • Ronald Reagan HS

East Texas • Daniel Lehmann • Cypress Creek HS

Heart of Texas • Spencer Buckner • Lake Travis HS

LBJ (TX) • Rasin Faruk • Richardson HS

Lone Star (TX) • Chetan Reddy • Plano West Sr. High

Space City (TX) • Rem Aitbouchireb • Kerr HS

Tall Cotton (TX) • Nicholas Aranda • Holy Cross Catholic Academy

UIL (TX) • Steele Musgrove • North Lamar HS

West Texas • Ricardo Flores • Americas HS

Yellow Rose (TX) • Hannah Bryant • THEO Christian

Great Salt Lake (UT) • Gavin Serr • Grantsville HS

Sundance (UT) • McKadee Eyre • Beaver HS

Utah-Wasatch (UT) • Mallory Blue • Davis HS

Western Washington • Zackery Gostisha • Federal Way HS

William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year

This annual award recognizes one student out of more than 141,000 members who best embodies the organization’s Code of Honor: integrity, humility, respect, leadership, and service. Nominees must also demonstrate strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community. Six finalists will interview with an esteemed panel of educators during the National Speech & Debate Tournament. The National Student of the Year is announced during the National Awards Assembly at the National Tournament.

Congratulations to the 2017 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year, Ricardo Flores, from Americas High School in Texas!

Ricardo Flores

2017 Finalists

(pictured above, left to right)
Olivia Shoemaker from Lakeville North High School, MN (Southern Minnesota District)
Michael Franklin from Sumner Academy, KS (East Kansas District)
Chloe Dennison from Asheville High School, NC (Carolina West District)
Derek Collins from Hattiesburg High School, MS (Magnolia District)
Nicholas Aranda from Holy Cross Catholic Academy, TX (Tall Cotton District)

Previous Recipients
Ricardo Flores Americas HS, TX

Ricardo Flores
Americas HS, TX
2017

Marshall Webb Saint Mary's Hall HS, TX 2016

Marshall Webb
Saint Mary’s Hall HS, TX
2016

Jarrius Adams Hattiesburg HS, MS 2015

Jarrius Adams
Hattiesburg HS, MS
2015

Walter Paul Creighton Preparatory, NE 2014

Walter Paul
Creighton Preparatory, NE
2014

Robert Shaw Glenbrook South HS, IL 2013

Robert Shaw
Glenbrook South HS, IL
2013

Quinlan Cao East Mountain HS, NM 2012

Quinlan Cao
East Mountain HS, NM
2012

Cory Williams Hattiesburg HS, MS 2010

Cory Williams
Hattiesburg HS, MS
2010

Taylor Walker Henry W. Grady HS, GA 2011

Taylor Walker
Henry W. Grady HS, GA
2011

Danielle Camous St. Mary's HS, CO 2009

Danielle Camous
St. Mary’s HS, CO
2009

Kyle Akerman Downers Grove S. HS, IL 2008

Kyle Akerman
Downers Grove S. HS, IL
2008

National Exemplary Student Service Award

Introduced in 2017, the National Exemplary Student Service Award is given annually to a student who serves their school, community, city, region, or state using skills they honed through speech and debate. Coaches or administrators may nominate a student who upholds the highest standard of service, one of the core tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor, for recognition. As opposed to the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year Award, current member students of any age are eligible for nomination.

Congratulations to the 2017 recipient, Delanya Storey, from Jefferson County IB School in Alabama!

Graduation Honor Cords

The National Speech & Debate Association is proud to offer honor cords for its members to wear during high school graduation ceremonies. Honor cords recognize member accomplishments and affirm their commitment to speech and debate education.

Please visit our online store to place an order for Association honor cords, or view a letter to principals in support of Association honor cords from Executive Director J. Scott Wunn.

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