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 Daniel Timor from Valley International Prep in California for being named the top point earner in 2018-2019! View the complete list of recipients here.

Daniel Timor

Daniel Timor – 2018-2019 Top Point Earner

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. Students may apply through August 1 in the year they graduate. For example, if a student graduates in May 2020, they have until August 1, 2020 to apply for the AAA Award.

 

If a student is eligible, coaches will see a yellow box with “AAA?” under the Awards column on their Student Roster.

District Student of the Year

Each NSDA District has the opportunity to name a District Student of the Year award, presented to a graduating senior 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. District winners must be selected and reported to the national office by May 1, 2020.

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. Finalists interview with an esteemed panel of educators during the National Speech & Debate Tournament, and the National Student of the Year is announced during the National Awards Assembly. Watch the video »

2020 Recipients

Deep South (AL) • Sofie Behr • Montgomery Academy

Arizona • Leila Khan • Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

Arkansas • Tanner James • Cabot HS

California Coast (CA) • Sherwin Lai • Bellarmine College Prep

Colorado Grande • Katrina Stevenson • Widefield HS

Rocky Mountain – North (CO) • Katherine DeMaret • Rocky Mountain HS

Western Slope (CO) • Flannery Sloan • Gunnison HS

Florida Manatee • Courtney Medwin • American Heritage – Plantation

Florida Oceanfront • Eleni Mercer • Jupiter HS

Florida Sunshine • Ashton DeMarse • Paul R. Wharton HS

Georgia Northern Mountain • Alexander Torjak • Dunwoody HS

Georgia Southern Peach • Will Sjostrom • Marist School

Idaho Gem of the Mountain • Seung Grizmala • Borah HS

Greater Illinois • Jaylon Muchison • Belleville West HS

Hoosier Crossroads (IN) • Nicholas Grill • Cathedral HS

Hoosier Heartland (IN) • Tim Carnahan • West Lafayette Jr./Sr. HS

Northwest Indiana • Noel Fary • Munster HS

East Iowa • Ethan D’Alessandro • Iowa City West HS

East Kansas • Kate Fabac • Olathe Northwest HS

Sunflower (KS) • Maitri Ajmera • Wichita East HS

West Kansas • Santiago Vasquez • Salina South HS

Kentucky • Santiago O’Neil • Henry Clay HS

South Kansas • Scout Peery • Pittsburg HS

Maine • Adrianna Belskis • Dirigo HS

Chesapeake (MD) • Celeste Cubbage • Stone Ridge School Of The Sacred Heart

New England (MA) • Jacob Moldover • Natick HS

Central Minnesota • Sophie Wu • Woodbury HS

Northern Lights (MN) • Joseph Eberle • Elk River HS

Southern Minnesota • Jeremiah Cox • Chaska HS

Magnolia (MS) • Jackson Garner • Petal HS

Carver-Truman (MO) • Samuel Peterson • Joplin HS

Eastern Missouri • Benjamin Haug • Brentwood HS

Heart of America (MO) • Sara Ragsdale • North Kansas City HS

Ozark (MO) • Adora Snead • Willard HS

Show Me (MO) • Grant Auman • Rockhurst HS

Montana West • Scott O’Donnell • Flathead HS

Nebraska • Lucy Tu • Millard North HS

Nebraska South • Tristian Swift • Lincoln HS

Golden Desert (NV) • Alexandra Kallaher • Northwest Career and Technical Academy

Sagebrush (NV) • Marlu Martens • Elko HS

New Jersey • Roopa Irakam • Watchung Hills Regional HS

New Mexico • Abigail Francis • Santa Fe Prep

Carolina West (NC) • Samantha Pean • Charlotte Catholic HS

Tarheel East (NC) • Esme Longley • Durham Academy

North Dakota Roughrider • Erica Flores • Fargo North HS

North Coast (OH) • Liberty Oliver • Vermilion HS

Western Ohio • Kathleen Inman • Whitmer HS

North Oregon • Selena Zhang • Lake Oswego Senior HS

South Oregon • Jo Spurgeon • St. Mary’s School

Pittsburgh (PA) • Maxwell Minard • Shady Side Academy

Valley Forge (PA) • Charles Mshomba • Holy Ghost Prep

South Carolina • Janine D’Souza • Riverside HS

Northern South Dakota • Mariah William • Aberdeen Central HS

Rushmore (SD) • Blake Anderson • Washington HS

Central Texas • Shilpa Gunuganti • Saint Mary’s Hall

East Texas • Elyse Dewbre • Northland Christian School

Gulf Coast (TX) • Vada Janak • Tuloso-Midway HS

Heart of Texas • Julia Craciun • Chaparral Star Academy

LBJ (TX) • Neerul Gupta • Centennial HS

Lone Star (TX) • Kory (KJ) Marino • Grapevine Colleyville ISD

Tall Cotton (TX) • Pablo Rogel • Tascosa HS

West Texas • Caitlyn Acevedo • Americas HS

Yellow Rose (TX) • Claire Predtechenskis • THEO Christian Solution, Inc.

Inland Empire (ID) • Lesli Saige Johnson • Chiawana HS

Northern Wisconsin • Josef Rademacher • Madison West HS

Southern Wisconsin • Rihana Zaiani • Ronald Reagan HS

Hole in the Wall (WY) • Saga McAllister • Cheyenne East HS

Wind River (WY) • Hope Soske • Douglas HS

Joanna Bai
2019 – Joanna Bai
Millard West HS, NE
Elena Cecil
2018 – Elena Cecil
Larue County HS, KY
Ricardo Flores
2017 – Ricardo Flores
Americas HS, TX
Marshall Webb
2016 – Marshall Webb
Saint Mary’s Hall HS, TX
Jarrius Adams
2015 – Jarrius Adams
Hattiesburg HS, MS
Walter Paul
2014 – Walter Paul
Creighton Preparatory, NE
Robert Shaw
2013 – Robert Shaw
Glenbrook South HS, IL
Quinlan Cao
2012 – Quinlan Cao
East Mountain HS, NM
Taylor Walker
2011 – Taylor Walker
Henry W. Grady HS, GA
Cory Williams
2010 – Cory Williams
Hattiesburg HS, MS
Danielle Camous
2009 – Danielle Camous
St. Mary’s HS, CO
Kyle Akerman
2008 – Kyle Akerman
Downers Grove South HS, IL

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

The 2020 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year is Jaylon Muchison from Belleville West High School in Illinois. Jaylon was selected by a panel of coaches for his character, leadership, and commitment to bettering his community.

In Their Words: “Speech and debate taught me courage, generosity, and an understanding that diversity makes us strong. Our voices are what connect us, and this activity allows me to spread that message.” – Jaylon Muchison

 
2020 Student of the Year - Jaylon Muchison

About the Award

This annual award recognizes one individual out of more than 150,000 student 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 interview with an esteemed panel of educators during the National Speech & Debate Tournament, and the National Student of the Year is announced during the National Awards Assembly. Watch the video »

Previous Recipients

Find out Where Are They Now? in this article from the 2017 November/December issue of Rostrum magazine.

National Exemplary Student Service Award

The 2020 National Exemplary Student Service Award recipient is Aryaman Sharma from West Fargo Sheyenne High School in North Dakota. Aryaman was selected for his efforts in spearheading the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign against using the “R-word” and his service and dedication to his own scholarship program and nonprofit beyondBASIK (Bus As School for Indigent Kids).
 
2020 Exemplary Student Service Award Winner - Aryaman Sharma

About the 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.

Nominations for the current school year are accepted from coaches or administrators through January 21, 2020.

Learn more about service and service points in this guide.

Honoring Member Students and Graduates

There are many ways to recognize a student’s commitment to speech and debate via honor society insignia and graduation items.
 
Student members can be awarded a jeweled pin or pendant commensurate with their achievement in the NSDA honor society.
 
The National Speech & Debate Association is also 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 honor cords. If necessary, use this letter to principals in support of NSDA honor cords from Executive Director J. Scott Wunn.

Looking for more recognition?

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