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MPISD – News

MP Speech and Debate Nationals team
Bottom row, L to R: Taryn Thurman, Isabella Greco, Connelly Cowan
Top row, L to R: Ryan Sharp, Anthony Orellana, Taylor Hubbs, Reid Pinckard

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Speech and Debate team members compete at nationals

Seven members of the Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate team competed in the online NSDA National Speech and Debate Tournament, June 14-17, 2021. They planned the tournament in Des Moines, IA, but COVID-19 changed it to an online format. Therefore, MP Speech and Debate team members traveled to Dallas and competed online from their hotel. The tournament featured 6,671 competitors from 1,422 schools representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Marianas, British Columbia, and International schools in Taiwan and China.

In Policy Debate, the team of Connelly Cowan and Taryn Thurman began day one against 217 teams from across the United States. They debated teams from Utah, Missouri, Texas, California, Kansas, and Oklahoma to determine if they would advance to elimination rounds in prelims. In the six preliminary rounds, each had two judges voting for or against a team, for a total of 12 ballots. Those advancing in the competition had to have at least eight “for” votes. Cowan and Thurman had 11 ballots “for” and would move to the elimination rounds, the best prelims finish for the team in three years. They won round seven against a team from Washington, lost round eight against Kansas, and were eliminated in round nine against Minnesota. They finished among the top 51 teams at the tournament. It was the third appearance for Cowan and Thurman at the national tournament and their third national award. Thurman is a 2021 MPHS graduate and will attend Texas A&M University in the fall, while Cowan will return to MPHS for her senior year.

Cowan also garnered two individual accolades at Nationals. In Policy Debate, Speaker awards are given to the individuals with the highest speaker points at the end of prelims. Cowan was the 15th ranked speaker in the nation out of 418 individual competitors. In addition, Cowan competed in The Pro-Con Challenge, a supplemental speech event in which students present a three to five-minute affirmative speech and three to five minutes of negative address on the same topic. Out of 459 entries, Cowan made it to the quarterfinals, finishing in the top 30 competitors.

Also competing at the National tournament were Reid Pinckard and Anthony Orellana in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Isabella Greco and Taylor Hubbs in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Ryan Sharp in Humorous Interpretation. The 2021 MPHS graduates include Pinckard, who will attend the University of Arkansas, Greco, who will attend the University of Texas at Austin; and Sharp, who will attend Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition, Hubbs returns to MPHS for her senior year, while Orellana will return as a junior.

The NSDA National tournament wrapped up the 2020-2021 year for MPHS Speech and Debate. Returning team members will attend various camps this summer, preparing for the 2021-2022 school year and their first tournament in August. 

Enrique Martinez is their coach.

Top L to R: Abril Ramirez and Jacori Turner
Bottom L to R: Jordi Bello, Migel Guerrero, and Jashari Inostros

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Choir members earn medals at state

Several Mount Pleasant High School Choir members competed in the virtual State UIL Solo, and Ensemble Contest held online at the end of May. Five soloists earned State medals. 

Earning Division 1 state gold medals were junior Abril Ramirez (soprano) for her solo “Bonjour Suzon!” and sophomore Jacori turner (tenor) for his solo “Flow My Tears.”

Earning Division 2 state silver medals were 2021 graduates Migel Guerrero (tenor) for “Se Tu M’ami Se Sospiri”, Jashari Inostros (alto) for “Per la Gloria d’adorarvi”, and Jordi Bello (tenor) for “Nana”.

Nancy Vines and accompanied by Deanna Warren, direct the Mount Pleasant High School choir.