Students find success at National Speech and Debate Tournament


Recent Woodbury High School graduate Lily Neumann-Drenth earned first place in the Informative Speech category at the National Speech and Debate Tournament June 17-22. Woodbury Speech Team qualified for nationals for the first time in the school's history. The tournament was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with students from Woodbury and East Ridge in attendance.

Six Woodbury High School students qualified in five different events. Recent graduate Njeri Waititu and rising senior Lily Pieper made it to the top 14 competitors in their event. Annie Ward, a rising senior, made it to the top 30 competitors in her event, while rising senior Nadia Franzen and recent graduate Stephanie Zhang made it to the top 60 competitors in their events.

Recent East Ridge High School graduate Tre' Edgerton earned fifth place in Program Oral Interpretation. This was the third year Edgerton was a national finalist. Alex Yang, who also recently graduated, finished in the top 11 for Extemporaneous Debate. Recent graduate Tony May finished in the top 60 in Humor, and rising seniors Michelle Lu and KV Do also took part in the national event.

Woodbury was named a school of excellence, meaning the team is in the top 20 speech programs in the country. East Ridge was named a school of honor, which means it is one of the top 21-40 speech programs.