By Mitch Kaskie
Northeast Johnson County will play host in part for the National Speech and Debate Tournament starting this Monday. The tournament, also known as Heartland Pride, will be held at various venues around the county, including SM East and SM North.
SM East will host the high school policy debate event from Monday to Tuesday. SM North will have more on their hands hosting the high school humorous, dramatic, and duo interpretation events from Monday to Tuesday, then will also host middle school competition from Wednesday to Thursday.
SM North is expecting mroe than 1,000 students from 800 different schools competing on their campus, with their forensic staff and student volunteers helping out with hospitality.
“We’re in charge of making sure the facilities are clean and there are spaces for competition,” Meagan Deutch, the SM North forensics and debate teacher said. “We’re also running the hospitality room where coaches and judges can go in between rounds and helping out people from out of town.”
According to the National Forensic League, students must place among the top competitors at one of 110 District Tournaments in order to qualify for nationals. In total the tournament will bring in over 4,000 students to the Overland Park area and in return is known as “the world’s largest academic competition.”