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Debate team members from Evanston Township High School earned their school a Debate School of Excellence Award from the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) at their annual capstone event.

This marks the 30th time that ETHS has had students qualify for the National Speech & Debate Tournament, held June 15-20 in Kansas. ETHS finished in the top 20 out of more than 1,000 schools. ETHS Debate Coach Jeff Hannan was also recognized, receiving from the NSDA a Diamond Coaching Award.

According to Coach Hannan, each of the five ETHS competitors reached a new milestone for Evanston. Results include the following:

Aaron Clarke received a four-time qualifier award as one of only 35 students to qualify for NSDA Nationals in each of the last four years. He is ETHS’s first ever four-time qualifier. Aaron also advanced to the first elimination round in poetry interpretation.

Kevin Klyman finished in the top 32 students of Extemporaneous Debate (a supplemental event out of 665 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.

Joey Schnide finished in the top 24 students in Lincoln-Douglas debate (out of 252 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.

James Long and Russell Fillmore-Brady finished in the top 30 teams in Public Forum Debate (out of 284 entries), representing ETHS’s best finish to date in the category.

These performances collectively earned ETHS the Debate School of Excellence Award. Coaches receive one point for every 10 merit points earned by their students; coaches who attain 1,500 points and have been coaching at least five years are awarded a “First Diamond,” the honor received by Jeff Hannan.

More information about the tournament can be found at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. More information about the Diamond coaching Award is available at www.speechanddebate.org/aspx/nav.aspx?navid=173.