MHS Speech and Debate team recognized by National association

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The National Speech and Debate Association is giving high praise to Marshall High Schools Speech and Debate team, as well as MHS Debate Coach Paul Gieringer.

According to the association, the team has earned membership in the association’s prestigious “Societe de 300.” Students earn points and degrees in the association’s honor society based on competitive and service-related activities, ranging from the Degree of Merit, with 25 or more points, to the Degree of Premier Distinction, with 1,500 points.

“These degrees contribute to a school’s strength points,” the association’s executive director, J. Scott Wunn, stated in a letter.

The MHS chapter achieved 300 or more points last year, earning the “Societe de 300” distinction.

“This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills — including communication, research, listening, writing and organization,” Wunn continued. “The National Speech & Debate Association commends your leadership of an active speech and debate program.”

This past December, 23 MHS team members were recognized as Speaking Service Award winners. These are the top students in the nation who speak and perform at outside school activities. The team also placed well in two tournaments early in 2020. In February 2020, the National Speech and Debate Association announced that Gieringer was its newest Eighth Diamond Coach, which recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity. It was reported that coaches received one-tenth the points earned by their students in competition. At the time, Gieringer had earned more than 120,000 points and had coached for 42 years. According to a new release, he was only the 10th coach to receive this award since the founding of the National Speech and Debate Association in 1920, and was recognized at a national tournament last June.

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