Call it a “Steve Harvey Moment.” The emcee for the National Speech & Debate Association’s district competition called his omission “a major screw up.” You can debate about it, but either way, Midway High School’s Debate Team was left dressed their best in coats and ties waiting for their names to be announced on a forgotten award.
At the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) Yellow Rose District Tournament this past weekend, a large plaque was left on the awards table and completely surpassed during awards announcements. The plaque named Midway High School as the Leading Chapter Award from the National Speech & Debate Association, designating the team as one of the top 13 in Texas and top 110 out of more than 3,000 in the United States.
The honor, based on student participation, is the highest recognition awarded to individual chapters by the NSDA. This coveted honor is awarded to the school whose accumulated total of members and points earned for speech/debate degrees is highest in each district. This award reflects 343 members and speech/debate degrees (earned by points) over 19 years. The past strength of Midway’s program contributed to the award, including graduates who have gone on to debate at the collegiate level for Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.
Midway’s debate teacher Susan Jones said, “Congratulations and thank you to all of our Speech & Debate students past and present. This is a remarkable achievement and we are very proud to receive this award.”
What Jones humbly did not say is that the award is well-deserved by the perpetual powerhouse Midway team. In addition to strong NSDA performances, the team swept this year’s UIL Cross Examination (CX/Policy) District Tournament completely; the Policy Debate team of Edward S. Kim and Hanxing Kuang have already qualified as alternates for NSDA Nationals; six students have qualified/are alternates for the UIL CX state competition in March at the University of Texas and two Policy teams have qualified for the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) National tournament.
Next up for the Midway team is the UIL District Speech & Debate competition on April 7th in Belton and NDCA National Tournament at the University of Central Florida the weekend after. Hopefully the rest of the competition season will follow in the accomplished steps of two decades of strong MISD debaters, and no more commiseration with a jilted Miss Universe.