Star Valley High School returned from the 2013 Wyoming High School Speech and Debate competition with three first place titles and a second overall team placement.
Western Wyoming Community College hosted the event on the Rock Springs campus March 14-16.
State championship honors for SVHS went to Rae Fullmer and Jared Johnson in the Duet Competition. They placed first in Class 3A and first overall for the tournament.
Lindsey Moore also placed as a state champion for SVHS in Dramatic Interpretation. She was first in the 3A Class and sixth in the state.
Overall, Star Valley and Powell tied for second in Class 3A with 23 points, following Jackson in first with 32 points. Third place went to Cody with 11 points.
Additional individual honors for Star Valley included Paige Andersen and Meredith Wells, placing second in Duet Interpretation in Class 3A and fourth overall in the tournament.
Naomi Watkins and Riley Jeffs placed fourth in Duet Interpretation for Class 3A and eighth overall.
Paige Andersen was second in Poetic Interpretation for Class 3A and second overall.
Kelsie Garrard and Aaron Zahne were third in Public Forum Debate for Class 3A.
Paige Andersen and Meredith Wells have qualified for the National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, scheduled for June 16-22. First alternates are Rae Fullmer and Jared Johnson.
Congressional Debate honors for national competition went to Aaron Zahne and Lucas Lynch, both placing as third alternates.
English teacher Robyn Johnson oversees the SVHS Speech and Debate program. She has served as head coach for the past seven years.
“I’m very proud of the kids and this is the best showing in state since I’ve been here,” she said following the competition in Rock Springs. “This is a great way to culminate our year.”
Johnson’s responsibilities will continue into the summer months as she will coordinate and coach the national activities for the SVHS students.
As Johnson reflected on a speech and debate season that started in the early fall of 2012 and continued until the spring of 2013 she emphasized improved performances.
“The highlight was just watching the students rise to the expectations and meet the challenges before them,” Johnson concluded. “It’s amazing to watch the individual talent blossom in each of them and then see them pull together as a team.”
The Speech and Debate team will be honored in an SVHS assembly at 11 a.m. Monday, March 25.