Anna Langert is the first Yukon High School student to be named Academic All American by the National Speech & Debate Association.
Less than 1% of students nationwide qualify for this prestigious award based on GPA, ACT score and NSDA points earned at tournaments.
“To qualify, you have to have 750 points,” Anna said. “To put that into perspective, the most someone can earn in a one-hour round is six points. I have competed in over 200 rounds since I was a freshman.”
The senior is triple-qualified for NSDA Regionals in Original Oratory, Poetry and Humorous Duet.
“In Speech and Debate, we’re not just performing to entertain,” Anna said. “We perform with a clearly defined message; we research, study, write content, and present a passionate and valid argument on a topic.”
Anna’s original oratory discusses how society uses blame as an excuse to avoid finding real solutions, her poetry piece brings awareness to mental health and she and her partner’s duet “Sealed for Freshness: A Tupperware Party Gone Awry” presents a message about feminism and shattering stereotypes of women.
“Speech and Debate provides skills to take with us throughout the rest of our life, not only how to present a persuasive argument but how to be open-minded, how to explore topics from different perspectives, and how to find depth and meaning within ordinary life scenarios,” Anna said.
Anna credits Mr. Pipkin, YHS Speech and Debate coach, for teaching her how to find true depth in communication.
“He always makes sure we know the ‘why’ in our words and pushes us to see things from different perspectives,” she said. “I am not the same person I was four years ago. He has really helped me grow so much.”