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Jemez Mountain Home-school Speech and Debate Team performs well at state

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By The Staff

The Jemez Mountain Home-school Speech and Debate Team did it again. Throughout the course of the year these avid “speechies” have worked to do their best at every tournament they attend. The team, which is comprised of students from Los Alamos and surrounding areas, has had put their efforts awarded with individual and team recognition throughout the competitive season.The team competes with the best and the brightest speech and debate enthusiasts from public and private high schools across the state as part of the New Mexico Speech and Debate Association. For the last four years, this dedicated team has walked away from the New Mexico State Tournament with one or more State Championship titles, numerous runner-up titles, as well as team recognition. 2008 was no exception.The 2007-2008 varsity squad includes Katelynn Bond, Paul Zimmerman, Andrea Cherne, Jonathan Kressin, William Kressin, Harry Green and Mariah Harrison; on the Junior Varsity are Matthew Davenport and Levi Vixie. Carolyn Connor coaches the team with assistance from Andrew Green, and team alumnus and National Forensic League Academic All-American Michael Zimmerman. This year the students have participated in Student Congress, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, Impromptu, Expository, and International and Domestic Extemporaneous speaking.At the 2008 New Mexico State Tournament, which was held on the ENMU campus in Portales, the team earned the following awards. Leading the team’s efforts to become great speakers, Jonathan Kressin successfully defended his state championship title in Oral Interpretation; in Original Oratory, Bond earned second place; in International Extemporaneous Speaking, second and third place were earned by Harrison and Bond, respectively; in Expository Speaking, Green took second place, and William Kressin achieved third place; In Duo Interpretation, the team of Bond and Harrison earned third place; Bond and Jonathan Kressin advanced to finals in Student Congress, and Zimmerman and Green advanced to the final round in Humorous Interpretation and International Extemporaneous Speaking, respectively. Also competing were William Kressin in Oral Interpretation and Student Congress; Andrea Cherne in Original Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation and Student Congress; and Zimmerman and Green in Student Congress.In team standings, the team earned first place in Limited Entry Sweepstakes, second place behind Albuquerque Academy in speech events, and third place in Overall Sweepstakes behind Albuquerque Academy's first place finish and just 11 points behind Eldorado High School’s second place finish.Next, the team has set its sights on the final tournament for the regular season, the National Qualifying Tournament, to be held Thursday through Saturday at Albuquerque Academy. Qualifiers from this tournament will advance to the National Tournament, which will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., in June. Three members of the team are graduating seniors this year: Jonathan Kressin, Bond and Cherne. Although this loss will be felt immensely, the team is looking forward to a strong finish and to a successful upcoming year.