Bangor High School sophomore earns fifth place at national speech and debate tournament

Posted June 22, 2014, at 4:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor High School sophomore brought home fifth-place honors from a national speech and debate tournament last week.

Six Bangor High School students participated in the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament held in Overland Park, Kansas, June 15-20. Nick Danby placed fifth in the country in the Congressional Debate category.

Competitors prepared speeches in which they supported or opposed mock pieces of legislation that ranged from efforts to regulate e-cigarettes to a bill to counter the growth of the Chinese Navy.

Danby said he was pleased with his performance during the draining, fast-paced competition, but has room to improve for next year.

“I gave some of my best speeches, but there are nitpicky things I need to work on,” he said during a phone interview Sunday.

Bangor team coach Jennifer Page said this is the first time in her memory that a Bangor student has placed this well on a national stage this significant.

“We have a good time at competitions like this, but we typically aren’t cutthroat competitive,” she said.

Also participating in the tournament from Bangor High School were Malik Robinson and Jan Tompkins, both seniors, as well as Vanessa Graham, Elizabeth Robbins and Sharon Audibert, all sophomores.

The National Speech and Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization, representing 130,000 middle school, high school and college students across the U.S.

Editor’s note: Nick Danby is the son of BDN cartoonist George Danby.