Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 3, 2014

MaKennah Little to take part in national debate competition

By DUANE NOLLEN The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa High School sophomore MaKennah Little will put her debating skills to the test in national competition in June.

Little will compete in the National Forensics League national finals in Kansas City, Mo., from June 15-20.

OHS Debate Team coach Jessica Weinreich said Little is the first student she has coached to reach national competition.

“Osky has qualified people before,” she added.

Weinreich said Little will be part of a group of elite debate team members.

“It’s a select group from across the nation,” she added.

According to the National Forensics League website, participants are among the top debate competitors from 110 districts around the nation. Participants compete for scholarships in a number of speech, debate and performance events. Final rounds are judged by blue ribbon panels composed of CEOs, former Cabinet members, stage and screen celebrities, sponsors, and acclaimed community members.

Little learned in March that she will be part of this national competition.

“I found out at the district tournament on March 22,” she said. “I was really surprised but very excited.”

The national competition will encompass topics that will be similar to the ones debated in Congress — gay marriage, marijuana and patent reform, Weinreich said.

“We discuss bills — it’s like a mock Congress,” Little said.

Little said she will not be part of a team in competition.

“I will compete as an individual,” she said.

Little said National Forensics League officials have not released the debate topics yet. So, she plans to keep up with current events to be ready for the competition.

Little said she will have at least one person there to root for her.

“I’ll bring my Mom,” she said.