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Idaho Falls High School debate team needs help to get to nationals

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Only a handful of students from Idaho Falls High School have ever qualified for the national speech and debate tournament, until this year when seven lucky students made the cut.

“Speech and debate nationals is such a huge, exciting event for students to qualify for," Idaho Falls High School's new debate coach Robin Christiansen said. "I'm so proud of our students for getting there.”

The students now have the chance to compete against the best in the nation.

They say they owe the opportunity to their new coach.

“Thankfully, our coach Christiansen was able to help grow our team, make it so that we can be as good as we've been doing," debate team president Hailee Nordstrom said. "The amount of kids we've had so far this year has been the most she's ever had qualified before, and about only 3% of kids qualified in Nationals in speech and debate.”

But getting nine people to the week-long tournament in Kentucky seems like a pipe dream with post-pandemic travel prices which is why the managers of Motor Vu volunteered to help them out.

“The manager of the drive-in is actually one of our debate parents for one of our house debaters. So she reached out to us earlier in the year and we thought that fundraising for Nationals is the best time to take her up on the offer.”

The drive-in plans on hosting a movie night fundraiser for the team.

Some members even volunteered to help out with the event.

“Recently, the drive-in let us know that they were going to be cutting staff for the night to try to make it so that we get more of the funds," debate team vice president Arianna Ashby said. "So what that means is they need some of us to kind of help. So I know our team has a couple of people that are going in and they're going to be helping, like selling tickets out the door and kind of selling concessions and kind of helping run the entire thing, which I think is really cool because it kind of shows like how involved we.”

Gates open Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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