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PHS Students Recognized at Statehouse - KOAM TV 7

PHS Students Recognized at Statehouse

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The Pittsburg High School Debate and Forensics program is recognized in front of the session of the Kansas Legislature for the program's national placement on Thursday (Feb 8).

The program, lead by Julie Laflen, began with just 12 students and has grown to about 75 students. Last semester, Laflen received a letter from J. Scott Wunn, the executive director of the National Speech & Debate Association. He informed her that the PHS Debate & Forensics program is ranked 96th of more than 3,000 programs nationwide, making it a Top 100 program.

"This is the most prestigious membership award the Association can bestow upon a school," Wunn wrote. "The designation is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills including communication, research, listening, writing, and organization."

On Thursday, Kansas Representative Monica Murnan introduced and recognized seven students and Julie Laflen in the statehouse.

"To be in the top 100 out of more than three-thousand programs is such an honor," she said. "I think it speaks volumes for how hard the students are working and the dedication they have for the program."

Students also got the experience of working as pages for Rep. Murnan.

"So many times, when people think about Topeka and the work the legislature does they think it's all about the politics," she said. "These students will be able to see how policy is connected and the daily work we do to form good policy for the state."

Rep. Murnan and her husband Rob have three daughters who were in debate and forensics at Pittsburg High School.

"Debate and forensics were just one of the best things for our girls to be a part of at Pittsburg High School. It builds a unique set of skills. They all work in policy and it's because of teachers like Bob Tindel and Julie Laflen who have gotten them to where they are today."

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