Bloomington students persuade, entertain, move audiences at National Speech and Debate tournament

Published on Jun 25, 2024
Addison Wendt, Angelica Mey and Kailey Tan

(Left to right): Addison Wendt, Angelica Mey, Kailey Tan

Three Bloomington high school students competed at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) national tournament, held June 16-21 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kennedy High School junior Addison Wendt, the first Kennedy team member to qualify for nationals in debate, finished eighth in her section of prelims in the Senate Congressional Debate. Wendt qualified for nationals with a second place finish at the southern Minnesota district tournament. 

Kennedy sophomore Angelica Mey made it through the sixth round in the Humorous Interpretation speech category. She performed the comedy, “Sleepover From Hell” by J.A. MacAbee, portraying multiple characters who attend a birthday sleepover party that goes awry. Mey’s act earned third place at the state speech tournament.

Jefferson High School senior Kailey Tan also made it through the sixth round of the Dramatic Interpretation speech category. She performed the main character of the book, “First They Killed My Father,” a personal account of a child survivor during the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Tan says she has a personal connection to the story because of her family’s experiences in Cambodia during that time before immigrating to the U.S.

The Bloomington high school debate team is coached by Meredith Aby-Keirstead, Arthur Harris and Abiha Kasif. The Bloomington speech team is coached by Scott Sieling, Toby Tremain and Harris.

Around 6,700 middle and high school students from more than 1,500 schools across the country competed at this year’s NSDA national tournament.