Jefferson students qualify for national tournament

Published on May 25, 2023
Headshots of Kehan Chen, Kailey Tan, Will Moen and Darian Whittet.

Jefferson High School juniors Kehan Chen and Kailey Tan, and seniors Will Moen and Darian Whittet qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association’s (NSDA) National Tournament. The event will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., from June 11-16.

Chen and Tan competed against 52 other two-person teams from across the country in the NSDA Last-Chance Qualifier in April. They reached the semifinal round in the online tournament, securing their spots at the National Tournament.

Moen, initially named as the first alternate by placing fourth in humor at the Southern Minnesota District Tournament in March, has advanced into third place due to a withdrawal by another competitor.

Whittet qualified for the tournament in November and will compete in the congressional debate category.

The debate team is coached by Meredith Aby and Arthur Harris. Scott Sieling, Arthur Harris, Cassie Pagel, and Toby Tremain coach the speech team.

NSDA is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle and high school students. The National Tournament draws 6,000 students from more than 1,200 schools across the country. Students compete to attend the tournament through district qualification series.