AT NATIONALS: Raymond Central Seventh Graders (not in pictured order) Cassie Osmera, Rosalie Tvrdy, Emma Hunt, Madison Habener, Alannah Crabtree, Veronica Fritsch, Kamarin Simmons and Olivia Nelson recently completed at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas.

RAYMOND – On June 18, eight middle school students from Raymond Central headed to Dallas, Texas for the 2019 National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament. 

Attending were Cassie Osmera, Rosalie Tvrdy, Emma Hunt, Madison Habener, Alannah Crabtree, Veronica Fritsch, Kamarin Simmons and Olivia Nelson. They are all seventh graders.  Many of these students were entered in multiple events to compete against the more than 1,200 entries from around the globe, according to Raymond Central Jr. High Speech Coach Jeff Nelson.

“Students who were able to attend Nationals continued practicing during their summer vacation to prepare for the high level of competition found at this tournament,” Nelson said.  

And compete, they did.

Several of these forensics students placed in the top half of the competitors in their respective events. Those advancing to Championship rounds to receive recognition and trophies were eighth place, Kamarin Simmons, Informative Speaking; sixth place, Cassie Osmera, Informative Speaking; fifth place, Rosalie Tvrdy, Informative Speaking; and third place, Olivia Nelson, Informative Speaking.

Tvrdy said it was truly a team effort.

“The most memorable part was when I got to see all of my teammates’ successes,” she said.

Nelson also attended in 2018 and was back to defend a 2018 Informative Speaking National Champion title. This year’s competition was another exciting experience.

“It was amazing to have more of my team at this tournament, and to compete with them,” she said.

This tournament concludes only the second year for a Jr. High Speech Team at Raymond Central, and according to Nelson, it is growing in both size and strength.  Nelson thanked coaches Kent Millington and Carolyn Enevoldsen, members of the High School Speech Team, the many supportive parents and all of the members of the Jr. High Speech Team for making the future of Speech and Drama at Raymond Central so promising. 

“I am so proud of all of the work the entire team does throughout the season, and the cherry on top was watching a Finals round at Nationals, with half of the students being from Raymond Central,” he said. “Our entire team understands the lifelong benefit of participating in Speech and Drama and this experience will help the group achieve their next level.”

For more information on the national tournament and to view official results visit

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