Allison McKibban, a graduate of El Dorado High School, realized a dream of making it to the final round at the National Forensics League National Tournament this year.
McKibban, along with Megan Kline and Dakota Yates, qualified for the national competition, which was held in Birmingham, Ala.
“We really had a fantastic tournament this year,” said Coach Megan Hagaman.
McKibban placed fourth in international extemporaneous speaking.
“Allison McKibban made it to the final round of International Extemp which had been our primary goal for the last three years,” said Hagaman. “It is harder to make that final round than at any other tournament. She represented not only EHS well, but the entire state of Kansas. We could not be prouder of her accomplishment.”
McKibban bested hundreds of other competitors in International Extemp to earn a chance to perform on Friday morning. She was recognized as a national finalist during the awards assembly on Friday evening.
Kline, who will be a sophomore next year, competed in student congress: house of representatives. Yates competed in United States extemporaneous speaking.
As a three-person team, they won a National School of Honor in Speech Award, of which only 15 were awarded. This award is given to the top schools in points and rounds at the tournament in speech competition.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” Hagaman said. “It means that we placed, as a team, in the top 21-40 schools at the tournament in performance and rounds. The only other two schools from Kansas who were recognized were Hutchinson High School (a 6A school) and Salina Central (a 5A school). This was a huge honor and the performances of Dakota Yates and Megan Kline greatly contributed to that success.
“We are very fortunate to have such talented and dedicated young men and women who work hard to represent us at the highest levels.”
In addition, Hagaman received her first Diamond Award this year, although McKibban said she had earned five Diamonds but had not coached enough years to receive that yet. Hagaman was honored at the Diamond coaches ceremony.
In explaining the events, McKibban said in extemporaneous they draw three political topics 30 minutes before they perform. She does international extemp and chose a topic of if Iran’s presidential elections matter to the future of its people.
“I have research we have done over the last year,” McKibban said. “You just have to hope you have researched enough.”
Kline then talked about Congress, explaining they get a legislative docket of topics to discuss. Beforehand they could prepare and write speeches, then in competition they are in groups of 15 to 16 students who talk and give speeches for eight hours.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s identical to parliamentary procedure,” she said.
McKibban added that it was just like the federal congress, they didn’t get much accomplished.
The USD 490 Board of Education recognized National Forensics League participants and their coach during their July meeting.
“The fine arts have stood out this year as such an accomplishment for our district,” said Superintendent Sue Givens. “Thank you for representing us.”
Another honor McKibban received was being named number one Academic All-American.