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Wilkes-Barre Area School District 730 South Main Street Wilkes-Barre, PA  18711-0376
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E.L. Meyers Speech & Debate Team Members Qualify for National Tournament
      Three members of the E. L. Meyers Speech & Debate team will represent Wilkes-Barre at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament to be held Memorial Day Weekend in Milwaukee, after having qualified at the Scranton Diocese Tournament held at the Shikellamy High School, Saturday, March 2.
      The Scranton Diocese encompasses all of northeastern Pennsylvania and the north and central Susquehanna Valley.  The top three competitors in each event at the tournament qualified to nationals.
Sophomores Michael Jones and Tio Marello qualified to nationals in policy debate, debating both sides of the topic: “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.” 
      This is the eleventh consecutive year and the fifteenth in the past sixteen that Meyers has qualified at least one policy debate team to the national championships.
      Freshman Sam Conklin qualified for nationals in extemporaneous speaking, addressing in the course of the day the effect of Brexit on relations between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the effect of climate change on the US economy, and requiring children to be vaccinated.  
      In the past twenty years, Meyers has sent twenty-five extempers to CFL Nationals, but Conklin is only the third Meyers freshman to accomplish this and the first freshman to do so since 2014.
      This is also the twentieth consecutive year Meyers has qualified at least three competitors to the CFL Grand National Tournament.
      Senior Christian Hernandez placed fourth at the qualifying tournament in congress and is the first alternate in that event. He was elected by his peers to serve as the presiding officer for the first session of congress and in the second session debated proposed legislation related to limitations of executive declarations of national emergencies and US military interventions.
      Sophomore Nicholas Wiley was a finalist in original oratory with his performances of his original speech entitled “Triumph of the Willfully Ignorant.”
      Also competing for Meyers at the national qualifier were Erin Cook and Michaela Barney, in original oratory; Patrick Franckiewicz, in dramatic performance; and, Angel Estrella, in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Freshman Samaria Brown observed.
      Assisting the team in coaching and judging capacities at the tournament were Meyers alumni Sara Woznock, Ron Woznock, Emily Cook, Julia Kerr, Michelle Chavez and Joseph Borland.
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