La Junta High School's own Tiger Talkers speech and debate team continued its long tradition of hosting a competitive meet for area speech and debate teams on Saturday, Jan 20.

La Junta High School’s own Tiger Talkers speech and debate team continued its long tradition of hosting a competitive meet for area speech and debate teams on Saturday, Jan 20. 82 students total represented the following schools: Pueblo Centennial, Pueblo County, Hoehne, Trinidad, Widefield, and La Junta. Students competed in 10 different events, including Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking, Duo Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Public Forum debate. La Junta students competed well, with Hannah Smith placing third in Program Oral Interpretation, Caitlyn Dieckmann placing second in Dramatic Interpretation, Willow Johnston placing fourth in Poetry Interpretation, and the team of Nariah Smith and Austin Kurtz placing second in Duo Interpretation. The Tiger Talkers competition couldn’t have been held without the generous help from over 35 community members who judged competitive rounds and helped with a variety of other tasks to keep the meet running smoothly, as well as numerous La Junta High School Student Council members. Head coach Julie Meiklejohn said, “This meet truly is an example of the tremendous support our community gives to our students — we truly couldn’t host this meet without so many great people giving of their time and talents.” The Tiger Talkers speech and debate team is a member of the National Speech and Debate Association, which was founded in 1925 “to provide recognition and support for students participating in speech and debate activities. While [the] organization has evolved over the decades, [its] mission is more relevant today than ever before…to connect, support, and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate.” Famous National Speech and Debate Association alumni include Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Colbert, and Janet Reno.