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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Friday, July 25, 2014

BHS Speech Team seeking travel funds

Nicolas BHS Speech Team seeking travel funds
Nicolas Alexander


Berthoud High School Speech Team Competing at National Tournament

Donations needed to help pay expenses

Berthoud High School Seniors Nicolas Alexander and Ann Smith have qualified to compete at the National Forensics League Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri in June. Each student is one of only two qualifiers from all of the high school speech and debate teams in northern Colorado. “This is an tremendous opportunity for two incredibly talented students, ” said Berthoud Forensics coach Brendan Gallagher, “I’m so proud that Nicolas and Ann’s hard work is getting rewarded, particularly at the end of their senior year. ”

Nicolas Alexander qualified in the category of Drama, where a single student must perform the roles of all the characters in a dramatic scene from a play or movie. Nicolas’ performance was from the movie Dominick & Eugene.

Ann Smith qualified in student congress, an advanced policy-oriented debate that simulates the structure of the U. S. Congress. Ann’s debate skills are evaluated based on four-minute speeches that support or challenge bills that other students propose to turn into law.

This national level of competition is rarely achieved by students from schools the size of Berthoud High. Longtime Berthoud resident and former teacher and Forensics coach Stu Boyd can only remember one other Berthoud student–Blaine Christine–competing at nationals, and that was 20 years ago.

“The students have demonstrated they have the talent and work ethic to compete with schools 4 times our size, ” Coach Gallagher said, “Now we need to raise the money to get them to the tournament. ”

With the many competing demands of all extracurricular events, Berthoud high school has struggled in years past to provide the forensics team with the funding necessary to compete at the level of other, larger high schools, and Gallagher said this is especially true of the trip to Kansas City. He estimates that the registration and travel will cost about $3000.

“[New Principal] Chris Garcia has been very supportive of our team this year, ” Gallagher said, “but the truth is there just isn’t enough money to fund even minimal travel expenses. We really need the support of the community to get Nicolas and Ann to the tournament. ”

The tournament will be held from June 13-18, so Gallagher said that the need for support was urgent.

Gallagher asks local businesses and private citizens that are willing to help either donate to the Forensics team at the Berthoud High School Powder Puff Football game concessions this Thursday (5/20), or send their donations directly to the Berthoud Forensics Team, c/o BHS, 850 Spartan Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513.

Gallagher added, “It would be a real tragedy if such an amazing achievement was wasted because we couldn’t get a little money together. ” Then he suddenly smiled, “But I know how much our communities care about students. I know we can make this work. ”

Contact for additional information: Brendan Gallagher English Teacher/Forensics Coach Berthoud High School (970) 218-5316 (cell) gallagherb@thompson.k12.co.us

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