Deuel places second in National Speech & Debate Tournament

MacArthur High School Senior Sam Deuel is a National Silver-Medalist after the Online Supplemental Events National Tournament.

The tournament, hosted by the National Speech & Debate Association offers two separate divisions for supplemental events, online & in-person. The online division took place June 2-4, in which Deuel entered with an original spoken word poem about writing and performing poetry.

"Placing so high in nationals is a dream come true," Deuel said. "Firstly, it means the most amount of judges possible saw my work and that the audience was fairly large, which is always the goal. But also it means that they saw my work and liked it enough to move it forward."

Students in this competition are typically limited to performing works written by published authors, but the original spoken word poetry category allows competitors to write and perform their pieces.

"Being able to perform my own work is liberating and terrifying," Deuel said. "With other people's poetry,  I'm worried about my diction and pacing,  but with my own work I'm thinking, 'Is this the best word? Do they understand this metaphor?  Will other people resonate with this feeling?' But at the same time it's like, 'This is who I am.  Are you ready for her?'"

Deuel was among 326 competitors from 183 schools across the country who performed, and the only finalist from Oklahoma.

In addition to her silver medal, Deuel also was awarded a $500 scholarship.

Congratulations to Deuel and her coach, Malinda Perez! Lawton Public Schools is very proud of you!