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Pembroke Hill Graduate Named National Speech And Debate Student Of The Year Finalist

Recent Pembroke Hill graduate Jillian Jetmore ’18 has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year Award by the National Speech and Debate Association. This is the first time a Pembroke Hill student has been nominated for the award.

Andrew Mouzin

Pembroke Hill graduate Jillian Jetmore ’18 has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious William Woods Tate Jr. National Student of the Year Award by the National Speech and Debate Association. This is the first time a Pembroke Hill student has been nominated for the award.

All 141,000+ of the NSDA's members are eligible for this award. According to speech and debate coach Justin Smith, to become a finalist, coaches nominate one student from their school. The student's name, accomplishments and a letter of recommendation from their coach then go to a panel of debate coaches from their district, the Show Me District. Then, each district selects one student as their District Student of the Year. Jillian received this honor in April, which was also a first for the school.

Every District Student of the Year is sent to the national office where a committee selects six District Student of the Year winners as National Student of the Year finalists. All of these students will be honored on stage at the National Tournament June 17-22, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and one of them will be named National Student of the Year.

Justin said the last time a student from the Show Me District was chosen as a finalist, which includes 36 schools from the Kansas City metropolitan area, was in 2010. Jillian has won the last 14 Missouri Informative Speaking tournaments in which she has competed.

"Jillian's competitive results are astonishing, but what's more impressive is the measure of her character," Justin said. "This award goes beyond recognizing incredible competitors, to recognize exceptional people. It's been a pleasure to coach Jillian these past four years and I pridefully await her recognition at the National Championship this summer."