Kasey Moulton has been recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association as an All American Award recipient in recognition of her Top 25 national ranking at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
A 2020 graduate of Columbia High School and a four-year member of the district’s speech and debate team, Kasey was selected from almost 200,000 student members of the NSDA Honor Society.
All American Award winners are those who earn the most points through a combination of competition and service. They also must have competed at the National Speech & Debate Tournament at least once. Kasey qualified for the national tournament all four years of her high school competition career – one of only 90 students in the country to do so.
In 2019, Moulton was recognized as an Academic All-American by the NSDA for her outstanding work in the classroom and during competition by attaining the required GPA, competition points, and class standing. She will attend Whitman College this year as a member of the Whitman College Debate Team.
“It’s really hard for me to pinpoint just one way debate has changed my life,” she said. “It’s taught me the importance of coming together, how imperative it is to foster diversity, and the unmatched power that discourse has to shape our communities. I am so grateful for the debaters and coaches all across Idaho that have welcomed me with open arms, celebrated with me during unimaginable highs, and hung on through long nights and even earlier mornings. It really does take a village, and there’s no way debate can flourish without recognizing the roles filled by people other than the kids – the incredible mentors that make this activity what it is.”
Opportunities to compete were affected by COVID-19 closures earlier this year, which was disappointing to seniors like Kasey who pictured their final year going quite differently.
“Our season was cut short just hours before we were slated to come together at our first state tournament of the year, and because of that, I never really got to give debate the formal goodbye it deserves, and I wanted to provide,” she said. “I am thankful for the challenges, the never-ending days, and the feeling of coming home I always felt walking into a different school every weekend.
“I know that I will take the skills debate has taught me – advocacy, community, leadership – and apply them to everything I do moving forward. Not much I’ve learned over the last four years can be easily forgotten.”
And for others hoping to achieve as much as she did, she offers this advice:
“And to all the girls, just starting out, seeing debate as a world of men in suits – I’d like to tell you that you can, and you will.”