In General News, Press Releases

East Mountain High School senior, Gina Sanchez (pictured in middle of above photo), has been named one of six finalists for National Student of the Year by the National Speech and Debate Association.

Out of more than 141,000 members nationwide, this award recognizes students who best embody the organization’s Code of Honor: integrity, humility, respect, leadership, and service. Finalists must also demonstrate strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community.

The six finalists will interview with an esteemed panel of educators during the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Ft. Lauderdale this June. The National Student of the Year will be announced during the National Awards Assembly on June 22 in front of an audience of 8,000 people.

Gina Sanchez, who was also just recognized as valedictorian of East Mountain High School, recently led her debate team to a 3rd place global finish in the International Public Policy Forum. Gina is a three-time state champion in Congressional Debate and International Extemporaneous Speaking. She plans to study international relations and philosophy on a full scholarship to Stanford University this fall.

Beyond her academic and debate success, her coach, Trey Smith notes, “Gina is the most kind and most humble student I have ever worked with. She works every day to make sure our activity is a place of inclusion, a place of kindness, and a place of service. Gina is a remarkable example of the transformational power of Speech and Debate.”

Gina Sanchez said, “Being recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association with this honor is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Needless to say, I’m stoked! I’m proud to represent my state, my heritage, and the female debate community as a finalist for Student of the Year. I can’t wait to show the rest of the country what a teenage girl from a rural town in New Mexico can do.”


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