Lyvia Li, a sophomore at Penn High School, is preparing to head to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the Speech and Debate National Competition in the domestic extemporaneous category. She had to go through the district and state competitions to qualify for the national competition. Her coach, Jeremy Starkwether, is a teacher at Penn High School and a first year speech and debate coach, and he is already sending her to nationals. Starkwether said Li has worked hard for this competition and has a future in speech and debate. Li told us a little bit about how the competition works and how she prepares to compete and Starkwether also gave us some comments on how the speech and debate competition season went and how Li performed this year. Below is a video with interviews from Lyvia Li and Coach Starkwether:



UPDATE: At the time this story was produced, Lyvia Li was the only Penn High School student competing at the Speech National Competition. In an update, we learned that Michael Riley, a junior, has also qualified for Speech Nationals in the the Lincoln Douglas Debate category.

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to