Senior Awarded NSDA District Student of the Year


JP Fugler

Bass stands with her award. She is one of the few students in recent memory from Lindale that has been awarded district student of the year.

Joshua Smith, Managing Editor of Entertainment and Editorials

Senior Haley Bass was awarded the Student of the Year award at the NSDA District tournament on February 22. This nominates her for the national student of the year award at this year’s national tournament which will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

“[Winning the award] means so much to me because so many talented people within our program have seen so much success,” Bass said. “Going into this year I thought that I wasn’t at the same level as the people on the team in years past, but after receiving this award I now feel more confident I can properly uphold what it means to be a part of this wonderful team.”

Each year, NSDA districts select a student of the year, someone who has always been active in the speech and debate community. Each coach within that district nominates one senior from their team, where the award committee within that district will select a student to represent that district in the competition at the national level. 

“After coaching in this field for more than a few years, you realize how little the actual results matter,” speech and debate coach Rory McKenzie said. “[Bass] took on the role of mentoring junior high students [and] has truly enjoyed the process of taking her thoughts to create unique, interesting and passionate forms of advocacy for others to enjoy. ”

Not only was Bass named the district student of the year, but she is also a four-time qualifier to the national speech and debate tournament. Even while this is a feat that students from Lindale have achieved in the past, Bass is the second in school history to actually attend the tournament all four years of high school. 

“Qualifying can be hard depending on what event you do and how hard you work, and I think it just means that you have been a consistent competitor for all four years,” Bass said. “Having qualified all four years of high school is something that brings me great pride, for doing it once is impressive, but having done it four times I feel a great sense of accomplishment.”