Pequot Lakes senior Buffington qualifies for national speech meet
The Patriot speech team will have a representative at a national tournament, as senior Megan Buffington finished first in extemporaneous speaking at the 2021 Northern Lights District National Speech and Debate National Qualifier on Saturday, March 27.
The Patriot speech team will have a representative at a national tournament, as Pequot Lakes senior Megan Buffington finished first in extemporaneous speaking at the 2021 Northern Lights District National Speech and Debate National Qualifier on Saturday, March 27.
" This is an extraordinary accomplishment for Megan. Any time you can get a student to qualify to the national tournament is a credit to your program. "
— Angie Klein
“I am very excited,” Buffington said. “I actually qualified last year with another senior (Elena Grove), but because everything was canceled last-minute last year, there was actually no qualifying tournament. (Judges) reviewed how your season had gone and qualified you based on that, so it was nice to actually compete at the national qualifying tournament and earn my spot that way.”
Buffington’s speech required her to give an answer to the question, “How can United States politics overcome the proliferation of misinformation?” She outlined a need for news organizations to rebuild their culture and credibility, the responsibilities of social media and education of individuals, as well as teaching students how to form opinions and find credible sources.
“This is an extraordinary accomplishment for Megan,” Pequot Lakes speech coach Angie Klein said. “Any time you can get a student to qualify to the national tournament is a credit to your program.”
Buffington will now compete in the national competition virtually from June 13-19.
“The biggest thing will be seeing how different judges respond,” Buffington said. “You have a lot of the same judges at local tournaments, so you know what they are looking for. You just have to research a bit more broadly (for nationals) as to what some judges are looking for and what you need to include and focus on.”
Fellow Patriot Mollie Pierson made it to the semifinal round in informative speaking before being eliminated. Buffington and Peirson were both named finalists for this year's Northern Lights District NSDA Student of the Year Award.
“Megan has put in a lot of time over her speech career to get to where she is today,” Klein said. “It has truly been my pleasure to be Megan's coach.”
Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.