| By Catholic Spirit Staff

Temple students earn national recognition

Five students from Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Temple were recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association as Academic All-Americans. The students earned this award as they demonstrated success in speech and debate contests as well as in the classroom. The recognition is the most recent of several national and state honors given to the Holy Trinity Forensics Team.

“We have an exceptional senior class this year,” said Chris Mosmeyer, coach of the Forensics Team. “It dawned on me the other day that we have just completed our 20th year of competing in invitational speech and debate tournaments. We started in October 2003 with a tournament in Bryan. Since then, we have been very busy and very successful.”

The five students named by the NSDA as Academic All-Americans are Nicholas Boor, Zachary Boor, Isabelle Kuriger, Therese Mosmeyer and Valerie Schwartz. To earn the honor, a student must have accumulated at least 750 points (earned by competing in interscholastic speech and debate contests), have a grade point average of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale, have completed at least five semesters of high school, and demonstrate outstanding character and leadership.

Three of the Academic All-American students have also earned the NSDA’s top degree, a rare accomplishment. The National Speech and Debate Association states that “fewer than 3 percent of all NSDA members earn the Degree of Premier Distinction.”

Students earn points by competing in interscholastic speech and debate contests. Those points accumulate, earning degrees.

Senior Therese Mosmeyer topped 1,500 points in June after competing in the national tournament in Phoenix, Arizona. Her teammate and Duo partner Isabelle Kuriger crossed the 1,500 mark in October after competing in a tournament. Senior Nicholas Boor earned his Degree of Premier Distinction in October as well.

“It's not super-unusual for us to have at least one student with the Degree of Premier Distinction, but it is unusual for us to have three on the team earn it so close together,” Mosmeyer said. “I expect us to have at least one more by the end of the year. Nick’s brother, Zack, is less than 200 points away.”

In the last 20 years — prior to the most recent awards -- the team had 15 NSDA Academic All-Americans and 15 students who had earned the Degree of Premier Distinction.

“That we have five new Academic All-Americans and three students with Premier Distinction — that really tells you what kind of a team we have right now. They are a very talented bunch,” Mosmeyer said.

Mosmeyer himself also recently received recognition from the NSDA. He was presented with a “Don Crabtree Distinguished Service Award” for his service to the speech and debate community. Mosmeyer is currently the chair of the Yellow Rose District of the NSDA and hosts four or five invitational tournaments each year. He also serves on the LD Debate Committee for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).