The 2020-21 Debate Team. Pictured from left: freshman Eric Richmond, senior Scott Petersen, junior Grace Houghton, senior Riley Stevenson, Coach Kathleen Halm. Not pictured: sophomore Maggie Kastelein.

At the final tournament of the year, the Maine District Qualifiers for the NSDA National tournament in May, Lincoln Academy was awarded both the “Travelling Trophy” and the “Leading Chapter” Award.  The Traveling Trophy is awarded to the school that has gained the most points over the last 10 or 15 years.  A point is awarded for each round in which members of a team have competed in the NSDA Qualifier Tournament (each year). The Traveling Trophy is held for one year, and then is passed on to the next winner. Normally, it is handed from one team to the next at the District Qualifier tournament, and Cheverus would have handed it off to us, but since we are virtual, the National Office will be sending it to us in September.

The Leading Chapter award is related to the number of members we have and the “degrees” they have earned in the NSDA. Degrees range from “Merit” for novices to “Special Distinction” for those, like Riley and Scotty, who have competed a lot and accumulated many points, and are awarded for each tournament in which a team fields competitors. Eric Richmond has reached the “Merit” level and Margaret Kastelein has earned the “Honor” level. This award also includes those students who have graduated over the last ten years, so Lincoln Academy has a great many points and degrees!  It is rare that the same school wins both awards the same year.

Now Lincoln Academy’s ‘Trophy Points’ will reset back to zero, and we will start next year with a young team and a clean slate, which I find both fitting and exciting. A new chapter in LA Speech & Debate!

–Kathleen Halm, Debate Coach and Social Studies Teacher