Danville High School’s chapter of the National Forensic League, the national honor society for high school speech and debate, has been named the 2011 Leading Chapter for Kentucky. The award is based on student participation and is the highest award the National Forensic League can bestow on a chapter. DHS is currently the largest chapter in Kentucky with 176 members and degrees active and over 500 degrees earned by the chapter’s members since DHS last won the award eight years ago.
Danville High School has a long record with the National Forensic League dating back to its first membership in 1949. Retired DHS English teacher Virginia Ragland Graham Biles figures prominently in that history as the third DHS student to compete for Kentucky at the National tournament (Student Congress, 1952 – after Nancy Lee and Betsy Burke in 1949) and as a coach in the 1970’s. Since the chapter was re-established in 1994, sixty-five DHS student entries have represented Kentucky at the NFL Nationals, the world’s largest academic competition, including five national finalists: Logan Scisco (2003, third place United States Extemporaneous Speaking), Ross Johnson (2006, sixth place, Prose Interpretation), John Patrick Allen (2007, sixth place Oratory), Hunter Kendrick (2008, fourth place, International Extemporaneous Speaking), and Jamie Mohan (2010, second place, International Extemporaneous Speaking). DHS coach Steve Meadows is currently serving his fifteenth term as the Kentucky Chair of the league. Kentucky’s annual contest has been sponsored and hosted by Centre College each March since 1998.
The National Forensic League (NFL) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit honorary society whose mission is to promote high school and middle school speech and debate activities as a means to develop a student’s essential life skills and values. More than 112,000 high school and middle school students, representing more than 2,900 schools nationwide, are currently building their communication, leadership, cognitive, and presentational skills as members. Since 1925, more than 1.3 million students have found their voice in the NFL. For more information, visit www.nflonline.org or the Kentucky District site http://www.nflonline.org/Kentucky/HomePage .