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Sumner Academy of Arts & Science Students Receive Plaques at National Speech & Debate Tournament

June 28, 2017


Contact: Melissa Fears, director of Communications & Marketing, (913) 279-2225

Congratulations to the Sumner Academy Forensics/Debate Team on competing for the 25th year in the Annual National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama on June 18 - 23.

Competing from Sumner Academy at the 2017 tournament were the following:


  • Brandon Bush, Marley Lowe and Michael Franklin (pictured on the front row from left to right)
  • Jaleon Brown, Suan Sonna, Simon Folsom and Mikayla Mielkus (pictured on the back row from left to right)

Among the Sumner Academy students receiving individual plaques during the competition are the following:


  • Marley Lowe - Program of Oral Interpretation, Octofinalist
  • Michael Franklin (center) - Student of the Year Finalist
  • Brandon Bush - Dramatic Interpretation, Octofinalist

Franklin, who was a 2017 (East) District Student of the Year, was one of only six finalists for the 2017 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year award out of 141,000 students.

Franklin and Sonna are three-time national qualifiers and Lowe and Bush are two-time national qualifiers.  High schoolers qualified for nationals by placing first or second in their events at the East KS National Qualifier back in April at Shawnee Mission South High School.  This was the first national tournament for Brown, Folsom and Mielkus.

There were more than 5,000 students from across the United States (and multiple countries) competing in this event which is considered one of the nation’s largest academic competition for high school students. 

Congratulations to Sumner Academy’s Forensics/Debate Team on their impressive performance this year and at the national competition.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Grace Elmore at 913-279-2242 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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