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Pine-Richland forensic team racks up degrees, rises in ranks

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 4:51 p.m.

The Pine-Richland High School Forensic team was recently recognized for placing in the top 10 percent of National Forensic League chapters last year.

The Pine-Richland team achieved more than 100 degrees in 2012-13, making the team a member of the prestigious 100 club, said communications director Rachel Hathhorn.

This is the fourth year in a row the team has earned this distinction.

“This milestone is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills, including communication, research, listening, writing and organization,” said J. Scott Wunn, executive director of the National Forensic League.

The National Forensic League is an honorary society for middle and high school speech and debate.

Team members earn points from speech and debate competitions and service points for activities in which they deliver speeches, Hathhorn said.

As members accumulate points, they earn degrees.

The degrees are as follows from lowest to highest points: merit, honor, excellence, distinction, special distinction, superior distinction, outstanding distinction and premier distinction.

Pine-Richland forensics team sponsor Jeff Byko, who's been coaching the team for 16 years, is pleased with the recognition.

“This speaks volumes about the program here at Pine-Richland and about the quality of students who participate,” Byko said.

“And as I've said in the past, when an activity that hones life skills such as communication, analysis and leadership attracts that number of students, it is saying something special about the activity.”

The Pine-Richland High School Forensic Team consists of about 40 official members, although more than 100 students participated in tournaments last year.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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