Three Jackson High School students have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association tournament in Utah in June.

The Jackson High School Speech and Debate Team competed in February at the Southern Peach District Tournament in Valdosta, qualifying a junior and two seniors for the National Speech and Debate Tournament. Social studies department chairperson Laura LaChappelle, the advisor for the team, said it was a record-breaking event for Jackson Speech and Debate, as it qualified just one contestant for the national tournament in 2011 and one in 2012.

The team also had never before qualified participants in multiple speech and debate events.

Madison Cosby, a junior, and seniors Josh Acoff and Alexa Adcock will be raising as much as $4,500 to make the trip to the national tournament June 12-17.

In the February competition, Cosby competed in a new national event called Programmed Oral Interpretation. “Her program of prose, poetry and dramatic literature is woven together to present the story of the murder of Mary Phagan, a significant event in Georgia history,” LaChappelle said.

“Seniors Josh Acoff and Alexa Adcock took second place in Duo Interpretation for their performance from the play ‘Tennessee,’” she said.

In January, the Speech and Debate Team hosted Red Devil Rhetoric at Jackson High School, a competition involving 24 schools from across the state. In all, 306 students competed in the day-long event that required 87 rooms and 95 judges to host.

In addition to the Speech and Debate Team hosts, Red Devil Rhetoric was also aided by nearly three dozen members of the Jackson High School National Honor Society. LaChappelle said the event, which Jackson students do not compete in, is a major fundraiser for the team that helps with the cost of tournament fees and travel.