Is the longest running speech tournament in the state. Rotary has sponsored it for close to 70 years.
It used to field teams as far away as Dallas, TX, but now the tournaments are now sanctioned by the individual state organizations and are used as qualifying tournaments for the state tournament.
The success of the tournament and the esteem in which it is held is best told by the participation. Two hundred fifty students representing 10 schools participated last year. Penny McGill, speech and drama teacher at MHS, reports that a single school is increasing the number of students it is bringing to 100 students this year. Speech teachers particularly like it because judges are drawn from community participants, and in particular Rotarians, rather than using only teachers and parents.
Muskogee Rotary sponsors the event by covering all expenses including awards allowing the MHS team to use proceeds from entry fees to travel and attend other qualifying tournaments throughout the year. In addition, Rotarians serve as judges each year. Dr. David Jones, Muskogee Rotarian and co-chair of the tournament noted, “Because of Rotary support, any Muskogee student who wants to be part of the speech program may do so without having to pay fees as is the case for most other schools.”