The National Speech & Debate Association has more than 150-thousand students in the world’s largest academic competition. It’s very impressive to place anywhere near the top, and Wyoming is proud of the kid who came in second - Cheyenne East High School's Connor Sears.

The National Speech & Debate Tournament was held in Birmingham, Alabama this year with more than 4,000 who qualified. The top placing students took home awards and more than $200,000 in scholarship money.

J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the NSDA called these students extraordinarily talented and looks forward to the great things they will do in the future.

Marcus Viney, East High’s speech and debate adviser said, “This was a victory for Wyoming. It doesn’t happen.”

Sears performed a humorous piece called, “Norman … Is That You?” As he moved higher in the tournament ranks, Connor Sears was getting Facebook messages and texts from supporting students at school all over Wyoming.

Jessie Archambeau, another senior at East High, also placed high nationally. She took 10th place in poetry.

Find out more here about the organization and the Nationals held every year since 1931.