Dobyns-Bennett High School Recognized by the National Speech & Debate Association

Kingsport, Tenn. – Dobyns-Bennett High School has received the highest recognition the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) awards by earning the 2019-2020 Leading Chapter Award in the Tennessee District. Only approximately three percent of schools are recognized as Leading Chapter Award winners.
"The Dobyns-Bennett Speech and Drama Team (D-B Dramahawks) is honored to receive the NSDA Tennessee District Leading Chapter Award," said Laura Humphrey, Dobyns-Bennett High School D-B Dramahawks Speech and Drama Coach. "It not only reflects our strong membership and tournament degree history, but it also honors the previous work of coaches like Rebecca Grigsby and Michael Legg and their students who were NSDA members and added to our total. It is amazing to be part of a state win such as this and motivates us to greater heights to continue to have a robust program that inspires excellence in speaking, interpretation, acting, and debate skills."

Out of more than 3,000 member schools nationwide, Dobyns-Bennett is one of only 110 to receive the Leading Chapter Award. The Dobyns-Bennett award reflects 811 members and degrees. Over the course of a year, students have been taught communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills through speech and debate.  

“This award, which is based on student participation, represents a tremendous dedication to speech and debate education,” said Executive Director J. Scott Wunn. “Our Leading Chapter schools understand the importance of speech and debate, and the life changing benefits of the activity. We are proud to recognize these hard-working schools with this coveted honor.”

Each year the top chapter in accumulated members and degrees, not more than one per district, receives the Leading Chapter Award; then its accumulated total returns to zero and it begins a new record. Each school must wait at least five years before being eligible for the award again.

The National Speech & Debate Association is the authority on public speaking and debate in the United States. The Association builds the infrastructure for speech and debate competitions around the world by providing topics, educational resources, and training for students and coaches. For nearly 100 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has built a platform for youth voices that culminates in the National Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world. For more information, visit

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice, and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to Inspire. Cultivate. Impact.

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple/Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), Instagram (@kcs_district), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools), and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).