Not since 1969 has a Hamilton High School student competed in the National Forensic League Speech Tournament.

Next month, freshman Nora Bartley will be competing in Dramatic Interpretation at Indianapolis Indiana. She placed sixth out of over 70 entries at the NFL qualifier meet in Butte in February, and had been selected as an alternate. This month, she was told she has been bumped up to competitor.

HHS Speech Coach Dee Hallock said that Nora worked hard during the regular speech and debate season, pleacing 5th in divisional and state tournaments in Serious Solo Acting.

Now, the fundraising starts. To send Nora to the Nationals, about $3,000 is needed. the Speech and Debate team is planning a car wash at Pizza Hut this Saturday, May 12 from 10 to 2 and a yard sale at the Creamery parking lot on Main Street May 19 from 8am to 2pm. Donations can also be sent to Hamilton High School Speech/Debate Fund, 327 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, MT 59840 or call 375-6060.

We mentioned 1969. That was the year Steve Powell (yes, Steve Powell of Big Sky Mudflaps fame and former Ravalli County Commissioner) and Peter Dufour competed in the Policy Team division.

Others from the valley who've "gone national" were Whiteney Mitchell and Kori DePauw in 2007 and Melinda Campbell in 1998, all from Corvallis.