No debate, that Manhattan’s Helinna Bontrager is a Good Kid

She's winning debate titles, while joining service clubs and playing tennis.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:25 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Sophomore Debate and Forensics Student Helinna Bontrager of Manhattan High School now joins our list of Good Kids for this new school year.

Helinna is an incredibly driven student who doesn’t seek as much recognition as she deserves. She represented Manhattan High School this past school year as one of four Novice-Debate teams entering the Novice State Tournament last January. She was able to do this because of her outstanding track record during the regular season. She won the Novice Division of the J. Matt Hill Invitational tournament hosted by Topeka High School with her colleague Ianni Morales-Diaz on an undefeated record. During the Spring Semester of Forensics, she placed in two regular-season Congressional debate tournaments. At the Flint Hills National qualifier, she was the first alternate to qualifying to the National Tournament. She qualified to the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament in World School Debate, a 3 on 3 debate format. The NSDA’s National Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world. Helinna finished that debate with three wins, and three losses in the format.

Helinna’s work ethic does not end with competition, as she has been an active member of Manhattan High’s Interact Club, a subsidiary of Rotary. Through the Interact Club, she has helped to care for over 100 trees planted in Manhattan’s Northeast park as well as cleaning up the Manhattan Rotary Club’s adopted Boat ramp.

Helinna is considering a future as a physician or an attorney, with hopes of one day entering the world of politics. Debate will come in handy in that career path, and we salute Helinna this fall semester!

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