Team Announcements

What is Student Congress?

  • Student Congress, also called Congressional Debate, is a co-curricular activity sanctioned by the NDHSAA.  Varsity competition is open to all 7th through 12th graders.  Student Congress is split into six House Chambers and one Senate Chamber.  Students are placed into chambers based on congressional skills and public speaking ability.  Student Congress activities promote essential 21st century skills including communication, research, listening, and writing.  Competition runs September to early November, with at least three total tournaments each year.

    The Sheyenne Congress team is a charter member of the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA).  The NSDA is the world’s largest honor society devoted to speech and debate activities, and bestows numerous awards and recognition to students, coaches, and schools. In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2023 Sheyenne earned membership into the prestigious 100 Club by earning over 100 merit degrees.  In 2019 and 2022, Sheyenne earned membership into the 200 Club by earning 200 merit degrees. 

    Sheyenne's Student Congress team has a legacy of greatness: 

    • 2015 NDHSAA State Champions
      • First team in SHS history to be named a state team champion!
    • 2017 NDHSAA State 5th Place*
    • 2018 NDHSAA State 3rd Place
    • 2019 NDHSAA State 3rd Place
    • 2020 NDHSAA State Champions and NSDA ND Roughrider District Champions 
    • 2021 NDHSAA State Champions and NSDA ND Roughrider District Champions 
    • 2022 NDHSAA State 3rd Place
    • 2023 NDHSAA State Runners-Up and NSDA ND Roughrider District Runners-Up

Meet the Coaching Staff



Degrees and Certifications:

M.F.A Communication Studies, Forensics - Mankato B.A. Theatre Arts and Drama - Washington State U. B.S. English Education - NDSU NSDA Two-Diamond Coach NSDA Speech and Debate Educator Endorsement NSDA Distinguished Service Award Bronze Plaque 2021 NDHSAA State Student Congress Coach

Kelsey Johnson

Kelsey Johnson began coaching the Sheyenne Student Congress team in 2017.  She’s also the head Sheyenne Speech Coach, a position she’s held since 2015. Johnson is the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) advisor for both Sheyenne and Liberty. Johnson firmly believes all students deserve access to quality speech and debate programs.

Under Johnson’s coaching, the Student Congress team consistently brings home state honors: State Champions in 2021 and 2020, Runners-Up in 2023, 3rd Place in 2022, 2019 and 2018, 5th Place* in 2017.  Individually, 29 team members have been elected Presiding Officers, and 64 individuals have placed at the State Tournament.  To date, eight students have qualified and competed in Congressional Debate at the prestigious NSDA National Tournament held annually in June. 

Before coaching at Sheyenne, Johnson served as Head Speech Coach and Director of Theatre at LaMoure High School (2011-2015) and Oak Grove Lutheran School (2009-2011).  She’s been named the 2021 Student Congress State Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year for speech and one act play several times by her colleagues through the Communication, Speech, Theatre Association of ND (CSTAND).  Johnson’s forensics and theatre journey began in 1999 at Hettinger High School, and she holds several awards and accolades from her high school speech and theatre careers. 

Johnson teaches English II and Dual Credit Speech at West Fargo High School.  She currently serves on the NDHSAA Fine Arts Advisory Board and was elected to the NSDA ND Roughrider District Committee for 2023-2025.  In the past, she volunteered as a co-chair for the NSDA committee for judge accreditation and equity training and served on a forensics pedagogy committee through the NSDA. She completed her MFA in Forensics in 2020; her thesis is entitled “Assessing Competitive Oral Interpretation Students: What We Expect Students to Know.”



Degrees and Certifications:

MS Curriculum and Instruction, NDSU BS English Education, VCSU NSDA Speech and Debate Educator Endorsement North Dakota Teacher Mentor Trauma Sensitive Schools Trainer

Krista Hulderman

Krista Hulderman began teaching at Sheyenne High in 2010, when it was still a ninth-grade center, as the school’s only English Language Learner teacher. After Sheyenne transitioned into a full high school, she made the switch to mainstream English. She taught Senior Comp and Lit as well as STEM Freshmen English before settling into her current role with freshmen English and reading intervention courses. 

Hulderman took on the role of Assistant Speech Coach in 2015 when Head Coach Kelsey Johnson took over the program. The team was just getting on its feet with only a few students involved. During the 2015 season the team grew tremendously, and that trend has continued from year to year. The tight-knit family atmosphere keeps students coming back, often with a new friend, each season. After two successful years in Speech, the opportunity arose for Johnson and Hulderman to take over the already flourishing Student Congress team as well. Hulderman has been Assistant Student Congress Coach since 2017.

Hulderman is one of only a handful of Coaches in the state to hold a Speech and Debate Educator Endorsement. She has held positions on the Sheyenne High School Building Leadership Team, the Sheyenne MTSS Leadership Team, and the AVID Site Team. She is also an active member of the West Fargo Education Association, serving as High School Rep for the Executive Board and a long-time member of the collaborative bargaining team.

Hulderman has been involved in the arts since attending high school at Central Cass in Casselton, ND. There she was involved in Speech and Theatre as well as a member of both the band and choir. She continued her involvement through college by judging whenever the speech tournaments took place at VCSU. She firmly believes that there is something for everyone in forensics and does her best to make all students feel like they belong to something great.



Degrees and Certifications:

Congress, Speech, and Debate News