Mrs. Kelly is leaving next school year

Inga+Kelly+poses+with+junior+debate+State+qualifiers+Hunter+Finerty%2C+Blake+Hinson%2C+Brooke+Cobos%2C+Natalie+Nusz+and+Ryan+Handley+before+leaving+for+the+State+competition+on+Jan.+17-18+at+Hutchinson+High+School.%0A

Wildcat Photo

Inga Kelly poses with junior debate State qualifiers Hunter Finerty, Blake Hinson, Brooke Cobos, Natalie Nusz and Ryan Handley before leaving for the State competition on Jan. 17-18 at Hutchinson High School.

Kennedy Ebberts, Staff Reporter

Most students that have participated in debate or forensics at De Soto High School have good things to say about head debate coach Inga Kelly. She has ushered many students to compete at forensics or debate State competitions. After devoting so much time to DHS, Kelly will be leaving De Soto and going to Mill Valley.

“I absolutely have loved teaching debate and forensics. It is very time-consuming on evenings and weekends. I didn’t want my students to feel like I wasn’t all-in on being supportive for them,” Kelly said.

Her new position will not be for the Mill Valley debate and forensics team. Instead, Kelly will be the new gifted facilitator. 

“It is a little different than a traditional teaching job because you don’t create a lesson plan every day. Gifted facilitators work to not only enrich academic opportunities but also social and emotional needs,” Kelly said.

Even though she will be leaving DHS, Kelly is excited to resume one of her favorite teaching roles and become immersed in a new school culture. 

“This position is unique because the population is large enough that I will get to stay in one place and be involved in one school [as opposed to traveling within the district like other gifted teachers],” Kelly said.

She has decided to leave coaching at DHS for this new position so she can have more time off to spend with her family. Even though she will no longer be teaching at DHS Kelly will still be a part of the community. Her two children will also be attending DHS, so she is excited to continue being a Wildcat even if it is only as a parent. 

“Changing my job doesn’t mean I can’t still support people. I can still do the things I love but in a different way,” Kelly said.

Kelly is sad to be leaving forensics and debate coaching because she was very invested in the activity. She was involved in it when she went to high school. The students are also disappointed to see her go.

“I’m going to miss her a lot. She always gave me great advice when it came to forensics and debate or in general,” said forensics and debate team member junior Riley Chambers. 

The new coach, William Mercer, will be a past debater from Wichita State University and a past assistant coach at Maize High School. While his teaching style will be different, students as well as Kelly herself are hopeful for the future of the program. Chambers is sure that the new coach will be just as supportive as Kelly.