St. Vincent de Paul High School’s speech and debate team pulled in $2,400 by selling pies in the run up to Thanksgiving.

In a partnership with Upper Crust Pies in San Rafael, the members of the 80-student team sold pies and kept about $8 per sale for the team.

St. Vincent’s debate squad is ranked #1 in the Bay Area for policy debate and in the top 10 percent of debate programs in the country, according to longtime coach Laila McClay.

The team has qualified for the national tournament of champions in Kentucky in April, she said.

“We travel all over the country to compete against schools across the  country. A lot of the cost is borne by the kids’ families,” she said.

Hence the fundraiser, which will put money directly into the team account, McClay said.

One student sold 41 pies.

“This is my seventh year and I started out with about 10 kids,” McClay said of the speech and debate class. “I think, as a class, it is probably the hardest thing that a lot of kids can do in high school.”

“It gives them a level of intellectual stimulation that is unending,” she said.