25 Debaters Qualify For National Tournament

Twenty-five high school debate students will represent Palm Beach County at the 2014 National Forensic League (NFL) National Speech & Debate Tournament this June. The students qualified to represent the Florida Oceanfront National Forensic League District in Kansas on June 14-20. The following students qualified:

Duo Interpretation — Angara Exantus & Gillian Maxwell (Royal Palm Beach) and Alaa Kaki & Denisha Colin (Royal Palm Beach).

Original Oratory — Emily Bocchino (Suncoast) and Kenneth Rodriguez (Suncoast).

Dramatic Interpretation — Delisa Stephenson (Royal Palm Beach) and Nikita Grant (Royal Palm Beach).

Humorous Interpretation —Micaela Fagan (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) and Cedric Williams (Jupiter).

International Extemporaneous — Michael Wang (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) and Natalia Castro (Jupiter).

United States Extemporanous — Kwadjo Walker (Wellington) and Shamshad Ali (Suncoast).

Lincoln Douglas Debate — William Yurko (W.T. Dwyer) and Lindsey McNamara (W.T. Dwyer).

Public Forum Debate — Alyssa Turk & William Turk (American Heritage) and Vinnie Gasso & Greg Foster (Wellington).

Congressional Debate — Alyssa Turk (American Heritage), Luke Longhofer (Suncoast), Michael Beer (Suncoast), Colin Duffy (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) and Haley Lichstein (Dreyfoos School of the Arts).

In addition, Wellington’s Alexa Fortuna has been chosen the Florida Oceanfront’s Graduating Senior of the Year, the NFL’s program that annually rewards students whose attitude transcends trophies and accolades. National finalists will be announced in May.

Several schools won overall tournament sweepstakes awards. Dreyfoos School of the Arts won the Florida Oceanfront District Congress Sweepstakes, Suncoast won the Speech Sweepstakes Award, and Wellington won the Overall Sweepstakes and Debate Event Sweepstakes. Additionally, Wellington won the Florida Oceanfront District Sweepstakes Trophy, a traveling trophy based on cumulative success.

This was the inaugural Florida Oceanfront national qualifier. Schools in Palm Beach and Martin counties were previously members of the Florida Panther NFL District, but created their own regionalized district in October.

The Florida Oceanfront NFL District committee is comprised of Paul L. Gaba (chair, Wellington), David Childree (American Heritage), Eric Jeraci (Royal Palm Beach), Traci Lowe (Suncoast) and Kristie Taylor (Jupiter).

For more info., contact Gaba at paul.gaba@palmbeachschools.org or (561) 795-4911.