Students Qualify For Debate Nationals

Twenty-five high school debate students will represent Palm Beach County at the 2014 National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament this month.

The following students qualified to represent the Florida Oceanfront National Forensic League District in Overland Park, Kansas, June 14 to 20:

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

U.S. Extemporaneous — 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 and William Turk (American Heritage), and Vinnie Gasso and 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; a student who characterizes the very traits of humility, integrity, leadership, respect and service touted by its Code of Honor.

Several schools won overall tournament sweepstakes awards. The 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 or (561) 795-4911.