Debate Students Prepare For Nationals

Twenty-seven high school debate students will represent Palm Beach County at the 2015 National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) National Speech and Debate Championship Tournament in Dallas, Texas, June 14-20.

Representing the Florida Oceanfront NSDA District are:

Public Forum Debate: Greg Foster and Michael Leatherman (Wellington), and Caramen McDaniel and Connor Yeackley (Wellington).

Policy Debate: Abhilash Datti and Jordan Seider (American Heritage).

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Nalin Vattigunta (Oxbridge Academy) and Brandon Kramer (Oxbridge Academy).

Duo Interpretation: Nikita Grant and Gillian Maxwell (Royal Palm Beach), and Ryan Gosling and Selena Lugo (Royal Palm Beach).

Original Oratory: Emma Sue Harris (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) and Jake Perl (Dreyfoos School of the Arts).

U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking: Vishal Harpalani (Suncoast) and William Brodnar (Oxbridge Academy).

International Extemporaneous Speaking: Michael Wang (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) and Jack Yan (Dreyfoos School of the Arts).

Dramatic Interpretation: Kella Merlain-Moffatt (Oxbridge Academy) and Alaa Kaki (Royal Palm Beach).

Humorous Interpretation: Jack Eubanks (Oxbridge Academy) and Adam Kelly (Dreyfoos School of the Arts).

Congressional Debate: Terrell Seabrooks (Oxbridge Academy), Kwadjo Walker (Wellington), Connor Mileusnic (American Heritage), Narrelle Gilchrist (Royal Palm Beach) and Luke Longhofer (Suncoast).

In addition, Wellington’s Kwadjo Walker has been chosen as Florida Oceanfront’s “Graduating Senior of the Year,” the NSDA’s program that annually recognizes students whose attitude transcends trophies and accolades, and a student who characterizes the traits of humility, integrity, leadership, respect and service. National finalists will be announced in May.

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

The Florida Oceanfront NSDA District committee is comprised of Paul Gaba (chair, Wellington), Mierka Drucker (Seminole Ridge), Melissa Gifford (Dreyfoos School of the Arts), Traci Lowe (Suncoast) and Kristie Taylor (Jupiter).

ABOVE: Wellington High School coach Paul Gaba with students Greg Foster, Kwadjo Walker, Michael Leatherman, Caramen McDaniel, and Connor Yeackley.