12 WHS Debaters Headed To Nationals

Twelve members of the nationally recognized Wellington High School debate team will compete at two national championship tournaments this summer.

Competing at the 2016 National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) National Speech and Debate Championship Tournament in Salt Lake City from June 12-18 are senior Victor Sanchez, juniors Caramen McDaniel and Connor Yeackley, and freshman Zachary Jacobson.

Sanchez will be the fourth-ever Wolverine to be part of the NSDA National Senate, a mock student congress where students debate and cross-examine each other over proposed federal legislation.

McDaniel and Yeackley will compete in Public Forum Debate, a two-on-two current events debate format. It is the second consecutive year the “C+C Debate Factory” will represent Wellington at the NSDA national championship.

Jacobson will compete in Informative Speaking, an event where the student writes, memorizes and presents a speech with the intent to inform the audience on a topic of significance. This is the first year the event has been offered by the NSDA.

“This is the sixth-straight year that Wellington has attended the NSDA championships, so we are definitely continuing to represent Wellington High School and our community at a high level,” said Wellington Debate Coach Paul Gaba, who has coached the team since 2002.

Wellington also qualified eight students to compete at the 2016 National Catholic Forensic League’s Grand Nationals championship, taking place May 28-29 in Sacramento: sophomores Sara Casey and Julie Cesta in Public Forum Debate; sophomores Brandon Schloss and Christopher Slaughter in Public Forum Debate; sophomore Bennett Aikey in Congressional Debate; sophomore Tinquisha Shaw in Oral Interpretation of Literature; sophomore Eileen Wheelen in Dramatic Performance; and Jacobson in Dramatic Performance.

In Oral Interpretation, students must put together 10-minute-long programs of both prose and poetry. Shaw is performing the dramatic monologue “Happy Birthday, Dad” by Don Norman and Shane Koyzcan’s poem “The Crickets Have Arthritis.”

In Dramatic Performance, students memorize and present either humorous or dramatic acting performances. Wheelen is performing the dramatic “I’ve Seen the Dark” by Doug McConnaha, while Jacobson is performing the humorous “Trigger Mortis: Frontier Mortician” by Warren Wiersbe.

The two national championship tournaments are estimated to cost $9,750, with the week in Salt Lake City comprising most of the total. The team is seeking financial assistance from the public. Donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/reddawndebaters16, or by sending a check payable to Wellington Debate, 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd., Room 4-104, Wellington FL 33414. Award packages range from shout-outs on social media networks to your name being included on a classroom plaque to renaming the debate room in your honor.

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

ABOVE: Bennett Aikey, Zachary Jacobson, Victor Sanchez, Christopher Slaughter, Eileen Wheelen, Brandon Schloss, Sara Casey, Julie Cesta, Tiunquisha Shaw and Amaris Fairchild.