Students triumph at Speech and Debate Nationals

From left is Oliver Marsden, Sophia Corridan, Parker Whitfill, Bella de Roos, Jason Greenfield, Coach Nick Klemp, Coach Michelle Hill, Coach Ryan Joyce, Matthew Peterson, Sophia Casten, Max Montrose, Jillian Gilburne and Bikram Takhar

From left is Oliver Marsden, Sophia Corridan, Parker Whitfill, Bella de Roos, Jason Greenfield, Coach Nick Klemp, Coach Michelle Hill, Coach Ryan Joyce, Matthew Peterson, Sophia Casten, Max Montrose, Jillian Gilburne and Bikram Takhar

Nine Phoenix Country Day School students spent the first weeks of their summer break preparing for and competing at the 2015 National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Dallas, Tex.

The tournament marks the capstone of speech and debate activities for more than 130,000 students around the nation. This year, more than 4,000 participated, including students from more than 20 international schools located in countries such as China and Korea, according to a press release.

In its second year as a full speech and debate team, Phoenix Country Day School qualified four high school students to the tournament and each advanced to elimination rounds.

High School Results:

  • Jason Greenfield ’16 – Top 15 in the country in Impromptu Speaking, Top 50 in Expository Speaking
  • Parker Whitfill ’17 – Top 16 in the country in World Debate
  • Jillian Gilburne ’16 – Top 50 in the country in Expository Speaking, Top 80 in Impromptu Speaking
  • Oliver Marsden ’16 – Top 80 in the country in Impromptu Speaking

Additionally, five eighth grade students were invited to represent PCDS at the NSDA Middle School National Tournament. Each of the middle school students will join the high school team next year.

Middle School Results:

  • Bella de Roos ’19 – National Champion in Dramatic Interpretation, National Champion in Prose Reading, 7th place in Duo Interpretation
  • Matthew Peterson ’19 – 2nd place in Declamation, 3rd place in Duo Interpretation
  • Sophia Corridan ’19 – 3rd place in Duo Interpretation, 5th place Dramatic Interpretation
  • Max Montrose ’19 – 7th place Duo Interpretation
  • Bikram Takhar ’19 – Top 12 in the country in Impromptu Speaking
  • Team:  School of Excellence Award (Top 5 in the Country).

Nick Klemp is the coach of the Upper School Speech and Debate team, while Ryan Joyce and Erik Dominguez coach the Middle School team; however, each coach assists with both groups, according to the release. All three coaches are on-campus faculty and staff at PCDS.

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States, according to the release. The association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 130,000 students and coaches every year.

Visit www.speechanddebate.org for more information.

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