Wellington Debate News 2008-09

2009 NFL National Championship


Amanda DeStefano advanced to the semifinal Senate in Student Congress at the 2009 National Forensic League national championship debate tournament, which took place in Birmingham, Alabama June 14-20.

2009 NCFL "Grand National" Championships


For the second consecutive year, Amanda DeStefano finished among the top 24 student legislators in the nation by advancing to the final Super Congress chamber at the 2009 National Catholic Forensic League "Grand National" debate tournament.
The competition took place in Albany, NY, over Memorial Day weekend. Amanda was the only Palm beach County legislator to advance to the final round.

2009 FFL Novice State Championship


Three Wellington debaters advanced beyond preliminary rounds at the 2009 Novice State Championship, held April 17-18 at Seminole Ridge High School
Brittany Smith (Super Congress), Jackson Garber (Humorous Interpretation) and Truly Long (Declamation) each took home hardware from the tournament.

2009 NFL Panther District National Qualifier


For the second time in three years, Wellington Debate will be represented at the National Forensic League's National Championship Tournament.
Senior Amanda DeStefano qualified for the tournament in Student Congress, and will be competing in the national Senate from June 14-20 in Birmingham, Alabama. She advanced based on the votes of three experienced debate coaches who judged the NFL Panther District Senate last weekend at Florida Atlantic University's Honors College in Jupiter - Palm Beach Central's Daryl Hall, Jupiter's Kristie Taylor, and Trinity Prep's Dean Rhodes.
DeStefano and Winter Springs' Robert Colonel will represent the NFL Panther District in the national Senate.
In addition, senior Will Fetzko was recognized in his chamber as one of the top legislators, and advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament's United States Extemporaneous Speaking event.
Junior Alex Hernicz went 3-2 in Lincoln Douglas Debate, while the Public Forum Debate team of senior Alexa Boulanger and junior Charlie Burke were 2-2 in competition. Novice debaters Sara Fabben (Original Oratory) and Jackson Garber (Humorous Interpretation) each advanced past the two preliminary round minimums in their respective events. Garber and Duo Extemporaneous Speaking partner Marco Lopez of Royal Palm Beach High School also finished fourth in their supplemental event competition.
Five other Palm Beach County debaters will be competing in Birmingham this June. Joining DeStefano will be Jupiter's Joseph Hernandez in Humorous Interpretation, Suncoast's Bo Lint and Brian Flaxman in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking, and Suncoast's Public Forum Debate team of Christian Chessman and Will Haynes.

2009 PBCFL Grand Finals


The Wellington Debate and Forensic Team will be represented by six members at the 2009 National Catholic Forensic League "Grand Nationals" championships in Albany, NY, this Memorial Day weekend.
In Student Congress, two seniors will represent Wellington: Amanda DeStefano (making her second consecutive trip to the NCFL national tournament in Congress) and Brittany Smith.
Lincoln Douglas Debate will see senior Derek Rubin and junior Alex Hernicz representing Wellington, debating a values-based topic that has yet to be announced.
Sophomore Christine Simmons will make a return trip to nationals in Dramatic Performance, and will be joined by freshman Jackson Garber.
Junior Victoria Davy is first alternate in Dramatic Performance, while the sophomore team of John Cassel and Jack Townsend is second alternate in Public Forum Debate. Will Fetzko was Wellington's third representative in the Student Congress "Super Congress" final round.

2009 FFL Varsity State Championship


Amanda DeStefano advanced to the Florida Forensic League's State Championship Super Congress for the second consecutive year. The tournament was held on the campus of Royal Palm Beach High School February 27-28.

2009 Harvard


Wellington's Amanda DeStefano and Michael Stechschulte advanced to the semifinal round of Student Congress at the 2009 Harvard Invitational. Christine Simmons broke to octofinals in Dramatic Interpretation at the Cambridge, Mass., competition.

2009 FFL Macaw


Six Wellington debaters will compete at the 2009 Florida Forensic League state championships next month, following their advancement at the Macaw Regional Tournament at Royal Palm Beach High School Saturday, February 7.
The Public Forum Debate team of Alexa Boulanger and Charlie Burke went 4-0 at the Macaw tournament, as did Alex Hernicz in Lincoln Douglas Debate. The PFD teams of John Cassel/Jack Townsend and Katerina Mangini/Madeline Schmees each went 2-2. Lincoln Douglas debate Derek Rubin also went 2-2.
Also advancing are Christine Simmons in Dramatic Interpretation, LeeAnn Jahore in Domest Extemporaneous Speaking, and Amanda DeStefano in Student Congress.
William Fetzko is second alternate in Student Congress, while Andrew Tuccinardi and Brittany Smith also received judge nominations. Wellington was the only school to have all four student legislators be named by judges on at least one ballot.
Coach Paul Gaba will also be recognized at the state championship tournament as the Macaw Regional Coach of the Year, as voted upon by his peers. He will be in consideration for State Coach of the Year honors with five other coaches from across Florida.
The FFL Varsity State Championship Tournament will be March 6-7, also at Royal Palm Beach High School.
Two debaters earned advanced degrees from their success. Alex Hernicz bypassed the 750-point mark, earning the National Forensic League's Degree of Superior Distinction, while Brittany Smith earned her NFL Degree of Honor in passing the 75-point plateau. Brittany will receive her varsity letter and honor cords at the spring banquet, set for Outback Steakhouse on Saturday, May 16, at 11 am.
Wellington's next tournament is this weekend at Harvard University.

2009 Pine Crest "Crestian"


Five Wellington debaters advanced beyond preliminary rounds at the 2009 Pine Crest "Crestian" Invitational in Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton. In Student Congress, Amanda DeStefano broke to semifinals. In Lincoln Douglas, Alex Hernicz went 4-2 before losing in the double-octofinal round, while the Public Forum team of John Cassel and Jack Townsend also broke to double-octos with a 4-2 prelim record before being knocked out of the tournament. In Dramatic Performance, Christine Simmons advanced to quarterfinals.

2009 Barkley Forum @ Emory


For the sixth consecutive year, Wellington debate was represented beyond preliminary rounds at the prestigious Barkley Forum for High School Students at Emory University, as Amanda DeStefano advanced to the Super Congress finals.

2009 PBCFL @ Jupiter


Nine members of Wellington Debate took home hardware from the final "regular" PBCFL tournament of the season. In Public Forum Debate, John Cassel and Amanda DeStefano went 4-0 and took first-place honors, while in Student Congress, William Fetzko placed first in his chamber.
Additionally in Congress, Andrew Tuccinardi took second in House D, while Max Unterhater was fourth in House C. Ellie Vernon and Kurt Burnett took sixth in their respective chambers, with Burnett earning a gavel as his house's Chamber's Choice Presiding Officer.
In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Alex Hernicz went 3-1 and took third, while in Dramatic Performance, Jackson Garber tied for fifth overall.
Wellington earned six additional National Forensic League degrees, giving the program a total of 186 on file and 35 new degrees for the year. Receiving advanced degrees were: Kaila Kelly, who surpassed 250 points and earned her Degree of Distinction; Kurt Burnett, who bypassed 150 points and earned his Degree of Excellence; Ellie Vernon, who achieved the Degree of Honor by exceeding 75 points (and earning her varsity debate letter); and Truly Long, John Lucien and Joel Ruiz, who each earned their NFL certificates in moving past the 25-point Degree of Merit plateau.
Wellington's next tournament is Saturday at Royal Palm Beach for the Florida Forensic League Macaw Regional. All paperwork and money ($15) must be turned in to Mr. Gaba by Tuesday. Creditline can be used.

2009 PBCFL @ Boca Raton


Based on its performance at the January 10 PBCFL tournament at Boca Raton, Wellington Debate started 2009 out on a good note.
In Novice Dramatic Performance, freshman Jackson Garber took first place overall, while sophomore Christine Simmons took second in Varsity Dramatic Performance.
Junior Alex Hernicz went 4-0 and placed second in Lincoln Douglas Debate, missing first place by one speaker point.
In Novice Public Forum Debate, the freshman team of Frankie Blasio and Blithe Parsons went 3-1 and took second, while the freshman pair of Katerina Mangini and Madeline Schmees went 2-2 in their first competition together.
Student Congress saw senior Amanda DeStefano take third overall in her chamber, while junior Evan Baumel and sophomore Lee Parker each placed sixth in their respective chambers. Baumel was also voted his chamber's top presiding officer.
Garber, Mangini and Parsons each surpassed the National Forensic League's 75-point mark, earning the Degree of Honor. They will receive the Wellington Debate varsity letters at the spring banquet.
Wellington's next tournament is this Friday-Sunday at the Pine Crest "Crestian" in Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton.

2008 PBCFL @ Spanish River


Wellington Debate enjoyed success at the December 13 PBCFL at Spanish River HS.
In Impromptu Speaking, Blithe Parsons took home a third place trophy, while Brittany Smith placed third in her Student Congress chamber.
Fifth-place honors went to William Fetzko in Radio Announcing and the Duo Extemporaneous team of Alex Brunner and Elliott Joffe.
Joffe, Andrew Wunderlich and Alex Hauser each earned their National Forensic League certificates and the Degree of Merit, bypassing the 25-point mark.
Wellington's next tournament is Saturday, January 10, at Boca Raton HS.

2008 George Mason Patriot Games Classic


In its first-ever venture to the George Mason University "Patriot Games" Classic debate tournament, the Wellington Debate Team came away with solid performances and recognition.
In Public Forum Debate, the team of Alexa Boulanger and Charlie Burke finished preliminary rounds with a flawless 4-0 record and entered break rounds as the No. 3 seed. The team advanced to the tournament's semifinal round, where it was defeated on a 4-1 ballot by tournament runner-up Ridge (NJ) High School.
Also in Public Forum, the unique hybrid team of Devon Arnold (Seminole Ridge) and Bo Lint (Suncoast) represented Wellington, and went 3-1 in prelims. The No. 13 seed was defeated on a 2-1 ballot in octofinals by the same Ridge team that defeated Boulanger and Burke two rounds later. While unable to prove, it is possible this is the first-ever hybrid debate team representing a third school at a tournament in high school debate history.
In Student Congress, Amanda DeStefano advanced to Super Congress, where she placed eighth overall.
First-year debater Jackson Garber inched closer to his second National Forensic League degree by double-entering in Humorous Interp and Impromptu. He now has 69 NFL points, six away from his Degree of Honor and Wellington Debate varsity letter.
Wellington's next tournament is this Saturday at Spanish River HS.

2008 PBCFL @ Lake Worth


The Wellington debate team continued its successful 2008-09 tournament season with multiple accolades at the November 15 PBCFL tourament at Lake Worth High School.
Four students took home hardware in Student Congress. Andrew Tuccinardi placed second in his chamber, Evan Baumel third, William Fetzko fourth and Brittany Smith sixth.
In Public Forum Debate, the team of John Cassel and Jack Townsend went 3-1 and placed sixth overall. The novice team of Jillian Lanzi and Katerina Mangini went 2-2 in their first-ever PFD competition.
In Dramatic Performance, Christine Simmons placed fourth overall, while Jackson Garber finished seventh.
Two students - Lanzi and Smith - each earned their National Forensic League "Degree of Merit" honors, while Tuccinardi earned his "Degree of Distinction" by passing the 250 NFL point plateau.
Wellington's next tournament is the George Mason University "Patriot Games" Classic in Fairfax, Virginia, December 6-7.

2008 SFCFL @ Taravella


Wellington went into foreign territory Saturday, the only school from Palm Beach County competing at the South Florida CFL tournament at J.P. Taravella High School, and left Coral Springs with several accolades.
In Novice Dramatic Performance, Jackson Garber took home first-place honors with his presentation of Jon Stewart's "Lack of Power: The Ford Tapes." In Novice Extemporaneous Speaking, Blithe Parsons placed sixth.
In Student Congress, Amanda DeStefano placed second in her chamber, while William Fetzko was sixth in his Senate. Both were ranked through preferential balloting by the legislators in their chambers.
In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Alex Hernicz was the top speaker overall.

2008 Florida Blue Key


Wellington High School’s debate team enjoyed great success at the 25th annual Florida Blue Key Speech & Debate Tournament in Gainesville over Halloween weekend. Junior Michael Stechschulte took third place overall in Student Congress, while senior Amanda DeStefano joined him in the tournament’s Super Congress finals. DeStefano also placed sixth in the Florida Blue Key “Round Robin Legislative Invitational” that took place the day before the full tournament.
In Dramatic Performance, sophomore Christine Simmons advanced to the quarterfinal round with her performance of Susan Parker’s “Tumbling After.”
The Public Forum Debate team of senior Alexa Boulanger and junior Charlie Burke went 4-2 in preliminary rounds before bowing out in the double-octofinal round. Sophomore teammates John Cassel and Jack Townsend also went 4-2, but did not advance beyond prelims.
The Public Forum team of freshmen Collin Bachi and John Ferraris went 3-3 in their first-ever competition together.
Lincoln Douglas Debater Alex Hernicz went 3-3 in competition, with the junior ranking as the 14th-best speaker overall.
Wellington earned nine new National Forensic League degrees. Burke surpassed the 250-point mark and his Degree of Distinction, while Boulanger passed the 150-point plateau and her Degree of Excellence. Earning the Degree of Merit were first-year debaters Max Clark, Sara Fabben, Ferraris, Jackson Garber, Eric Melamed, Jason Tufenkdjian and Sarah Wagner.

2008 PBCFL at Seminole Ridge


Nine members of the Wellington Debate and Forensic Team took home honors from their performance at the Saturday, October 11 Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League debate tournament at Seminole Ridge High School.
Alex Hernicz was one of five Lincoln Douglas debaters who went 4-0 at the tournament, and ranked second overall (out of 32 LDers) after tiebreakers were calculated. All three of Wellington's first-time LDers - novices Jillian Lanzi, Katerina Mangini and Madeline Schmees - each won at least one debate round at Seminole Ridge.
In Student Congress, Alexander Brunner, Victoria Davy and Andrew Tuccinardi each placed second overall in their respective legislative chambers, while Lee Parker was fourth in his chamber and Kaila Kelly was sixth in her senate. Davy, Kelly, Tuccinardi and Jeffrey Sall, earned the maximum 24 National Forensic League points for the day.
In Declamation, Alex Hauser placed third overall, while the novice Duo Interpretation pair of Jackson Garber and Blithe Parsons also took third-pace honors.
Other high-ranking students included Christine Simmons (sixth in Dramatic Performance), Ashlee Doss (seventh in Declamation), John Cassel and Jack Townsend (seventh in Public Forum Debate) and Max Unterhalter (eighth in novice Extemporaneous Speaking).
Wellington earned seven new NFL degrees over the weekend. Both Cassel and Townsend passed the 250-point mark, earning the Degree of Distinction, and Lee Parker earned his Degree of Honor, bypassing the 75-point mark. Parker also earned his Wellington Debate varsity letter. Four novices - Mangini, Parsons, Schmees and Unterhalter - each earned the Degree of Merit, and their NFL certificates will find their way to the classroom wall after they arrive from Wisconsin in the next two weeks.
Wellington's next tournament is the Florida Blue Key at Gainesville, October 31 through November 2. Its next in-county tournament is November 15 at Lake Worth. Novice-specific events at that tournament include Oral Interpretation, Lincoln Douglas Debate and Declamation.

2008 PBCFL All-Congress at Cardinal Newman


The Wellington Debate Team rocked the House (and Senate) at the Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League All-Congress Saturday, September 20.
Fourteen of Wellington's 31 student legislators were called to the front of the Cardinal Newman High School cafeteria to accept accolades for their performances. Senior Andrew Tuccinardi took first place in his varsity Senate, while three varsity students - senior Alex Brunner, junior Kaila Kelly and sophomore John Cassel - placed second in their respective chambers.
In addition, LeeAnn Jahore (fourth), Evan Baumel (fifth) and Will Fetzko (sixth) were recognized among varsity legislators.
Sophomore Kurt Burnett was recognized with a gavel as his chamber's top presiding officer.
In novice chambers, six first-year debaters took honors: Sara Fabben (second), Collin Bachi and Sarah Wagner (third each), Katerina Mangini and Catie Asip (fourth each) and Madeline Schmees (sixth).
Four Wellington debaters earned new National Forensic League degrees as a result of their performances. Kaila Kelly earned her Degree of Excellence in bypassing the 150-point mark. Two debaters - Alex Brunner and Kurt Burnett - each surpassed the 75-point plateau, earning the Degree of Honor; both will receive their Wellington Debate varsity letters at the spring banquet. And Collin Bachi became the first member of the novice class to earn the Degree of Merit, reaching 25 NFL points.
Wellington's next tournament is October 11 at Seminole Ridge.

2008 Winter Springs Invitational


In their first tournament of the year, three Wellington High School debate students advanced beyond preliminary rounds at the Winter Springs Invitational in Winter Springs, Florida.
Senior Amanda DeStefano and junior Michael Stechschulte represented the Wolverines in the tourney's Super Congress finals, while junior Alex Hernicz ended prelims as the 16th seed in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Hernicz finished with a 3-3 record after dropping in double octofinals.

The Brag Board 2007-08: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2007-08 school year.

The Brag Board 2006-07: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2006-07 school year.

The Brag Board 2005-06: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2005-06 school year.

The Brag Board 2004-05: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2004-05 school year.