Since its inception in August 1988, students from Wellington’s Speech & Debate Team have earned many individual and team honors in local and statewide forensics competitions. Wellington has regularly advanced students to national championship tournaments; alumni include:
Caramen McDaniel, who earned more than 3,000 National Speech & Debate Association honor points from 2013-2017, the most for a Florida student. She ranked in the Top 25 nationally her senior year.
The quartet of Caramen McDaniel, Connor Yeackley, Brandon Schloss, and Chris Slaughter, which placed 32nd in the nation (of 175 teams) in World Schools Debate at the 2017 National Speech and Debate Association national championship tournament. McDaniel was recognized as 5th-best speaker (out of more than 900).
The quartet of Brandon Schloss, Chris Slaughter, Michael Bole, and Natalie Navarrete, which placed 5th in the nation (of 197 teams) in World Schools Debate at the 2018 National Speech and Debate Association national championship tournament. Bole was honored as 4th-best speaker (of 1,100), and Navarrete was 24th overall best speaker.
Bennett Aikey, who placed top 40 in the nation in Congressional Debate at the 2018 National Catholic Forensic League national championship.
Victor Sanchez, who placed 16th in the nation in the Congressional Senate at the 2016 National Speech & Debate Association national championship.
Greg Foster & Michael Leatherman, who placed fifth in the nation in Public Forum Debate at the 2015 National Catholic Forensic League “Grand National” championship. They also advanced to Round 8 at the 2015 National Speech & Debate Association championship tournament. “Fosterman” also won the 2015 UPenn Public Forum Debate Round Robin Invitational.
Stephie Maravankin advanced to semifinals at the 2013 NSDA National Championship in Congressional Debate.
Rachel Ganon & Vinnie Gasso won both the 2013 Penn Public Forum Debate Round Robin Invitational and the 2013 UPenn Liberty Bell Classic tournament in PFD.
Amanda DeStefano represented Wellington in the NCFL Student Congress finals in both 2008 and 2009, and was the first-ever student legislator to represent Wellington at the National Speech & Debate Association national championships (also in 2009), placing her in the top 24 in the nation both years.
Hayley Kolich, who advanced to the 10th round of the National Speech & Debate Association national championships in Public Forum Debate with her partner, freshman Michael Stechschulte in 2007. That same year, Chelsea Fitzgerald, Raquel Kraushar, Kolich & Stechschulte advanced to the Final Four of the National Public Policy Forum in New York City.
Ben Walker, who placed 3rd in the nation in Student Congress at the 2006 NCFL Grand National championships in Chicago. Teammate Amy Levine also advanced to that year’s nationals. Both were juniors.
Zach Hindin, who advanced to the Barkley Forum at Emory University “Super Congress” finals in both 2005 (6th Place) and 2006, and during the 2004-05 school year placed 4th at the Congress Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky, 6th in Congress at Harvard, and took 1st Place in Congress at both the Pine Crest “Crestian” and Nova Titan invitationals
Laki Politis, who advanced to the Barkley Forum at Emory University “Super Congress” finals in 2006, and participated in the 2005 Congress Tournament of Champions
Tabitha Armstrong, who placed fifth in Dramatic Performance at the 2004 Barkley Forum at Emory University
Lauren Petrosky, who broke to the semi-final round in Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking at the 2003 National Catholic Forensic League “Grand Nationals” Tournament in Arlington, Virginia
Shannon Munro, who placed fourth in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking at the national-caliber Florida Blue Key Tournament in 2002
Kim Healy, who made the final round in both Oral Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation at the 2003 Pine Crest “Crestian” Tournament
Danny Mandell advanced to the Lincoln Douglas semifinals at the 2001 National Catholic Forensic League “Grand Nationals” championships in New York City.
Lincoln Douglas competitor Patrick Dempsey advanced into the late rounds at the National Forensic League National Championships in 1999.
Wellington is also among the top five schools in Florida in National Forensic League degrees, and ranks among the top five percent of NSDA chapters nationally, signifying its continued success both in the classroom and at tournaments.