Results 2009-10


Five Wellington debaters will be representing the school in Omaha over Memorial Day weekend at the 2010 National Catholic Forensic League “Grand National” championship tournament.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, senior Alex Hernicz went 5-1 and qualified as the #2 seed overall, while junior Jack Townsend went 4-2 and is the #4 seed. In addition, freshman Ryan Kennedy is first alternate in LD, meaning if one of the six debaters who qualified are unable to compete in Nebraska, he will also represent Wellington at the national championship competition.

The Public Forum Debate team of junior John Cassel and freshman Rachel Ganon went 4-2 and are the #4 seed from Grand Finals. Cassel surpassed the National Forensic League’s 750-point plateau. earning the Degree of Superior Distinction.

Freshman Donna Sothen placed fifth overall in Oral Interpretation, and not only advanced to Omaha, but earned her National Forensic League Degree of Merit in the process.


Alex Hernicz advanced to the octofinal round of Lincoln Douglas Debate at the FFL state championship tournament. Hernicz, who went 3-3 (3-2 in preliminary rounds), was the 15th seed. Jack Townsend went 2-3 in Lincoln Douglas, but scored an impressive victory in Round 2 over last year’s state champion, Lake Highland’s Sheena Karkal.

In Public Forum Debate, the team of Charlie Burke and John Cassel ended up 18th overall with a 3-2 record, missing advancing past preliminary rounds by one speaker point.


Alex Hernicz ended up second alternate in United States Extemporaneous Speaking after rounds were completed at the NFL Panther District national qualifier in Orlando. Two students qualified to attend the NFL National Championship this June in Kansas City in USX; should two of the three individuals in front of Hernicz (the two qualifiers and the first alternate) opt not to compete in Kansas City, Hernicz will have the opportunity to represent the district. Hernicz also went 2-2 in his primary event, Lincoln Douglas Debate, where he is third alternate. Sara Fabben advanced to the semifinal round in Original Oratory.


Kurt Burnett placed fourth overall in his student congress chamber at the South Florida CFL tournament which took place at University School in Broward County. Additionally, novice Josh Harmon earned his National Forensic League Degree of Merit certificate, surpassing the 25-point mark while competing in Public Forum Debate, and novice Ryan Kennedy earned his Degree of Honor, exceeding the overall 75 points needed for the honor. Kennedy will receive his varsity debate letter at the Saturday, May 15 spring banquet.


Both Lee Parker and Evan Baumel placed second in their respective Student Congress chambers at the Feb. 6 PBCFL at Palm Beach Gardens High School.


Four members of the Wellington Debate Team have advanced to the Florida Forensic League state championship tournament in March.

The Public Forum Debate team of Charlie Burke and John Cassel finished the FFL Macaw Region qualifier tournament with a 4-0 record and as the top seed, while Lincoln Douglas debaters Jack Townsend and John Cassel each went 3-1 at the January 23 tournament. They will represent Wellington at the state championship March 5-6 in Davie, hosted by University School.

The PFD team of Rachel Ganon and Shivan Kanagaraja went 2-2 and ended the tournament as first alternates. Ganon earned the second-most individual speaker points, while Kanagaraja was fourth-best speaker overall.

In Student Congress, Evan Baumel earned eight judge credits, resulting in being ranked eighth-best student legislator overall. Kurt Burnett earned two judge credits.

Wellington earned two National Forensic League advanced degrees. Burke surpassed 500 points, earning his Degree of Special Distinction, while Kevin Liang earned his Degree of Honor, bypassing the 75-point mark.


Wellington Debate was recognized multiple times during the awards ceremony following the 2010 Pine Crest “Crestian” Invitational in Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton January 15-17.

In Humorous Interpretation, freshman Michael Reynolds advanced to the quarterfinal round, and narrowly missed competing in the tournament’s semifinal round. Reynolds’ performance resulted in him being one of the top 24 HI performers at the tournament, which saw representatives from seven states competing.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Alex Hernicz went 4-2 in preliminary rounds before falling in the double-octofinal round.

Four debaters earned advanced National Forensic League degrees with their results. Rachel Ganon surpassed the 150-point mark, earning the Degree of Excellence, while Shivan Kanagaraja, Jake Teitelbaum and Michael Reynolds all earned their degrees of honor in passing the 75-point level. Alex Hernicz maxed out in the number of career points he can earn in debate events, and currently has 1,073 points on record.


Wellington Debate had but 15 students at the Saturday, January 9 PBCFL hosted by Boca Raton High School, but brought home a large number of accolades from the first tournament of 2010.

In Public Forum Debate, the varsity team of Charlie Burke and John Cassel went 4-0 and took first place, while the novice PFD team of Rachel Ganon and Shivan Kanagaraja went 4-0 for the second consecutive tournament, earning second-place honors. They missed first place by three speaker points.

In Novice Dramatic Performance, Michael Reynolds took first place overall. In Student Congress, Victoria Davy placed fifth in her chamber.


On Saturday, December 12, six Wellington debaters took home awards at the PBCFL Spanish River tournament.

In Novice Oral Interpretation, Wellington took three of the top four spots – Darby Guyn placed first with straight “1” rankings, Tabitha Lazarre placed third, and Valentina Ferreira took fourth. In addition, Ashley Hernandez placed ninth, Morgan O’Dell 15th, Carolyn Perez 18th, and Jordy Pincus 19th.

In Novice Public Forum Debate, the team of Rachel Ganon and Shivan Kanagaraja went 4-0 and took home first-place honors, while in Student Congress, Kevin Liang placed second overall in his legislative chamber.

The Novice Duo Interpretation team of Megan Herrick and Nick Thibault placed fifth, while Novice Lincoln Douglas debater Jake Teitelbaum went 3-1 and placed ninth overall.

Seven Wellington debaters earned their NFL Degree of Merit ranks in December, surpassing the 25-point mark: Ashley Taylor, Kasey Goins, Ashley Hernandez, Shivan Kanagaraja, Morgan O’Dell, Sierra Pelizza, and Jake Teitelbaum. Rachel Ganon passed the 75-point mark, earning her NFL Degree of Honor, and will receive her varsity debate letter at the spring banquet. Alex Hernicz surpassed the 1,000 point mark, earning the Degree of Outstanding Distinction. He is the 19th Wellington debater to surpass the 1,000 point plateau.


Wellington’s debate program took home a plethora of awards at the November 14 PBCFL tournament at Lake Worth High School.

Senior Evan Baumel scored a first-place finish in Student Congress, including two first-place judge ballots in the Flagler Beach chamber. Senior Victoria Davy took fourth in her legislative assembly, while junior Jack Townsend and senior Lee-Ann Jahore each placed fifth in their respective chambers. Senior Charlie Burke was seventh in his senate.

In Novice Oral Interpretation, Wellington saw eight freshmen compete – the largest number of OI competitors Wellington has fielded at a single tournament in at least seven years. Valentine Ferreira took third place, while Kasey Goins finished sixth and Donna Sothen seventh.

In Original Oratory, sophomore Sara Fabben finished eighth overall, while in Declamation, freshman Ryan Kennedy placed third.

Senior Alex Hernicz placed fourth in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate with a 3-1 record. Freshman Jake Teitelbaum went 2-2 in Novice LD.

Four first-year Wellington Debate students earned their National Forensic League “Degree of Merit” honors, surpassing the 25-point plateau: Valentina Ferreira, Darby Guyn, Ryan Kennedy, and Kevin Liang. Additionally, Sara Fabben earned her NFL “Degree of Honor” in passing the 75-point mark, earning her the Wellington Debate varsity letter (which she will receive at the spring banquet) and graduation honor cords (which she will receive her senior year).


Three Wellington debaters broke past preliminary rounds at the 2009 Florida Blue Key Invitational in Gainesville, Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Michael Stechschulte advanced to the tournament’s Super Congress final round for the second consecutive year, while Lee Parker advanced to the semifinals in legislative debate.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Alex Hernicz went 4-2 in preliminary rounds before falling on a 2-1 ballot in the double-octofinal round. He was the 26th seed overall.

Novice Rachel Ganon went 2-4 in her first venture into Lincoln Douglas Debate.

Each of Wellington’s Public Forum Debate teams – John Cassel and Jack Townsend, and Collin Bachi and John Ferraris – went 3-3. Townsend earned enough National Forensic League points to surpass 500 total, earning his NFL Degree of Special Distinction.

Wellington’s next tournament is November 14 at Lake Worth HS. Novice-specific competition will be taking place in Lincoln Douglas Debate and Oral Interpretation.

PBCFL @ Royal Palm Beach:

The resurgence of an interpretation program as a major part of Wellington Debate continued with an impressive showing at the second Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League debate tournament of the 2009-10 school year.

Wellington had six teams competing in Novice Duo Interpretation and four novices competing in mixed Oral Interpretation. The 16 interp competitors represented the largest number of interpers Wellington Debate has fielded at a tournament since 2004.

In Novice Duo Interp, the pair of Michael Reynolds and Nick Thibault placed second of 25 entries overall with their presentation of “The History of Television, Condensed” by John C. Havens, while the team of Caroline Perez and Sierra Pelizza took sixth with their performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Placing ninth overall were Darby Guyn and Ryan Kennedy, while Megan Herrick and Krysta Victoria ranked 15th overall. Both Guyn/Kennedy and Herrick/Victoria presented interpretations of “The Complete History of America (abridged)” by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. Other duos that competed and improved as the rounds progressed were Luis Sanchez and Nicole Usbelger (“Eve and Adam: The Untold Story”) and Michael Fetzko and John Pata (“Guys”).

In Oral Interpretation, 37 varsity and novice entries presented poetry and prose selections. Valentina Ferreira placed 15th overall with her presentations of “The Little Prince” by Antione de Saint-Exupery and the lyrics/poetry of Jason Mraz. Donna Sothen placed 22nd overall with Jodi Piccoult’s “Nineteen Minutes” and Bob Holman’s poem about Nelson Mandella, “1990.” Ashley Taylor’s interpretation of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and lyrics/poetry by The Beatles ranked 26th overall, while Ashley Hernandez placed 30th, showing improvement every round with her interpretations of “Adventures in Sloth: The Good Wife’s Guide Revisited” and poetry by Brad Arnold and Conrad Aikens.

In Student Congress, Rachel Ganon ranked eighth overall in her chamber. Kaylena Kaufmann and Kevin Liang also gave strong speeches as part of the legislative process.

Four debaters earned their National Forensic League “Degree of Merit” honor, bypassing the 25-point mark: Rachel Ganon, Caroline Perez, Michael Reynolds and Nick Thibault. Their certificates will be added to the classroom wall after they arrive from Ripon, Wisconsin.

Wellington’s next tournament is the Florida Blue Key Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.

2009 PBCFL All-Congress @ Suncoast:

Ten Wellington debate students took home honors from the first high school speech and debate tournament of the 2009-10 season.

Both Kevin Liang and Michael Reynolds placed third in their respective congress chambers at the Saturday, Sept. 12, PBCFL All-Congress at Suncoast High School. Liang led all Wellington competitors by earning 19 National Forensic League points; 25 are needed to earn NFL membership and certification.

Two Wellington debaters took fourth-place honors: Shivan Kanagaraja and Nick Thibault. Placing fifth was Darby Guyn and Juliana Pache, while sixth-place recognition went to Ryan Kennedy, Rachel Ganon and Caroline Perez. Thibault, Guyn and Kennedy were all in the same congress chamber.

Varsity debater Lee Parker took home “Chamber’s Choice” Presiding Officer honors for his role as a PO. Varsity debater Jon Lucien surpassed the 75-point NFL plateau, earning his Degree of Honor. He will receive his varsity debate letter at the spring banquet.

Wellington’s next tournament is October 10 at Royal Palm Beach. Novice-specific competition will be taking place in Duo Interpretation and Extemporaneous Speaking.