NOVEMBER PBCFL @ SEMINOLE RIDGE:
The November 2019 PBCFL was good to the Wellington Speech & Debate Team, as a number of competitors came away with hardware.
Three members of the Red Dawn Debaters took home first-place trophies: Jaiden Blinston in Dramatic Performance; Maddie Kaplan in Congressional Debate; and Isabella Tombari in Novice Oral Interpretation. In addition, two Congressional Debate legislators – Chelsea Gutierrez and Shaida Meier – each won Chamber’s Choice gavels as the top Presiding Officers in their respective chambers.
In Congress, four more Wellington legislators were recognized: Carolina Aguilera-Garza placed second, Liam MacMahon third, Jenalyn Spies fourth, and Jakob Lefkowitz fifth.
Nicholas Raney took second place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Leslie Diaz was sixth in Lincoln Douglas Debate. And the Novice Public Forum Debate team of Ray Estevez and Jason Miller went 3-1 and finished eighth overall.
Six debaters earned new or advanced National Speech & Debate Association membership degrees. Megan Gonzales-Mugaburu earned her Degree of Distinction, passing the 250-point mark, while Leslie Diaz earned her Degree of Excellence by surpassing the 150-point plateau. Four debaters – Devaaun Blackwood, Ray Estevez, Jakob Lefkowitz, and Jaden Manrodt – each earned their NSDA certificate.
THE TRADITION AT CYPRESS BAY:
At the 2019 Tradition Invitational on the campus of Cypress Bay High School this past weekend, the Wellington Speech & Debate program’s Duo Interpretation team of Matthew McGann nand Jaiden Blinston placed fifth overall with their performance of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” In addition, Congressional Debate legislator Maddie Kaplan advanced to the semifinal round . Five Red Dawn Debaters represented Wellington at the tournament.
FORUM CLUB OF THE PALM BEACHES:
Eighteen members of Wellington Speech and Debate were at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches luncheon Monday, October 28, where they met with, listened to, and questioned the in-house legal counsel of The New York Times, David McCraw.
McCraw – the top newsroom lawyer at The Times for 17 years – has been the papers’ principal legal advisor on the Wikileaks and Snowden disclosures, as well as a range of Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, including the paper’s groundbreaking reporting on Donald Trump’s tax returns, Harvey Weinstein, and the secret fortunes of China’s political elites. Jordyn Bergman and Matthew McGann asked McCraw intense questions about the impact social media has had on the way how The New York Times investigates and reports news, and whether the continual cries of “fake news” over the past few years made it more difficult for media such as The New York Times to assert itself in the public eye.
HERE ARE THE TWO MULTI-PART QUESTIONS ASKED OF MR. MCCRAW:
- Have the continual cries of “fake news” over the past few years made it more difficult for media such as The New York Times to assert itself in the public eye? How much impact does the power of the presidency have on how news is reported by major media outlets?
- Has social media – such as Twitter and Facebook – impacted how The New York Times investigates and reports news? Has it made it harder for mainstream media to do their jobs?
Along with Bergman and McGann, in attendance were Carolina Aguilera, Jaiden Blinston, Kayla Cho, Leslie Diaz, LaAhyari Garcia, Aliza Guerreiro, Chelsea Gutierrez, Dakari Holder, Samuel Johnson, Maddie Kaplan, Jakob Lefkowitz, Shaida Meier, Gonzalo Pardo, Lillian Paulitz, Jenalyn Spies, Tahiya Zaman, Principal Cara Hayden, and Director of Speech & Debate Paul Gaba.
The student tables were sponsored by Kathryn Rossmell (of Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.) and Claudia Kirk Barto (of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches).
49th ANNUAL NEW YORK CITY INVITATIONAL @ BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE:
Congratulations to Jaiden Blinston & Matthew McGann for advancing to SEMIS in Duo Interpretation, and Jaiden Blinston for advancing to SEMIS in Dramatic Interpretation, at The New York City Invitational at Bronx High School of Science this past weekend. It was the Red Dawn Debaters’ first competition in the Big Apple since 2012.
OCTOBER PBCFL @ WELLINGTON:
The Red Dawn Debaters hosted the October 2019 PBCFL, where roughly 400 students and 150 adult judges from Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties competed and critiqued a dozen speech and debate events. Wellington had great success in both the running of, and performance at, the second PBCFL of the 2019-20 school year.
In Congressional Debate, Liam MacMahon took home first-place honors, while Maddie Kaplan took third place. Taking fourth place were McKenna Wickers and Alexander Valdes, and Chelsea Gutierrez placed sixth. In addition, Gutierrez, Wickers, and Shaida Meier earned gavels as their respective chambers’ top presiding officers.
In Public Forum Debate, the team of Megan Gonzales and Rylee Bleakley went 3-1 and placed sixth overall out of 42 teams in the pool.
Wellington had some oh-so-close finishes as well. Jaiden Blinston was seventh in Dramatic Performance, the team of Blinston and Matthew McGann were seventh in Duo Interpretation, Isabella Tombari was seventh in Oral Interpretation, and extempers Nicholas Raney and Jordyn Bergman were fifth and sixth, respectively, in their event.
Wellington earned five new National Speech and Debate Association degrees. Gutierrez earned her Degree of Excellence, Kayla Cho earned her Degree of Honor, and three students – LeAhyari Garcia, Gonzalo Pardo, and Valdes – each earned the Degree of Merit and their NSDA certificates.
Coach Gaba thanks the amazing Wellington Speech and Debate parents, varsity students, and alumni parents and students, who volunteered and donated their talents to make the day an amazing educational opportunity for the students who graced our campus.
TITAN INVITATIONAL @ NOVA HIGH SCHOOL:
Jaiden Blinston placed fourth overall in Dramatic Interpretation at the 2019 Titan Invitational on the campus of Nova High School in Davie.
SEPTEMBER PBCFL @ SPANISH RIVER AND FLYING L INVITATIONAL @ FT. LAUDERDALE HIGH SCHOOL:
It was a day of success in two Florida counties on Saturday, September 21, for the Wellington Speech & Debate Team. At the PBCFL Congressional on the campus of Spanish River High School, the Red Dawn Debaters took home 22 awards.
Rylee Bleakley placed first in her House of Representatives, while three debaters – Abigail Montgomery, McKenna Wickers, and Madison Kaplan – each placed second in their respective chambers. Megan Gonzales took third, and six students – Isabella Tombari, Aliza Guerreiro, Alexander Valdes, Jason Miller, Gonzalo Pardo, and Daniel Melton – took home fourth-place trophies. Taking fifth was Ray Estevez, and placing sixth were Tahiya Zaman, Samuel Johnson, and Nicholas Raney.
Wellington debaters also took home seven gavels in recognition of being their respective chambers’ top presiding officers. Both Jordyn Bergman and Jenalyn Spies earned two gavels, while Nailah Williams, Chelsea Gutierrez, and Shaida Meier each earned one gavel.
While all this was taking place in Palm Beach County, the Duo Interpretation team of Jaiden Blinston and Matthew McGann was taking fifth place at the Flying L Invitational in Ft. Lauderdale.
Wellington earned four National Speech & Debate Association degrees on Saturday. Wesley Hinds-Francis surpassed the 250-point mark, earning his Degree of Distinction, while Isabella Tombari passed the 75-point mark (Degree of Honor) and earned her varsity letter. Both Jason Miller and Abigail Montgomery earned the Degree of Merit, surpassing 25 points. They join three debaters who earned advanced degrees earlier this semester: Jaiden Watkins (Degree of Honor), Shaida Meier (Degree of Honor), and Madison Kaplan (Degree of Distinction).
Coach Gaba believes the amazing work ethic and bonding that has been part of his three debate classes this year is a major reason for these amazing results. Today’s success is a testament to the entire team and its commitment to excellence and teamwork. He could not be prouder.