The National Speech & Debate Association announces 2018 National Middle School Champions

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, July 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) is proud to announce this year’s national speech and debate middle school champions, presented by Summit Debate. Following a week of exceptional competition at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the following middle school students have been crowned 2018 champions. The tournament is presented by Summit Debate.

“Our national champions are the future leaders of our country,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. “These students not only have extraordinary talent, but they are passionate, smart, dedicated, and hard working. We’re extremely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to all of the great things they will do in the future.”

With more than 8,000 students, coaches, educators, and parents from across the country attending the tournament each year, the National Speech & Debate Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world. More than 150,000 students are members of the National Speech & Debate Association, and only 3% qualify to compete at the national tournament. The national champions make up less than 1% of all speech and debate competitors.

The 2018 NSDA Middle School Speech & Debate National Champions:

Speech Events:

STORYTELLING
Madison Busby (Raymore-Peculiar East, Raymore, MO)
Coached by Pamela Schnake.

IMPROMPTU
Mckinley Paltzik (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

PROSE READING
Yash Wadwekar (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

POETRY READING
Siena Liljegren (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING
Mckinley Paltzik (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

ORIGINAL ORATORY
Jacob Coby Ackerman (American Heritage School Plantation, Plantation, FL)
Coached by Ryan Hubbard.

HUMOROUS INTERPRETATION
Andrew Li (Dana Middle School, Anaheim, CA)
Coached by Mike Kyle.

DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION
Yash Wadwekar (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

DUO INTERPRETATION
Wade Hunter & Abby Caplan (Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley, AZ)
Coached by C. Ryan Joyce.

DECLAMATION SPEAKING
Olivia Wetzel (Toledo School for the Arts, Toledo, OH)
Coached by Marie Wetzel.

INFORMATIVE SPEAKING
Olivia Nelson (Raymond Central Junior High, Valparaiso, NE)
Coached by Carolyn Enevoldsen.

Debate Events:

CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE
Isaac Khan (Chandler Preparatory Academy, Chandler, AZ)
Coached by Joel Sannes.

PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE
Jane Grey Battle & Claire Lauterbach (Mountain Brook Junior High, Birmingham, AL)
Coached by Liz Wood-Weas.

POLICY DEBATE
Andrew Tsang & Amber Ting (Taiwan)
Coached by Jessie Chen.

LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE
Sebastian Frazier (NSU University School, Davie, FL)
Coached by Bill Thompson.

USA WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE
Sunshine Chen, Stephanie Chen, and Atlas Tan (China)
Coached by David Peterson.

EXTEMPORANEOUS DEBATE
Myles Bell (Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, D.C.)
Coached by Tim Stroud.

Special Awards:

NATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR
Errol Evan (Attucks Middle School, Hollywood, FL)

NATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR
Monica Salda (Sacred Heart Catholic School, Hattiesburg, MS)
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About the National Speech & Debate Tournament
This year’s National Speech & Debate Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida featured students from 47 states, 5 countries, and 1 U.S. territory. The week-long 2018 National Tournament brought more than 8,000 students, coaches, educators, and parents to the Fort Lauderdale area. The National Speech & Debate Association has hosted the National Tournament in various cities since 1931. To qualify for this premier event, students across the country compete in 110 District Tournaments. The winners of these District Tournaments qualify for the National Tournament. From more than 150,000 student members, less than 3% qualify to compete in this prestigious competition for the right to be called National Champions.

About the National Speech & Debate Association
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. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.5 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org.

About Summit Debate
For 23 years, Summit Debate has offered a summer educational institute for middle school and high school students. With a track record among the best in the country, Summit Debate also provides resources and outreach to competitive debate and speech programs nationwide. For more information, visit www.summitdebate.com.

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Grace Rogers
National Speech & Debate Association
(920) 748-6206
grace.rogers@speechanddebate.org

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