The Needham Speech and Debate Team capped off a long pre-Thanksgiving run with a solid performance November 23rd at the Lexington November Classic. Ninth grader Ariana Orozco went undefeated, finishing in third in novice LD Debate,. Teammate Elizabeth Lively 's performance went swimmingly as well, finishing sixth in the almost fifty person field. Ninth grader Shany Erkin and sophomore Neel Das and Dianne Lee (in her competitive debut) had strong performances, Junior Amirah Orozco earned her qualifying bid to states in varsity LD. Judging for Needham were seniors Nate Rosin and Chad Goldstein, along with parent Divya Das.
OCTOBER 26 - MANCHESTER-ESSEX DEBATE TOURNAMENT
Congratulations to the Speech and Debate Team. Last weekend at the Averill Invitational at Manchester-Essex. sophomore Ben Taussig and ninth grader Ariana Orozco were 2nd and 3rd in turn in Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Taussig was also the 4th place speaker.
OCTOBER 19 - REVERE HIGH SCHOOL
The Needham Speech and Debate team kicked off the local season at Revere HS October 19th in fine shape, capturing the fifth place overall trophy. Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debaters led the field, with senior Liam Butchart, ninth grader Elizabeth Lively, ninth grader Ariana Orozco and sophomore Ben Taussig finishing first, third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Butchart and Lively were undefeated. Butchart, Orozco, Taussig, and Lively also finished first, third, fourth, and fifth in turn in Speaking. Sophomore Alexa Tierney was tournament varsity LD speaking champion and fourth overall. All qualified to the state debate tournament. Senior Josh Litchman was third in Congressional Debate while fellow senior Aaron Traylor ranked fourth in Humorous Interpretation. Sophomore Carmela Dobrusin finished sixth in Prose Reading. Ninth grader Audrey Garf joined the preceding in earning a state qualifying bid in Children's Literature. Ninth grader Maddy Garf battled through instructions which confused her judges to a solid day, being joined by senior Chloe Weiss (Oratory and Prose Reading) sophomore Anaya Tipnis debuting in Dramatic Interpretation, Jack Zendzian in Congressional Debate. Radio Broadcasting sophomores Zach Litchman and Brian Warner, and Carmela Dobrusin in Poetry. Judges for Needham included Matt Kokkinos, parents Elisa Litchman and Monica Tipnis, and coaches Jackie Theoharis and Nicole Dalton. The team next attends the annual Tim Averill Invitation at Manchester-Essex Regional High School October 25-26.
OCTOBER 12, 2013 NOVICE TOURNAMENT, SACRED HEART, KINGSTON
The Needham Speech and Debate Team's first timers kicked off their high school careers with a splendid performance at the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League's annual novice festival at Sacred Heart High School Saturday, October 12th. Fifteen students earned medals. In Congressional Debate, sophomores Shelton Daal and Joey LaCascia along with junior Jonny OBrien, and sophomore Rory Kelly in Declamation were recognized for excellence. In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, senior Liam Butchart, sophomores Christina Bychkov, Neel Das, and Ben Taussig, and ninth graders Lara Braverman, Elizabeth Lively, and Ariana Orozco won medals, with the ninth grade "triplets" each finishing undefeated. Ninth graders Alexander Pasternack and Audrey Pratt won medals for their recitation of children's literature and fellow ninth grader Maddie Garf did so in poetry. Sophomore Brian Warner radio broadcast his way to a medal as well. Also completing strong performances were sophomore Elizabeth Kuhlman and Zachary Litchman (in extemp and radio broadcasting respectively), Congressional Debater ninth grader Shoshana Troen-Krasnow, and Lincoln-Douglas debaters Alex Bejian and Shany Erkin. A dozen-strong varsity crew judged for Needham, including seniors Joshua Litchman, Nathan Rosin, Aaron Traylor, Chloe Weiss, and Anbo Wei, juniors Tolu Ajayi, Dan Mahoney, Julia Silverman, and Alec Rosin, alongside sophomores Carmela Dobrusin, Jonathan Perez-Reyzin, and Alexa Tierney. These twelve also helped run the tournament and provided vital support for the Needham novice speakers. Coach PJ Wexler noted that the team's medal hall "sets the bar very high for the team varsity."
We look forward to a productive and successful year ahead for 2013-2014! This year's team will be led by the following students with specific training in specific events:
Joshua Litchman '14, Chloe Weiss '14, David Wexler '14 - Head Captains Sara Castiglia '14 - Limited Prep Captain Miranda Knox '14 - Interp Captain Nathan Rosin '14 - Debate Captain Chad Goldstein '14 - Public Forum Captain Carmela Dobrusin '16 - Public Address Captain Emily Touchet '14 - Limited Prep Novice Captain Alex Robins '15 - Lincoln-Douglas Novice Captain Shlagha Karjee '14 - Novice Captain Majordomo Leah Issokson-'14 - Treasurer and Outreach Coordinator Julia Silverman '15 - Historian Alexa Tierney '16 - Assistant Treasurer
Friends of Needham Speech & Debate and Paul Wexler, the Needham High School Coach, are extremely grateful to Mark and Ursula Goldberg (parents of Matt Goldberg '13) for their generous gift to the organization upon the graduation of Matt. It was a true pleasure working with you. This donation will continue to support, promote and strengthen the team by providing more opportunities to our students. A big thank you goes out to the Goldberg Family.
Students interested in joining the Speech & Debate Team 2013-2014 should come to Mr. Wexler's classroom 423 after school.