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Upper School Speech And Debate Squad Captures District Championship; Six Students Qualify For Nationals
Andrew Mouzin

The upper school speech and debate squad captured its second district championship in three years by securing first place in overall sweepstakes March 8-9, at Lee’s Summit High School. The group’s combined efforts of a second place finish in debate and duo sweepstakes March 1-2, at Lee’s Summit North High School, followed by a third place finish in individual events sweepstakes at Lee’s Summit, secured the championship.

“Every member of our squad should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment,” speech and debate coach Justin Smith said. “It is a result of their hard work and dedication.” Additionally, six students have already qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held June 18-21, in Dallas.

There is still one more national qualifying district tournament left in Congress, to be held April 6, at Pembroke Hill. Students will also compete in the MSHSAA state qualifying tournament Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, at Raytown High School.

Here are results from both the debate and individual events districts:

Tournament Champions and National Qualifiers

  • Zoe Ganter - Informative Speaking
  • Jancyn Appel - U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking

Runner-Ups and National Qualifiers

  • Lily and Mulan Jiang - Policy Debate

Finalists and National Qualifiers

  • Pallavi Jonnalagadda - U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking (Third Place)
  • Jackson Letts - International Extemporaneous Speaking (Fourth Place)

Finalists and Alternates to the National Tournament

  • Josh Huang and David Marvin - Policy Debate (Fourth Place and First Alternates)
  • Jackson and Nicholas Letts - Public Forum Debate (Fourth Place and First Alternates)
  • Zara Johnson - Informative Speaking (Fifth Place and Second Alternate)
  • Zosia Czerwinski - U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking (Sixth Place and Second Alternate)
  • Mubariz Tahirkheli - Oratory (Fifth Place and Second Alternate)
  • Caroline O’Shaughnessy and Zara Johnson - Public Forum Debate (Fifth Place and Second Alternate)


  • Maggie Johnston - Informative Speaking (Sixth Place)
  • Jancyn Appel and Shirom Makkad - Public Forum Debate (Eighth Place)
  • Kat Brown - Lincoln Douglas Debate (Eighth Place)


  • Nick Loomis - U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Gus Erdman - International Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Kat Brown and Charlie Doering-Powell - Oratory
  • Davis Miller and Meghan Sabharwal - Humorous Interpretation
  • Louisa Gear and Addie Schmidt - Duo Interpretation