[BRIEF] The Speech and Debate Team takes home 30 awards at local tournament

The Speech and Debate Team competed in their fifth Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League Tournament on Jan. 22


The Speech and Debate Team poses with each other and the awards they each earned at the tournament. Photo courtesy of Angelia Capalbo.

Ruth Weisberg, Website Staffer

Standing in her bathroom, Faith Parkinson stared into her smudged mirror as she practiced her speech. It was 5:30 a.m. She applied mascara under her flickering bathroom lights and put her hair up to keep it out of her face, getting ready as fast as possible. The sun rose as she drove her Subaru WRX down the turnpike for an hour. By 8 a.m., she would be performing that speech in front of other competitors and a panel of judges. 

The Speech and Debate team competed at the fifth Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League (PBCFL) Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Seminole Ridge High School. 

The PBCFL hosts these regional tournaments once a month and invites high school competitors from across the county. Students usually arrive at 7:15 a.m. and leave around 3 p.m.. Competitors may spend weeks or months preparing for any given tournament, depending on the rules of their event. Preparation varies from researching information, writing speeches, and memorizing pieces. 

Parkinson says she was very tired in the morning due to the early wakeup, but she was excited to compete with her new piece and receive feedback from the judges. She competes in Oral Interpretation, which is a “10-minute performance that can include some combination of prose, poetry, and drama,” according to the National Speech and Debate Association’s website.

“I would say my prep definitely helped me get the details down and make sure everything I was doing was very crisp and clean,” Parkinson said while waiting for the awards to be announced. “I definitely relied on my prep to make sure that the speech was the best it could be.”

Below are the listings of the students who placed at the Jan 22. tournament:



Angelia Capalbo – Dramatic Performance

Faith Parkinson – Oral Interpretation 

Jeremiah Alondra – Congressional Debate

Kate Wagner – Informative Speaking

Olivia Metzler – Congressional Debate

Sandra Nemes – Congressional Debate

Sofia Derk – Congressional Debate



Alex Pham – Informative Speaking

Charlie Blackwell – Congressional Debate

Christian Chatayan – Congressional Debate and Best Presiding Officer

Olivia Arnold – Original Oratory

Sofia Hennessey-Correa – Program Oral Interpretation



Bailee Simmers – Congressional Debate

Dylan Nguyen – Congressional Debate

Isabella Johnson – Informative Speaking

Lucy Kentoff – Original Oratory

Mariana Colom – Original Oratory 

Sophia Roberts – Program Oral Interpretation



Franco Vidal – Extemporaneous Speaking 

Phoenix Medley – Original Oratory

Shailee Patel – Dramatic Performance

Willow Hackett – Congressional Debate and Best Presiding Officer



Ephram Jacob and Harrison Mandell – Public Forum

Faustina Duvigneaud – Congressional Debate

James McIntyre – Congressional Debate and Best Presiding Officer

Nico Nasse – Informative Speaking

Ruth Weisberg – Congressional Debate

Sofia Manocchio – Congressional Debate and Best Presiding Officer



Madeline Kahn – Congressional Debate

Raiqa Rayhan – Congressional Debate