Wellington Debate News 2006-07
2007 National Forensic League National Championships, Wichita KS
Wellington's Public Forum Team of Hayley Kolich and Michael Stechschulte finished in the top 10 percent of all PFD teams in the nation, advancing to Round 10 of the National Forensic League's "Over the Rainbow" National Championship Tournament in Wichita, Kansas, June 16-23.
Kolich and Stechschulte took 8 of 12 preliminary ballots, going 3-1-2 during the six rounds. Prelim rounds were argued before two judges each, and teams advanced based on the number of ballots won during prelims. The pair then won two of its four break rounds before three-judge panels.
Each debater was awarded 10 NFL points for a win, eight for a split and seven for a loss. By earning 87 points, Stechschulte surpassed the 500-point mark and earned his Degree of Special Distinction. Kolich now has 938 NFL points on record.
2007 NCFL Grand Nationals, Houston TX
For the second consecutive year, Wellington debaters advanced past preliminary rounds at the National Catholic Forensic League's "Grand Nationals" championships over Memorial Day weekend.
The Public Forum Debate team of Hayley Kolich and Michael Stechschulte went 4-1 in preliminary rounds before falling in double octofinals at the Houston tournament.
Other debaters competing in Houston were Ben Walker (Student Congress), Angela Whitehead (Dramatic Performance), and Farrell Cole, Sloan Shaffer and Lee-Ann Jahore (Extemporaneous Speaking). For Walker and Cole, it was the final debate tournament of their Wellington careers.
Walker, a three-time national championship Congress student, finished his tenure with 1,154 National Forensic League honor points, third all-time in Wellington history.
2007 Funvitational at Jupiter HS
At the first-even Jupiter Funvitational, two Wellington students earned recognition.
In Spontaneous Argumentation (SpAr), Hayley Kolich was one of four students to go undefeated in three rounds, taking first place overall. Her second round victory came against Sarah Kaiser-Cross; her third round win over teammate Michael Stechschulte was a tight 29-28 decision on the topic, "Resolved: Paris Hilton should be silenced."
Oh, did I mention that in SpAr, there was no set pairing for rounds? Students got to choose their opponents each time. So students could debate teammates if they wanted to (and often they did!). In addition, judges from the same school were allowed to judge those rounds, too.
Both Stechschulte and Andrew Tuccinardi went 2-1 in SpAr.
In Karaoke, Bianca Becker was voted first place overall for her rendition of "Hit Me Baby One More Time." No word on whether American Idol will be calling her, but she did earn NFL points for the performance.
Jared Weber earned his National Forensic League certification, surpassing the 25-point mark.
2007 FFL Novice State Championships, Braddock HS, Miami
Michael Stechschulte placed second overall in Student Congress, and Lee-Ann Jahore advanced to the semifinal round in United States Extemporaneous Speaking, at the 2007 Florida Forensic League Novice State championships at G. Holmes Braddock High School in Miami.
Stechschulte's performance gave Wellington a unique "never the bride" aura; at the previous month's Varsity State championships, Wellington's Ben Walker also placed second overall in Student Congress.
In addition, Alex Hernicz went 3-2 in Lincoln Douglas Debate.
2007 PBCFL Grand Finals at Jupiter HS
The Wellington Debate and Forensic Team will be represented by seven members at the 2007 National Catholic Forensic League "Grand Nationals" championships in Houston this Memorial Day weekend.
Senior Ben Walker will be making a return visit to NCFL Nationals in Student Congress. In addition, the Public Forum Debate team of Hayley Kolich and Michael Stechschulte will be in attendance. This is the first year PFD is being offered at NCFL Grand Nationals.
Three students will be competing in Extemporaneous Speaking: Sloan Shaffer, Farrell Cole and Lee-Ann Jahore. Angela Whitehead will represent the Wolverines in Dramatic Performance.
With its success at Grand Finals, Wellington joined the NFL "200 Club" for the 5th straight year and 8th time in 9 years. Four Wolverines earned advanced degrees at jupiter, giving the program 201 total NFL degrees. Hayley Kolich earned her Degree of Superior Distinction by reaching the 750-point mark. Both Kevin Sopczak and Michael Stechschulte earned the Degree of Distinction by reaching 250 points. And Lauren Rosin earned her Degree of Honor - and her varsity debate letter - by hitting the 75-point mark.
Mr. Gaba would like to thank all of the adults who judged the qualifier tournament at Jupiter High School; their participation helped make all of this happen!
Wellington's next tournament is NFL Quals at Palm Beach Gardens March 23-24.
2007 FFL Varsity State Championships, Niceville
Three Wellington debaters earned honors at the 2007 Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championships in Niceville the weekend of March 2-3.
Seniors Ben Walker and Amy Levine each advanced to the tournament's Super Congress, where Walker took second place overall.
In International Extemporaneous Speaking, junior Sloan Shaffer was a semifinalist.
In addition, Farrell Cole earned his NFL "Degree of Distinction," bypassing the 250-point mark.
2007 SFCFL at North Broward Prep
2007 FFL Macaw Regional at Boca Raton
Six members of the Wellington Debate Team qualified for the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championships in Niceville next month, thanks to their performance at the regional qualifier Saturday, February 3.
Seniors Ben Walker and Amy Levine will represent Wellington in Student Congress, while Farrell Cole, Sloan Shaffer, Kevin Sopczak and Will Fetzko will be competing in International Extemporaneous Speaking.
In addition, Michael Stechschulte is first alternate in Congress, while Katie Henderson is second alternate in Dramatic Interpretation and Charlie Burke is second alternate in Original Oratory.
Three Wolverines earned advanced National Forensic Degrees at the Boca Raton High School tournament. Alex Hernicz, who went 1-3 in his first Lincoln Douglas tournament, and Evan Baumel each surpassed the 150-point "Degree of Excellence" plateau, while Keri Kaplan earned her Degree of Honor. Kaplan will also receive her Wellington debate varsity letter at the April 27 banquet.
2007 Barkley Forum at Emory University
Senior Ben Walker took fourth place Student Congress honors at the 2007 Barkley Forum for High School Students, held on the campus of Emory University this past weekend.
Walker was one of nine Wellington debaters representing the team at the Atlanta, Georgia tournament, considered by many to be the most difficult and prestigious in the nation. It was his second consecutive year advancing to the tournament's Super Congress, and marks the fourth straight year Wellington has had students advance past preliminary rounds at Emory.
In addition, sophomore William Fetzko narrowly missed advancing to Super Congress, ranking sixth in his Congress chamber and falling one judge rank shy of the elite 25.
Wellington's next tournament is this Saturday - the Florida Forensic League Macaw Regional, which allows students to advance to the FFL state championships in Niceville next month.
2007 PBCFL at Jupiter
At the Saturday, January 20 PBCFL tournament hosted by Jupiter High School, Wellington took home hardware in Public Forum Debate, Congress and Dramatic Performance - the only three events in which Wolverine debaters competed.
In Public Forum Debate, the team of Chelsea Fitzgerald and Raquel Kraushar went undefeated and placed third among varsity teams, while Hayley Kolich and Michael Stechschulte went 3-1 and were credited with seventh place overall. In Novice PFD, Sam Shapiro and Alex Woolf went 3-1 and placed third.
In Novice Dramatic Performance, Angela Whitehead placed first overall. And in Student Congress, Ben Walker placed first, while Lauren Rosin was third in her chamber.
Four debaters earned National Forensic League degrees. Michael Stechsculte earned his Degree of Excellence, surpassing the 150-point plateau. Sam Shapiro and Victoria Davy each earned their Degree of Honor, reaching the 75-point mark. And Ellie Vernon surpassed the 25-point mark, earning her Degree of Merit.
Wellington's next tournament is this weekend at Emory University.
2007 Crestian at Pine Crest
Before getting into the results form this past weekend's Crestian Invitational at the Pine Crest school, I would like to thank our adult chaperones, drivers and judges for their involvement and hard work: Janet Miller, Kathy and Charles Hernicz, Jillian Collins, Mark Chrzanowski, Carol Passeser, Sabrina Kelly, and Dee Mears. The weekend would not have been a success without their time and effort :)
I would also like to note that roughly two-thirds of Wellington's competitors at this tournament were novices, which bodes well for the future of this program. To the best of my recollection, we have never had such a high novice-to-varsity ratio at a tournament of any sort - local, regional or national. For most of the first-year debaters who were at Pine Crest, it was their first time competing against varsity, and they gained valuable experience from going up against and observing other national-level competitors from as far away as Pennsylvania, Iowa and Minnesota.
Now, the results ...
In Public Forum Debate, the team of Hayley Kolich and Michael Stechschulte advanced to the quarterfinal round, where they eventually lost in a 2-1 decision. In addition, michael was honored as 12th-best speaker in PFD.
In Student Congress, Ben Walker qualified for the Crestian Congressional Super Congress, where he took 7th place overall.
Three Wellington debaters earned advanced National Forensic League degrees. Adam Miller, Andrew Tuccinardi and Alex Woolf all earned their Degree of Honor by surpassing the 75-point mark. They also earned their Wellington Debate varsity letter, which will be presented at the team's banquet on Friday, April 27.
Wellington's next tournament is this Saturday, January 20, at Jupiter High School.
2006 PBCFL ALL-NOVICE at Wellington
The Wellington Debate Team's novices came away with solid performances and results on their home turf this past weekend, where they competed against other first-year debaters at the PBCFL All-Novice on Saturday, December 9.
Angela Whitehead scored a first-place finish in Dramatic Performance, and in doing so also earned her National Forensic League Degree of Honor for surpassing the 75-point plateau. She was one of two Wolverine novices to earn the advanced degree - which includes receiving her Wellington Debate varsity letter at the spring banquet. The second Degree of Honor was earned by Charlie Burke, who placed fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking.
In Public Forum Debate, the team of Adam Miller and Andrew Tuccinardi went 4-0 and placed second overall, barely missing top honors due to the speaker point tiebreaker. Barely missing out on placing was the PFD team of Nick Ovsiannikov and Landon Travis, which went 3-1.
Lincoln Douglas saw a pair of Wellington debaters recognized. In her final tournament for Wellington, Shaina Sklar - who is moving to Pennsylvania - was fourth with a 3-1 record. Also finishing 3-1, and placing sixth, was first-time LD competitor Alex Moffitt.
Taking third in Extemporaneous Speaking was Lee-Ann Jahore. Also placing third, in Original Oratory, was Evan Baumel.
In Student Congress, Alex Hernicz took third in his legislative chamber, and Emily Johnson took sixth in hers. Johnson and Kodie-Ann Walcott each took home "Chamber's Choice" gavels as best presiding officers.
Along with the two advanced degrees, 14 novices earned their "Degree of Merit" by surpassing the 25-point mark, and their certificates will be added to the debate room wall. The new NFL members are: Bianca Becker, Robby Chamizo, Emily Johnson, Victoria Kraska, Alex Moffitt, Christina Mokwa, Nick Ovsiannikov, Pablo Palomino, Esteban Quijada, Landon Travis, Nicole Vivas, Kodie-Ann Walcott, Dylan Witt, and Lauren Woolf.
2006 PBCFL at Dwyer
And here's the news from Dwyer on Saturday, November 11:
LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE - Ben Walker took first place overall in Varsity LD with a 4-0 record, and Shaina Sklar took fifth in Novice LD, going 3-1.
CONGRESS - Amanda DeStefano and Alex Hernicz each took first place in their chambers. Hayley Kolich was second in her chamber, plus Chamber's Choice Presiding officer. Chelsea Fitzgerald took third in her chamber.
DECLAMATION - Victoria Davy was second.
NEW NFL MEMBERSHIPS - Adam Miller, Tyler Swonger, Andrew Tuccinardi, and Al Uretsky all surpassed the 25-point mark, each earning their NFL Degree of Merit. Certificates should be on the wall by the middle of next week.
OTHER MILESTONES - Evan Baumel (100), Alex Hernicz (113) and Shaina Sklar (117) all hit or bypassed the 100-point mark. Chelsea Fitzgerald (408) bypassed the 400-point plateau. Ben Walker (1,114) moved into fourth on the all-time list of officially recorded NFL points in Wellington Debate history, trailing only Amy Levine (1,299), Steve Sinclair (1,183) and Patrick Dempsey (1,138). Coach Paul Gaba (3,064.5) surpassed the 3,000-point plateau.
2006 Florida Blue Key, Gainesville
Three students advanced beyond prelims in Congress: Amanda DeStefano, Amy Levine and Ben Walker. Ben made it to FBK Super Congress, where he was awarded fifth place overall. Ben also took home a pair of gavels as best Presiding Officer in prelims and semifinals, while Amy received a gavel as best PO in her prelim chamber.
PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE
Chelsea Fitzgerald and Raquel Kraushar went 5-1 in prelims before bowing out on a 2-1 ballot in the double octo round.
Shaina Sklar went 4-2 in Novice LD prelims, then swept her double octo and octo round debates. Shaina lost in quarterfinals, ending with a 6-3 record.
Sloan Shaffer was honored with a $500 scholarship toward a 2007 summer debate institute. The scholarship was presented by UF's Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity in conjunction with Florida Blue Key.
NEW NATIONAL FORENSIC LEAGUE DEGREES
Degree of Merit (25 points) - Sam Shapiro
Degree of Honor (75 points) - Alex Hernicz, Lee-Ann Jahore, Shaina Sklar
2006 North Miami Beach Charger
And the results from the Saturday, October 21st, tournament at North Miami Beach High School, please ...
PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE - 1st Place, the team of Hayley Kolich and Ben Walker
PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE - 5th place, the team of Chelsea Fitzgerald and Raquel Kraushar
STUDENT CONGRESS: HOUSE A - 3rd Place, Evan Baumel; 6th Place, Alex Woolf
STUDENT CONGRESS: HOUSE C - 5th Place, Michael Stechschulte
VARSITY DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION - 4th Place, Katie Henderson; 5th Place, Farrell Cole
VARSITY INTERNATIONAL EXTEMP - 3rd Place, Sloan Shaffer
NOVICE INTERNATIONAL EXTEMP - 4th Place, Lee-Ann Jahore; 5th Place, Charlie Burke
NEW NATIONAL FORENSIC LEAGUE "DEGREE OF MERIT" (25 NFL points and certification) - Danielle Boudreau
NEW NFL "DEGREE OF HONOR" (75 NFL points, varsity letter at spring banquet) - Evan Baumel, Katie Henderson, Michael Stechschulte
2006 PBCFL at Seminole Ridge
Wellington debaters went to Loxahatchee Saturday, October 7, and came away with a number of awards and honors.
Ten Wolverines were recognized for their performances at the PBCFL Seminole Ridge tournament, including two novice Duo Interpretation pairs competing in the event for the first time: Victoria Davy and Angela Whitehead, who took second with their interpretation of "Big Tush, Little Tush," and Lauren Rosin and Abby Yuzenas, whose performance of "Squee!" placed sixth out of more than 30 novice Duo teams.
In Extemporaneous Speaking, novice Lee-Ann Jahore placed third in the novice division, while Sloan Shaffer was fourth in the varsity category.
Four Student Congress legislators placed during the tournament in their respective houses: Steve Barbieri (3rd), Alex Woolf (4th), Michael Stechschulte (5th) and Chelsea Fitzgerald (6th).
In addition, Wellington added a dozen new National Forensic League memberships and degrees, bringing the school's active total to 144. Earning their "Degree of Merit" and NFL certification were Jon Batista, Alex Hernicz, Keri Kaplan, Kaila Kelly, Jackie Modist, Haley Passeser, Lauren Rosin, Angela Whitehead and Abby Yuzenas. Kevin Sopczak earned his Degree of Excellence by surpassing the 150-point mark, William Fetzko achieved his Degree of Distinction by exceeding the 250-point mark, and Sloan Shaffer bypasses the 500-point plateau, earning her Degree of Special Distinction.
Several other debaters achieved notable milestones. Steve Barbieri surpassed the 600-point mark, and Amy Levine (thanks to both the tournament and her participation in the Palm Beach Youth Court) became Wellington's all-time leader in recorded NFL points with 1,228.
2006 Ft. Lauderdale Flying L Invitational
The Wellington Debate and Forensic Team sent 23 students to the 2006 Ft. Lauderdale Flying L Invitational on Saturday, September 30, and its impact was present when awards were distributed at the end of the tournament.
The varsity Public Forum Team of Hayley Kolich and Ben Walker went 4-0 and finished in third place, only four speaker points from earning top honors.
Three extemporaneous speakers took home hardware. Sloan Shaffer was fourth in varsity International Extemp, while Lee-Ann Jahore and Charlie Burke were fifth and sixth, respectively, in novice Mixed Extemp.
Three varsity debaters - Alex Cardona, Amanda DeStefano and Amy Levine - each advanced to the varsity "Super Congress" finals, In addition, three novice legislators were present in the novice "Super Congress" session - Sam Shapiro, Angela Whitehead and Alex Woolf.
Five novice students earned their National Forensic League "Degree of Merit" certification by surpassing the 25-point plateau: Burke, Victoria Davy, Jahore, Shaina Sklar and Woolf. Four varsity students earned advanced NFL degrees: Cardona (Degree of Excellence, surpassing 150 points), Farrell Cole (Degree of Excellence), DeStefano (Degree of Distinction, surpassing 250 points) and Kolich (Degree of Special Distiinction, surpassing 500 points).
Levine now has 1,084 recorded NFL points, fifth in Wellington's history. She is only 12 behind her older brother Jon for fourth place, and 17 behind Nick Hoover for third place all-time.
Walker's PFD success allowed him to pass Josh Diamond for sixth place overall, 39 behind Amy Levine.
2006 PBCFL All-Congress at Suncoast
Twenty-two Wellington students were recognized by the PBCFL at the All-Congress Tournament at Suncoast Saturday, September 16.
CHAMBERS CHOICE PRESIDING OFFICERS (voted best POs by members of their legislative chamber) - Alex Cardona, Farrell Cole, Andrew Walsh
FIRST PLACE, VARSITY SENATE C - Amanda DeStefano
FIRST PLACE, VARSITY SENATE F - Chelsea Fitzgerald
FIRST PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE E - Michael Stechschulte
FIRST PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE F - Victoria Davy
FIRST PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE H - Alex Hernicz
SECOND PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE F - Jared Weber
SECOND PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE G - Evan Baumel
THIRD PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE E - Alex Woolf
THIRD PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE I - Angela Whitehead
THIRD PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE K - Al Uretsky
FOURTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE A - Kodie-Ann Walcott
FIFTH PLACE, VARSITY SENATE D - William Fetzko
FIFTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE A - Danielle Boudreau
FIFTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE D - Lauren Rosin
FIFTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE J - Haley Passeser
SIXTH PLACE, VARSITY SENATE D - Alex Brunner
SIXTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE A - Robby Chamizo
SIXTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE I - Shaina Sklar
SIXTH PLACE, NOVICE HOUSE J - Emily Johnson
Two novice debaters earned their National Forensic League "Degree of Merit" certification this weekend by surpassing 25 NFL points: Evan Baumel and Michael Stechschulte. Both had competed at the Winter Springs Invitational the week before.
Alex Hernicz presented six speeches and earned the maximum 24 NFL points.
Varsity debater Ian Roberts earned his "Degree of Honor" by reaching the 75-point plateau.
In addition, senior Ben Walker has advanced to the Student Congress Super Session at the Yale Invitational in New Haven, Conn. He is one of 21 students to advance to this year's Congress finals.
2006 Winter Springs Invitational
The 2006-07 Wellington Debate and Forensic Team's season opened up with plenty of success at the 2006 Winter Springs Invitational September 9-10.
Ben Walker advanced past the preliminary rounds in both Lincoln Douglas Debate and United States Extemporaneous Speaking. He went 4-1 and was the 9th overall seed in LD before bowing out in the Octafinal round, and made it to the semifinal round in USX.
The Public Forum Debate team of Chelsea Fitzgerald and Raquel Kraushar also went 4-1 in preliminary rounds and was the 7th overall seed.
Two other debaters, Sloan Shaffer and Alex Cardona, advanced to the semifinal round in International Extemporaneous Speaking as well.
In Student Congress, freshman Michael Stechschulte was recognized as the top novice debater in House B.
The Brag Board 2005-06: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2005-06 school year.
The Brag Board 2004-05: How Wellington debaters fared during the 2004-05 school year.