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Local Student Finalist in National Competition

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From more than 150-thousand student members of the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), we are proud to recognize the top finalists in the world’s largest academic competition. The National Speech & Debate Tournament was held in Birmingham, Alabama June 18-23, 2017 with more than 4,000 qualifying competitors. The top placing students not only took home a National Championship title and awards, but more than $200,000 in scholarship money.

“It is quite an accomplishment to qualify to the National Speech and Debate Tournament,”said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association.  “Only 3% of high school speech and debate competitors qualify, and less than 1% of speech and debate students can call themselves a national champion. These students are extraordinarily talented and we look forward to the great things they will do with their talents in the future.”

We’re proud to recognize the top six National Speech and Debate Tournament finalists in Extemporaneous Debate:

6th place

Sohan Vichare
Cupertino High School ? Cupertino, CA
Coached by Marty De

5th place

David Ramachandran
Ruston High School ? Ruston, LA
Coached by Matthew Moore

TIED for 3rd place

Margaret Briann Kelly
Glendale High School ? Springfield, MO
Coached by Allen Sutton

TIED for 3rd place

Jennifer Huang
Ridge High School ? Basking Ridge, NJ
Coached by David A. Yastremski

2nd Place

Kalista Schauer
Richard King High School ? Corpus Christi, TX
Coached by David Gardiner


(Receiving a $500 Colorado College scholarship)

Lyle Derden
Lamar High School ?  Houston, TX
Coached by Eloise Weisinger Blair

About the annual National Speech & Debate Tournament?

The NSDA has hosted the National Tournament in cities across the country since 1931. The 2018 National Tournament event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, FL with the 2019 event to be held in Dallas, TX.  For more information, visit

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


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