MONTVILLE, NJ - On June 20, Montville Township High School (MTHS) Forensics Coach, Mary Gormley accepted the team’s first National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) School of Honor Sweepstakes Award. Gormley has been attending the NSDA National Tournament with MTHS Forensics for 34 years.
The 2014 NSDA National Tournament was held from June 15 - 20 in Overland Park, Kansas. Three MTHS Forensic team members qualified to attend the national competition.
Senior, Joshua Feldman missed the June 19 MTHS graduation ceremony in order to join the MTHS team in national competition. He performed against a total of over 730 national competitors in both the Humorous Interpretation and Prose Reading categories.
Also in attendance were juniors, Noah Weinflash and Jay Sirot. Each competed against over 250 speakers in Original Oratory and US Extemporaneous Speaking respectively.
The NSDA National Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world with over 4,000 competitors from the United States, US territories, China and South Korea.
The week-long competition allows students to compete in all areas of Interpretation, Public Address, and Debate. For those not advancing to finals in their main event, students are given the opportunity to challenge themselves in supplemental categories.
Feldman continued on in Prose (a double elimination event) to Round 8, the semifinal round. Weinflash and Sirot participated in Impromptu Speaking, a single elimination event. In a pool of over 500 competitors, Sirot advanced 2 rounds; Weinflash 4. As a result of their performances, Montville was recognized as a School of Honor in the Sweepstakes Awards. In total, the three teammates completed 43 rounds of competition over a five day period.
In addition to competition at NSDA Nationals, students are given the opportunity to attend workshops and meet with admission officers from colleges and universities around the country. Students also have access to scholarships as a result of their Speech and Debate careers.
Prominent alumni often return to speak at the main event. This year, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas 3rd Congressional District) was the guest speaker and Communicator of the Year; humorist and author David Sedaris judged and addressed the audience following Humorous Interpretation finals. Past keynote speakers have included poet Alberto Rios, actors Ben Affleck and Shelley Long, media mogul Ted Turner and economist Austan Goolsbee.
In addition to receiving to the MTHS team School of Honor Sweepstakes Award, Noah Weinflash was an Octofinalist in Original Oratory; Joshua Feldman was an Octofinalist in Humorous Interpretation as well as a Semifinalist in Prose Reading; and Jay Sirot was a Quarterfinalist in United States Extemporaneous Speaking.