Phoenix Country Day School captures speech and debate title

State Champions, back row, Olivia Najafi, Oliver Marsden, Michelle Hill, Cole Dady, Daniel Bashir, William Porter, Reid Steiner, Ari Bradshaw, Ben Steiner, Parker Whitfill and Nick Klemp. Front row, Rhea Tuli, Sofia Ahmed, Anhad Brar, Mehek Khandelwal, Samantha Dady, Jillian Gilburne, Jason Greenfield.

State Champions, back row, Olivia Najafi, Oliver Marsden, Michelle Hill, Cole Dady, Daniel Bashir, William Porter, Reid Steiner, Ari Bradshaw, Ben Steiner, Parker Whitfill and Nick Klemp. Front row, Rhea Tuli, Sofia Ahmed, Anhad Brar, Mehek Khandelwal, Samantha Dady, Jillian Gilburne, Jason Greenfield.

While many of their peers spent spring break relaxing, the Phoenix Country Day School Speech and Debate team was hard at work preparing for the last two tournaments of the regular season: The Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II State Tournament and National Speech and Debate Association National Qualifier.

National qualifiers Jason Greenfield, Oliver Marsden, Jillian Gilburne.

National qualifiers Jason Greenfield, Oliver Marsden, Jillian Gilburne.

At the state tournament, PCDS students not only competed, but also played host to students from 17 other schools with enrollments ranging from 250 to 1,800.

At the end of the tournament, PCDS won the overall team championship by 11 points.

Especially impressive was the fact that the PCDS Upper School has an enrollment of 250; while the second place team is from a school of 1,740 students.

The entire PCDS team (Sofia Ahmed, Ari Bradshaw, Anhad Brar, Cole Dady, Samantha Dady, Sarah Dailey, Jillian Gilburne, Jason Greenfield, Mehek Khandelwal, William Porter, Rhea Tuli, Parker Whitfill) contributed points to the championship, while Daniel Bashir, Oliver Marsden and Olivia Najafi captured state championships.

One week later, students attended the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Qualifier.

The tournament took place at Thunderbird High School and featured students from schools of all sizes from across the entire state. The top three in each individual event will attend NSDA Nationals June 13-20, this year in Dallas, Texas.

Juniors Jillian Gilburne, Jason Greenfield and Oliver Marsden will attend the tournament from PCDS. Miss Greenfield and Miss Gilburne will return to Nationals for the second year in a row, competing in Duo Interpretation and will be joined by Mr. Marsden in Humorous Interpretation.

The team is only in its second year as a full speech and debate team. The team is coached by new faculty member Nick Klemp, with assistance from Michelle Hill, Dane Kulpa, Erik Dominguez and C. Ryan Joyce.

More information about speech and debate and the NSDA can be found at www.speechanddebate.org.

National qualifiers and coaches Nick Klemp, Jason Greenfield, Oliver Marsden, Jillian Gilburne, Michelle Hill.

National qualifiers and coaches Nick Klemp, Jason Greenfield, Oliver Marsden, Jillian Gilburne, Michelle Hill.

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