On February 5, 2011, the Speech and Debate team from Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School competed at the Florida Forensic League’s (FFL) ‘Art Deco’ Regional Tournament championships held at G. Holmes Braddock High School in South Miami. Captain Taylor Altidor rose out of her two tournament slump to sweep the Oral and Interpretation division placing first in all four rounds. She also placed second in the Dramatic Interpretation division. Taylor has qualified to enter the State Championship in both categories this March in Wellington, Florida. Rising star Ena Urbina finished fourth place in Humorous Interpretation and also qualified for the State Championships.
The Novice squad headed by Stanley Celestin and Melissa Llewellyn qualified the squad for the Novice State Championships in Orlando, Florida at the end of May. This squad also includes: Florianne Renaud, Milienne Bonefont, Jamal Mapp, Calvin Hercule, and Christina Blanchard.
The FFL hosts three tournaments each year: Regional Qualifying, State Championship and Novice State. The league’s mission is to provide students in secondary schools with opportunities to develop their communication, argumentation, and leadership skills through their participation in curricular and co-curricular educational and competitive events.
A recent Wall Street Journal report noted a consistent trend that dedicated participation in drama and debate has significantly increased the success rate of college applicants at all schools which track such data. State and national award winners have a 22% to 30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges and being captain of the debate team “improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60% compared with the rest of the pool,” according to the report.
ACND Principal, Brother Patrick Sean Moffett, CFC, Ph.D, reports that returning alums frequently cite Speech and Debate, Drama, and Mock Trial experiences at ACND as having significantly contributed to their success in University and in their professional lives.
Current students continue to pass their experience down to younger students. This year, for example, team captain Taylor Altidor had an opportunity to inspire students from her alma mater St. Mary’s Catholic School and other area parochial and private middle schools by helping to organize the high school’s annual middle school speech and debate tournament. Students enjoyed a day of exciting and challenging rounds designed to develop skills in the same areas of competition offered to high school students.
For more information on this event, visit www.acnd.net.
Photos: Taylor Altidor, ACND Speech and Debate team captain and Ena Urbina qualify for the Florida Forensic League’s State Championship to be held this March in Wellington, Florida