St. Mary’s Students Are Top Performers at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School’s Annual Middle School Speech and Debate Competition!

St. Mary’s speech and debate team

St. Mary’s speech and debate team

Recently, the Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School Speech and Debate team along with moderator and history teacher Mr. David Monaco hosted a middle school competition designed to help strengthen skills in this area. 93 students representing St. Mary’s (Miami), St Patrick’s (Miami Beach), St. Rose of Lima (Miami Shores), Our Lady of the Lakes (Miami Lakes), St. John the Apostle (Hialeah) Catholic schools and the Cushman School (Miami) participated.

Three categories were offered: Prose, Poetry, and Duo. Each category consisted of two levels: a 7th and 8th grade level and a 6th grade level. In the Duo Category, the level of competition was decided on the highest grade level of the students.

Students were given a manuscript to read and perform with a time limit of seven minutes. In the poetry/prose category, the selection was published literature that was either: a single piece, a cutting, or a series of pieces connected by a common theme or author. Students performed center stage and were allowed to move or gesture in a manner appropriate to the selection. In this category, students would also introduce the name of the work and author, provide necessary background information, and establish the mood.

Students were judged by their ability to establish distinct narrator and character voices; demonstrate the characters’ feelings and thoughts through the use of vocal inflections, facial expressions including visualizations, and appropriate intensity. The purpose of this event was to bring the script to life while inviting the audience into the presentation.

Winners were as follows:

7th and 8th grade


1. Gabriella Garcia Ugalde, 7th grade, St. Patrick’s

2. Vidalynn Glaude, 8th grade, St. Mary’s

3. Olivia Murphy, 8th grade, Cushman


1. Darby Vilme, 8th grade, St. Mary’s

2. Jeanne Schwenck, 8th grade, Cushman

3. Kayla Rodriguez, 7th grade, Our Lady of the Lakes


1. Shellbie Charles and Emmanuela Emmanuel, 8th grade, St. Mary’s

2. Carmen Pierre and Keyanna Francois, 8th grade, St. Mary’s

3. Quinn Festge and Sean Smith, 8th grade, St. Rose

6th grade


1. Parvati Santos, St. Mary’s

2. Gene Merzius, St. Mary’s

3. Claudia Gonzalez, St. John the Apostle


1. Woody Julien, St. Mary’s

2. Paul Richardson, St. Mary’s

3. Stacy Treval, St. Mary’s


1. Starlla Dabady and Jaesha Morley, St. Mary’s

2. Martina Rousseau and Cassie Poulard, St. Mary’s

3. Alexis Abreu and Chiara Settineri, St. Patrick’s

Over the years this event has promoted and reinforced speech education in the area middle schools. Many participants, having attained greater composure and confidence in public speaking, advance to secondary school speech and debate teams and mock trial programs such as those offered at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame. For more information on these events, visit

Photo: Members of St. Mary’s speech and debate team celebrate their achievements at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School’s annual Middle School Speech and Debate Tournament.

Front Row(l to r): Joselie Laguerre, Starlla Dabady, Cassie Poulard, Gene Mezius, Parvarti Santos, Ruth Cadet, Miquel August

Middle Row (l to r) : Madley Exume, Martina Rousseau, Jaesha Morley, Wooy Julien, Richardson Paul, Carmen Pierre, Vidalynne Glaude, Darby Vilme, Sabrina Dufour, Karen JeanFrancois, Juan Mejia

Back Row(l to r) : Rashad Milord, Moesha Naissance, Kennia Alcindor, Antoniesha Godfrey, Beverly PetitFrere, Stacy Trevol, Keyanna Francois, Emmanuella Emmanuel, Shellbie Charles, Katiana Desarmes, Kaseebee Point du Jour, Kristopher Blackman, Joseph Cover

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