Speech and Debate Team State Champions for Third Year in a Row

Record-Making Speech and Debate Team competed at the Florida Forensic League (FFL) Varsity State Championship Tournament and took home the championship.

Speech and Debate Team State Champions for Third Year in a Row

American Heritage Schools Speech and Debate Team was awarded State Champions for a third straight year. The team competed at the Florida Forensic League (FFL) Varsity State Championship Tournament in Orlando, Florida.

There were approximately 600 students representing 63 schools from across the State of Florida in attendance of the competition, and a record-making 29 students from American Heritage Schools’ Broward Campus qualified at the regional tournament held prior. Each student earned points toward a team sweepstakes.

Speech and Debate Team State Champions for Third Year in a Row

“We are so excited for these students and deeply proud of their collective efforts in bringing this goal to fruition,” said Ryan Leveque, director of speech and debate at American Heritage Schools’ Broward Campus. “Our students have persevered through virtual competitions, distance coaching, canceled trips, and more over the past couple of years. To see them all come together this year as a full team, set a goal to be state champions, and then achieve that goal together, in person, has been inspiring.”

Two students earned individual state championships in their respective categories – Abigail Canalejo in Dramatic Interpretation and Esther Oyetunji in Original Oratory. Other high-ranking titles earned in the Duo Interpretation category went to Kennedy Hack-Juman and Jaimee Canalejo in second place. Oliver Laczko received second place in the Humorous Interpretation category. The Policy Debate category included Mason Cheng & Spencer Swickle (also earning fourth place speaker) in second place.

Oliver Laczko won third place in the Dramatic Interpretation category and Carly Aikens won fourth place in Original Oratory. In the Policy Debate category, Prateek Gupta won first place speaker and Jin Kwon won third place speaker. In the category of Humorous Interpretation, Kennedy Hack-Juman was awarded third place, Jaimee Canalejo was awarded fourth place, and Saanya Dham was a semifinalist. In the Lincoln Douglas Debate category, Emilin Mathew was a quarterfinalist and first place speaker, Mary Abi Karam, quarterfinalist, and Asha Patra, an octofinalist.

For the Program Oral Interpretation category, Abigail Canalejo won third place. In Impromptu Speaking, Aurora Lai was a semifinalist and Carly Aikens was awarded fifth place. The International Extemporaneous Speaking category found two semifinalists with Toby Winick and Ronak Patel. Suriya Gadh earned semifinalist for Informative Speaking and the Student Congressional Debate’s seventh place winner was Zoe Weissman.

Speech and Debate Team State Champions for Third Year in a Row

A new category, After Dinner Speaking, gave wins to Lindsay Cohen in third place, Anya Pinto in fifth place, Matthew Ruiz in sixth place, and three semifinalists, Toby Winick, Isabella Verde, and Ayla Ramazanova.

Leveque continued, “They are so grateful for the chance to be teammates and have truly outdone themselves. They give me so much hope for the future. Winning is merely a byproduct of their passion for the activity and the joy of the experience together as a team. We could all stand to learn from them. The future is bright!”

The American Heritage Broward Speech and Debate team is coached by Ryan Leveque, Spencer Orlowski and Joele Denis.