Nikitha Kalahasti '20, competed in the National Speech and Debate Tournament 2020, held virtually online this year. Team President, Nikitha led our efforts in the International Extemporaneous Speaking event, placing 7th on the virtual national stage. Two years running, she has finished in 7th place at the NSDA National tournament. Nikitha made Presentation history, being one of the first students to finish back-to-back seasons ranked in the nation's TOP TEN in their respective event.
Presentation High School was well represented at the virtual event. Sabine Laurence '22 competed in both Poetry Interpretation and Program of Oral Interpretation. Monica Schneck '21 represented Pres in the United States Extemporaneous speaking event. Poornima Dorairaj '22 competed in both World Schools team debate and Extemporaneous Debate.
This proved to be another great year for Presentation Speech and Debate at nationals. Heath Martin, the Director of Presentation Speech and Debate, was honored with the Gold Chair award for leading the California Coast NSDA District. In doing so he was one of only five district chairs in the country to be given this prestigious award.
About the National Speech and Debate Tournament:
Since 1931, the National Speech and Debate Tournament has elevated public speaking. Every summer, more than 6,000 middle and high school students travel to the largest academic competition in the world to debate current events, voice their views, and share their stories. After months of preparation, rigorous qualifying tournaments, and five days of prestigious national competition, the best of the best was crowned champions in front of a live audience of tens of thousands streaming the events online.
During times of crisis, the National Tournament's mission is even more essential. Speech and debate provides comfort and strength to students. The National Tournament's platform allows students to share their stories and speak up on the issues they care about, and that platform cannot be abandoned. The NSDA remains dedicated to connecting, supporting, and inspiring a diverse community committed to empowering students through speech and debate. That mission led the NSDA to elevate student voices this year through an online National Tournament.