Debate and discourse on King Street

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Senior Izzy Sio, juniors Ava Vanech, Maeve Hogan, Morgan Johnson, Kiki Ventura, Alexandra Yu, Arielle Kirven, and freshman Meredith Wilson compete at the Speech and Debate tournament. Courtesy of Jennifer Esposito ’15

For the fifteenth consecutive year, Convent of the Sacred Heart welcomed students from the tri-state area to the annual New York Catholic Forensics League Speech and Debate tournament for a celebration of both competition and community. This year, 312 students competed January 30 in both interpretation and Congressional Debate events.

New York Catholic Forensics League President Thomas Beck welcomes the 275 students to the tournament. Courtesy of Mrs. Kathy Sio
New York Catholic Forensics League President Thomas Beck welcomes the 275 students to the tournament.
Courtesy of Mrs. Kathy Sio

During the varsity Oral Interpretation competition, Bronx Preparatory Charter School’s Kelvin Amartey placed first. Sacred Heart juniors Jade Cohen, Christina Weiler, Lindsay Ofori, and senior Izzy Sio also competed in the preliminary rounds. Their pieces consisted of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “Ya’aburnee” by Zeina Hashem Beck, and “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender. 
The junior varsity Oral Interpretation competition proved successful for the host school. In her first Speech and Debate tournament, Sacred Heart freshman Meredith Wilson placed fifth and challenged many competitors from sister-school Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. The most popular poetry pieces included “After the Death of Anna Gonzales” by Terri Fields and “How to Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limon. 
“I was thrilled with the outcome of my first tournament. There was a great energy at the tournament, and I could tell that everyone was really excited to be there. Also, I could see that all of the competitors had put a lot of work into their pieces, and everyone did wonderfully,” Meredith said. 
In a noteworthy varsity Extemporaneous Speaking competition, Regis High School’s Jack McCordick placed first. The topic of the final round was economics and Jack presented a speech on global oil prices. Sacred Heart junior Arielle Kirven also placed seventh in the final round. 
In addition, the Monsignor Farrell High School speech pair of Anthony Cocola and Connor Torpey placed first in the varsity Duo Interpretation competition. Their winning piece allowed them to take home a half-qualification for the New York State tournament in April. Sacred Heart sophomores Jackie Koletas and Madison Miraglia also placed seventh in the category. 
To conclude the tournament, the final round of Congressional Debate demonstrated fierce and pointed discourse from Sacred Heart, Bronx High School of Science, Xavier High School, and Monsignor Farrell High School. Sacred Heart juniors Maeve Hogan, Morgan Johnson, Kiki Ventura, and sophomore Kate Ruberti represented the school in the final round. The topics for debate in the final round were about the Islamic State and bankruptcy in Puerto Rico. Maeve and Morgan placed third and fourth respectively with half-qualifications for the New York State tournament. 
Senior Izzy Sio, juniors Ava Vanech, Maeve Hogan, Morgan Johnson, Kiki Ventura, Alexandra Yu, Arielle Kirven, and freshman Meredith Wilson compete at the Speech and Debate tournament. Courtesy of Jennifer Esposito '15
Senior Izzy Sio, juniors Ava Vanech, Maeve Hogan, Morgan Johnson, Kiki Ventura, Alexandra Yu, Arielle Kirven, and freshman Meredith Wilson compete at the Speech and Debate tournament.
Courtesy of Jennifer Esposito ’15

At the awards ceremony, Sacred Heart ranked tenth for total team points. The Speech and Debate team also took home three half-qualifications for the New York State tournament at Hofstra University in April. 
“It was a great tournament all around. I am extremely proud of our team’s success and the strong performance that each of the girls gave. I am excited by the progress of the team this year and I look forward to the rest of the season. I am also thankful for all of the parents who helped to make this a successful day,” Upper School history teacher and Speech and Debate moderator Mr. Joseph Valentine said. 
– Arielle Kirven, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor