The upper school and middle school speech and debate teams have had great second-semester results at major end-of-year championships.
At the elite Upper School Tournament of Champions, Harker experienced success in a number of events. Students have to place highly at regular season tournaments to even qualify to compete. Recent graduate Anshul Reddy was a finalist in Lincoln Douglas (LD) debate, making him second overall in the nation! Carol Wininger, grade 11, and Max Xing, grade 10, were in the finals of the Public Forum (PF) debate silver division. Michelle Jin, grade 11, was second in extemporaneous speaking. Rahul Mulpuri, grade 11, finished in the semis of LD, as did Class of 2022 member William Chien in extemporaneous and Dyllan Han, grade 11, in original oratory. Arissa Huda, grade 11, and Ariav Misra, grade 10, advanced in congressional debate.
The Middle School team also shined at their division of the Tournament of Champions. Joy Hu, grade 8, was the national champion in extemporaneous speaking and Sofia Shah, grade 8, was the LD debate champion! Pavitra Kasthuri, grade 8, was in the finals of both extemporaneous speaking and impromptu. Joy was also in the finals of impromptu. Shloka Chawla, grade 8, and seventh graders Ameera Ramzan, Phoebe Lee and Tarush Gupta were also in impromptu elimination rounds. Evan Yuan, grade 7, was in Congressional Debate elimination rounds. Danielle Steinbach, grade 8, and Sanjith Senthil, grade 7, advanced in LD, as did the 8th grade PF duo of Kairui Sun and Roshan Amurthur.
The upper school also had good results at the California State Speech tournament. As with all speech and debate tournaments, State is not divided by school classification, so it is one large pool for all those who participate. Sara Wan, grade 11, was second in impromptu speaking, Zubin Khera, grade 11, was fifth in original oratory and William Chien ’22 was in finals of extemporaneous speaking. Austina Xu, grade 11, was in the semifinals of oratorical interpretation and Dyllan Han was also in semifinals of original oratory.
There is one last event for the upper school speech and Congressional debaters, as well as the middle school team, this June at the National Speech and Debate Association Championships. The only result that has been released ahead of time is that William Chein was named the California Coast District Student of the Year for his excellent performances and positive impact on the larger speech and debate community. The coaches are very proud of the hard work put in by all of the students.