[Brief] MSD Speech and Debate team competes in Varsity State Championships

Vincent Ciullo, Writer

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Speech and Debate team contested in the 2023 Florida Forensics League State Championships on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5. The competition took place at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando.

The MSD team competed in the “World Schools Debate,” “Program Oral Interpretation” and “After Dinner Speaking” divisions, among the many other events judged at the championships.

All participating MSD students, with the exception of freshman Ayaan Rajwany, advanced to the elimination round, where they performed in their respective categories to compete for a placement.

Senior Mina Dinh, junior Cianna Furton, sophomore Aesha Bhavsar and freshmen Samera Kathuria and Colin Crippen all took part in the “World Schools Debate” segment, which involves a team of five, and finished as runners up in the state of Florida. In speech, senior Noldine Belizaire placed fifth in the “Program Oral Interpretation” event, while junior Maya Gordon placed seventh in the “After Dinner Speaking” division.

“To prepare for this tournament, I have been having coaching sessions with Dr. Abraham, taking the feedback that judges have given me throughout the year, performing for peers, speech and debate alumni and other debate coaches in the local area all for them to tell me where in the speech and presentation I can improve on,” junior Maya Gordon said. “For the future, I will work on slowing down a bit when I speak, specifically towards the very end of the speech, but overall, I received mostly positive feedback.”

MSD Speech and Debate will be participating in upcoming competitions in April which include the Florida Forensics League Novice States and the Broward County Novice Championships.