Congratulations to Riverside High School for being named a Speech School of Honor at the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament. The tournament is the largest academic competition in the world, with over 6,000 entries representing 1,350 middle and high schools from the United States and abroad. Only the top 40 speech programs earned the School of Honor award. In addition to this school recognition, Riverside students also achieved individual success at the tournament.
National Semifinalists included senior Ian Chiu in Informative Speaking, senior Phillip Martin in Prose Interpretation, and junior Priyanka Shah in Commentary. Quarterfinalists included sophomore Laurel Holley in International Extemporaneous Speaking and sophomore Jay Bhatia in Congressional Debate. Junior Ivana Ramirez was an Octafinalist in Original Oratory. The Public Forum Debate team of junior Janine D’Souza and senior Matthew Yoon advanced to Round Eight. The World School debate team of sophomore Grace Holland, senior Talia Samard, senior, sophomore Kritika Sethi, and sophomore Sarah Tra advanced to the Double Octafinal Round; Calvin Blessing of Greenville High School also served on the World Schools Team. Junior Joa Sanchez was elected as a presiding officer in his preliminary Congressional Debate Chamber.
At the diamond coaches’ ceremony, the National Speech and Debate Association presented Jeff Schmauch with his second coach’s diamond. The Association also honored the memory of Logan Jones, a Riverside sophomore who passed away one month ago.
Seniors Ian Chiu and Talia Samard served as captains of the 2018-19 team. Junior Janine D’Souza and Ivana Ramirez will captain the 2019-20 team.
David Dejesa serves as the school advisor and program director. Heather Brown, Pete Martin, Jinsoo Kim, and Lorenzo Barberis Canonico served as coaches for the national team. College sophomore Devin Remley served as Riverside’s World Schools coach.