Oct. 8, 2019
Speech & Debate Team named Leading Chapter
The Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team has earned the 2018-19 Leading Chapter Award for the Pittsburgh District from the National Speech & Debate Association. The team’s accomplishment will be recognized with a commemorative plaque at the 2019-20 district tournament.
“Only the top school in accumulated members and degrees per district earns this designation each year, and each school must wait at least five years before being eligible again,” J. Scott Wunn, executive director for the NSDA, said. “Out of more than 3,000 member schools nationwide, your school is one of only 109 to receive the Leading Chapter Award.”
The Leading Chapter Award, which is based on student participation throughout the school year, is the highest recognition a school can receive from the NSDA.
“Your award reflects 1,940 members and degrees over 11 years,” Mr. Wunn said. “In that time, several hundred students have been taught communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills through speech and debate.”
Ben Edwards, Upper St. Clair’s Speech & Debate coach, embraces the importance of the Leading Chapter Awards as it reflects a strong tradition of program excellence and success.
“This award is significant because it was not just earned by one excellent student or one stellar class; it was everyone on the whole team for over a decade who contributed to this honor,” Mr. Edwards said.
In March, the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team placed second overall with first and second place finishes in speech and debate, respectively, at the Pittsburgh District Tournament. At the tournament, which is a qualifying event for the National Speech & Debate Association National Tournament, seven USC students qualified to compete at nationals – the second most in team history. The national tournament was held June 16-21, 2019, in Dallas, Texas.
Also last spring, the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate team captured its ninth consecutive Pennsylvania High School Speech and Language District 3 Championship and its second Pennsylvania High School Speech League Championship in three years.
The Speech & Debate Team is co-led by high school teachers Mr. Edwards, social studies; Dave Watson, English; and Kate Shuey, social studies.