Nov. 4, 2021
Speech & Debate team ranks 38th nationally
For the second year in a row, Upper St. Clair High School’s Speech & Debate team was named one of the Top 100 schools in the National Speech & Debate Association. In the 2020-21 school year, Upper St. Clair ranked 38 out of more than 3,000 schools nationwide – up from 50 in 2019-20.
“Due to the number of students involved in your speech and debate program and the degrees they have earned through competition, leadership and service, your school was named one of the top programs in the nation,” J. Scott Wunn, NSDA executive director, said. “This is the most prestigious membership award the association can bestow upon a school.”
Students earn Honor Society points and degrees based on participation, which contribute to a school’s strength points. The Upper St. Clair Speech & Debate team achieved 445 or more strength points last year – earning membership in the NSDA’s 400 Club for the second consecutive year.
“Your Club Award is remarkable because it demonstrates outstanding commitment to teaching students essential life skills—including communication, research, listening, writing and organization,” Mr. Wunn said. “The hard work you have invested to achieve this distinction will pay dividends from years to come.”
Last spring the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team placed second overall at the Pennsylvania High School Speech League (PHSSL) State Tournament. The team won Speech Sweepstakes and was third in Debate.
In June, the Upper St. Clair Speech & Debate Team won the school’s first ever National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Sweepstakes Award, the Daniel S. Masterson, Jr. Award of Excellence in Forensics. The honor is given to the top five schools in the tournament who showed excellence across interpretation, debate and rhetorical events.
During the 2020-2021 school year, 10 Upper St. Clair High School students earned Academic All-American Awards from the National Speech & Debate Association. Honorees include 2021 graduates Atharva Barve, Antara Cleetus, Reshma Gudla and Sophia Shi as well as seniors William Bacdayan, Scott Cheung, Saif Durrani, Ammar Kethavath, Rushikesh Kulkarni and Nitish Sharma.