Feb. 7, 2022
National speech honor society recognizes students & coach
Four members of the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate team as well as a team coach were recently recognized by the National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society. Seniors Scott Cheung, Saif Durrani, Rushikesh Kulkarni and Nitish Sharma recently earned the degree of Outstanding Distinction and coach David Watson earned his second Diamond Award.
The National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society recognizes middle school and high school students and coaches for participation in speech and debate activities. Members earn merit points through competition, service and leadership activities.
As members earn points, they also earn new Honor Society degrees that recognize progress, provide motivation and offer distinction. Outstanding Distinction, the second highest degree attainable for high school students, requires students to exceed the 1,000-point threshold.
Scott, Saif, Rushikesh and Nitish were named NSDA Academic All-Americans in March 2021. Their achievements expand beyond their speech and debate skills. All four students were also recognized as AP Scholars and earned Commended honors from the National Merit Scholarship program last fall.
In addition to the USCHS students, Mr. Watson, teacher and speech & debate coach, earned his second Diamond Award after accumulating 39,000 coaching points throughout his career.
Coaches earn the same milestones as students until they earn 10,000 points and the Donus D. Roberts Coaching Excellence Award. Once coaches earn 15,000 points and have been coaching for at least five years, they will receive their First Diamond Award. A subsequent Diamond Award is earned at 30,000 points and five years.