The Student News Site of Wheeling Park High School

The Park Press

The Park Press

The Student News Site of Wheeling Park High School

The Park Press

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Speech Competes at the UK Tournament of Champions

Members of the WPHS Speech and Debate team who attended the national tournament at the University of Kentucky
The moment that the team got the notification Ciera broke into the semi-finals for a national tournament at UK. Grace Robertson-VIllamagna, Ciera Faulstick, and Anna Contraguerro pictured from left to right.

Wheeling Park High School Speech and Debate Team competed in the Tournament of Champions (ToC) in Lexington, Kentucky from April 20th until April 22nd. Junior Ciera Faulstick completed the tournament as a national semi-finalist in Oral Interpretation.

This is the team’s first time competing at ToC, taking the place of the NCFL Nationals they usually attend.

This year junior Ciera Faulstick and sophomores Jana Schodzinski and Anna Contraguerro competed.

“I have done a lot to prepare for ToC,” said Faulstick. “We have had practices every Tuesday and Thursday that started in the beginning of April. I have worked on my pieces since August and started competing with them in October, so I have put a lot of work, effort, time, and practice into these pieces.”

Faulstick competed in Oral Interpretation, which has her competing a prose and a poetry piece.

Many members of the team are also going to spectate the event, including senior Alice Joseph and juniors Kelsey Holeczy, Grace Robertson-Villamagna, Ariauna Friend, and McKenzie Kret.

“I wanted to go and observe for a few reasons,” Holeczy said. “To start, I wanted to watch my teammates perform in such an incredibly competitive environment and see their hard work from the past season(s) pay off on such a huge level. Additionally, I wanted to observe to see the other competitors’ skills and techniques and what makes them such good performers. A nice bonus…is connecting and bonding with my coaches and teammates even more than I already have.”

“I am really hoping to gain knowledge and skills to bring back to the team,” said Robertson-Villamagna. “Speech and debate gets more and more competitive each year and if we want to continue our incredible legacy we need to constantly improve every season. I truly believe that by going to the ToC tournament, I can help the 2024-2025… team on a whole new level.”

The team scouted for new trends and national practices within the speech and debate world.

“I am most excited to see how the Lincoln-Douglas debate competition compares to how it is over here in the West Virginia Speech and Debate Circuit,” said Friend. “I am interested to see how their frameworks and their argumentation play out.”

“I’ll be observing [Public Forum], so I’m definitely excited to see how different teams and different students debate,” said Kret. 


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About the Contributor
Taylor Andrews
Taylor Andrews, Managing Editor
  • Journalism II
  • Senior
  • Young Patriots Choir, Park Players President, Speech Team Interp Division Leader
  • Future Goal: Broadway Starlet
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    Russ SchultzApr 22, 2024 at 10:12 pm

    I’m so proud of and happy for all of these wonderful students.