ROSEMOUNT, Minn. -- Thirty-six District 196 high school students have qualified to compete at the National Forensic League's speech and debate tournament June 11-15 in Indianapolis. The list includes Apple Valley High School's Nader Helmy, who will be returning to nationals to defend his 2011 title in original oratory, and Eastview's Ashesh Rambachan, last year's national runner-up in international extemporaneous speaking. (Helmy is pictured with classmates Szumei Leow and Patricia Alexis Reeves, who also qualified in original oratory.)
Students earned spots for the national tournament based on their performance at separate qualifying events that were held this winter and spring. The 36 students from District 196 earned 32 qualifying spots at nationals, including four team-event qualifiers.
Eagan High School has 17 students who earned 14 qualifying spots: the teams of Maggie Parra/David Wickard and Sophia Callahan/Maxwell Minsker in public forum debate; Kunal Patel in Lincoln-Douglas debate; Adam Markon in congressional debate (House of Representatives); the team of David Newhall and Madeline Sachs in duo interpretation speech; Justin Wirsbinski, Emerald Egwim and Reid Emmons in dramatic interpretation; David Stevens and Jacob Guzior in humorous interpretation; Tom Dyke and Connor Swanson in original oratory; Adam Stromme in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and William Thomas in international extemporaneous speaking.
Eastview High School has 10 students who earned qualifying spots in 10 individual events: Kiki Laing and Karina Devine in dramatic interpretation; Alex Leehan in humorous interpretation; Mike Ross in original oratory; Svati Pazhyanur and Adithya Balaji in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and Ashesh Rambachan, Tony Bigelow, Sergey Ivanchuck and Anant Naik in international extemporaneous speaking.
Apple Valley High School has six students who earned qualifying spots in six individual events: Luke Stuttgen and John Granlund in Lincoln-Douglas debate; Rand Silvers in congressional debate (Senate), and Patricia Alexis Reeves, Szumei Leow and Nader Helmy in original oratory.
Rosemount High School has three students who earned qualifying spots in two events: the team of Ryan Kirkley and Matthew Stefanko in policy debate, and Wesley Just in congressional debate (Senate).
At the 2011 national tournament, District 196 had national champions in two events and Eagan and Eastview both received School of Excellence Awards. In addition to Helmy and Rambachan, several other of this year's qualifiers also competed at last year's tournament.