Speakers and debaters receive awards

Lily Cowie, Special feature editor, culture editor

Speech and Debate competitors reach higher stages in tournaments and competitions and receive awards as they progress throughout the season.  

Students in speech and debate discuss current topics and collaborate to find common ground on subjects. The activities are competitive in nature and challenging. John Kerezy, head adviser at Revere for Speech and Debate, commented on the number of students who took part in tournaments.

“We’ve lost count. We had 45 students competing in tournaments this season. We took 19 State Qualifiers (and had four alternates) and finished in the Top 25 in the State of Ohio State Championships this year,” Kerezy said.

Kerezy also mentioned that Revere is the No. 13 team in Ohio. Junior Julia Scott discussed how far she has gone in speech and debate throughout her high school career.

“My freshman year I qualified to states. My sophomore year I qualified to states and nationals and made it to the top 28 debaters in my event in the nation. This year, I qualified to states and I am an alternate qualifier for nationals,” Scott said.

Scott said she gets a thrill from debating and loves the intellectual challenge it presents. Senior Szofi Wiksell shares a similar opinion about speech and debate. She loves meeting driven, like-minded kids across the country and debating with them. Szofi talked about some of her achievements in speech and debate.

“My partner, Emily Fischer and I, made it to top sixteen in the state and second best in the district. Both Emily and I are recognized as Academic All Americans and have won and placed at numerous tournaments,” Wiksell said.

Wiksell said it feels so rewarding to see her and her partner’s achievements in the form of physical rewards.  Senior Victoria Liu, who has been doing speech for all four years of high school, mentioned which awards she received in speech. Liu said that getting on stage to receive her awards was thrilling as much as it was energizing.

“[I received] First Alternate for Nationals two years in a row, fifth place at States this year,” Liu said.

Kerezy discussed where the majority of students placed in competitions.

“We would have 8-10 competitors finishing in the “Top Six” at each and every tournament this year. Szofia Wiksell/Emily Fischer (PF), Victoria Liu (Info), Claire Jimerson (Congress) and Nnemdi Amanambu (Declamation) are among the “First Place” finishers we had during the competition season.  Another highlight — Freshman Drake Du and Junior Claire Jimerson advancing to Finals at the Princeton Invitational Tournament on December 1-2,” Kerezy said.

Kerezy also talked about the highest level a student can reach in Speech and Debate.

“Our highest levels are “Academic All American” and “Special Distinction” in speech and debate.  Revere has seven Academic All Americans,” Kerezy said.

The senior Academic All Americans include Jack Krew, Victoria Liu, Emily Fischer, Melise Williams, and Szofia Wiksell. The juniors include Julia Scott and Claire Jimerson. Kerezy discussed where the school ranks among other schools regarding speech and debate.

“According to the National Speech & Debate Association’s ‘strength’ rankings, we’re the No. 13 team in Ohio”

Wiksell is currently on the pre-law track at Ohio State and plans to go into corporate law. Scott is considering a career in law or politics.