From January 24 – 28, 2019 the PCDS National Champion Middle School Speech & Debate Team participated in a prestigious national high school tournament at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Over 60 top high schools from across the country were in attendance (PCDS being the only middle school invited to attend) with nearly 1000 students competing. PCDS sent a strong contingent of 40 determined and inspired team members to compete at the highest level, where they far exceeded expectations. The team came in 6th place overall, setting a record for the PCDS Middle School competing at a High School tournament. The trip also included significant team time in New York City with a visit to the Guggenheim Museum, private yoga class (to calm the nerves before the tournament), and taking in a NY Knicks game at Madison Square Garden (complete with a shout out to the team on the scoreboard).

The following is a list of students that contributed to their sixth place finish:

Miles Sabeeh – 1st place champion in Varsity Humorous Interpretation
Niamh Campbell – 1st place champion in Varsity Declamation, Semi-finalist Extemporaneous Speaking
Bijan Razaghi – 1st place champion in Novice Impromptu Speaking
Natalie Vu – 1st place champion in Novice Original Oratory
Maya Allmendinger – 1st place champion in Novice Humorous Interpretation
Brianna Graham – 1st place champion in Novice Oral Interpretation
Harry Steiner – 2nd place in Novice Improvisational Acting
Bennett Russo and Max McCavitt – 2nd place in Novice Duo Interpretation
Emma Sorensen – 3rd place in Novice Oral Interpretation
Misha Ghafouri – 4th place in Varsity Original Oratory
Sophia Nistor – 5th place in Varsity Humorous Interpretation
Aaron Wang – 6th place in Varsity Improvisational Acting
Annabelle Winssinger – 6th place in Varsity Humorous Interpretation
Enzo Acharya – 6th place in Varsity Declamation, Semi-finalist in Radio Speaking
Devan Amin – Semi-finalist in Declamation
Katie Eckerman – Semi-finalist in Dramatic Interpretation and Oral Interpretation
Harrison Whitfill – Semi-finalist in Extemporaneous Speaking
Connor Lloyds – Semi-finalist in Radio Speaking

As the Valley’s only Pre-K through Grade 12 independent school, Phoenix Country Day School prepares promising students to become responsible leaders and lifelong learners through an education that emphasizes intellectual engagement, independence, collaboration, creativity, and integrity.



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