Speech & Debate Nationals

The 2021-22 Speech & Debate Nationals concluded June 17, 2022, and we are very excited to share the results with our community. Over 1000 schools and nearly 5000 students traveled to Louisville, KY to compete against the best competition in the country. Only 3% of all high school speech and debate competitors qualify for the National Tournament. Each event starts with approximately 250 qualifiers who compete in 6 preliminary rounds. The field is then cut to the top-60, then the top-30, the top-14, before culminating in the final round of the top-6 competitors in each event. 

This year PCDS had two students make the National final round, Sai Vadnerkar ‘22 and McKinley Paltzik ‘23, whose performances were livestreamed for the entire speech and debate community to see. 

Additionally, PCDS earned a Speech School of Excellence Award for the 6th time in the past 7 years. The Speech School of Excellence Award is given only to the top-20 schools in the country in Speech events. This marks the 7th straight year that PCDS has won a school award at the National Tournament. 

For the first time ever, a PCDS student is a National Champion! McKinley Paltzik '23 is the National Champion of International Extemporaneous Speaking! McKinley won the overall tournament and won the final round which included 6 competitors being evaluated by 13 judges. 

Sai Vadnerkar '22 placed 5th overall in Dramatic Interpretation. Sai's performance places her in the top-0.05% of all high school speech and debate competitors in the country. 

Yash Wadwekar '22 placed 10th in Dramatic Interpretation. Yash narrowly missed joining his teammate in the final round of the event. This is the third straight year that Yash has finished in the top-14 or higher at the National Tournament. Yash Wadwekar was also the first PCDS student to qualify for Nationals in all four years of high school.

Misha Ghafouri '23 finished in the top-30 of Program Oral Interpretation. This is the second year in a row that Misha has made the top-30 at the National tournament.

Miranda Jarvis '23 and Jiya Mutyala '25 finished in the top-30 of Expository speaking. This was the first time at Nationals for both Miranda and Jiya.

Devan Amin '23 was only a few ranks away from finishing in the top-60 in Original Oratory. 

Middle School Nationals:

Two PCDS students attended the Middle School National tournament online. 

Aaryan Wadwekar '26 placed 5th overall in Impromptu Speaking.

Tara Ghafouri '27 finished in the top-12 in Dramatic Interpretation.