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updated: 5/18/2013 11:19 AM

Stellar season for Buffalo Grove HS's Speech and Acting/Debate Teams

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  • Buffalo Grove High School senior Michael Maley, surrounded by his debate teammates, hoists his state championship trophy in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

      Buffalo Grove High School senior Michael Maley, surrounded by his debate teammates, hoists his state championship trophy in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
    Courtesy of District 214

  • Michael Maley (center) flanked by Buffalo Grove Debate coaches Thomas Wagner (left) and Sumeer Benawra.

      Michael Maley (center) flanked by Buffalo Grove Debate coaches Thomas Wagner (left) and Sumeer Benawra.
    Courtesy of District 214

  • Buffalo Grove senior Kymeisha Perot tied for Fifth Place at State in Dramatic Interpretation.

      Buffalo Grove senior Kymeisha Perot tied for Fifth Place at State in Dramatic Interpretation.
    Courtesy of District 214

 
Submitted by District 214

Michael Maley, a Buffalo Grove High School senior, was named the 2013 IHSA State Champion for Lincoln Douglas Debate at the state finals March 14-16, held at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. His accomplishment was the icing on the cake, capping a competition season of amazing successes for the school's Debate and Speech & Acting teams, under the guidance of head coach Tracey Repa.

"Our Speech & Acting and Debate team is a competition communications team with a mission to develop great speaking, interpretation and writing skills in a group of outstanding future leaders of the world," commented Repa, who is assisted by a core team of dedicated coaches -- Debbie Ruzicka, Mark Weiland, Michelle Witter, Nick Stockwell, Nicole Zare, Kristen Sassi, Thomas Wagner, and Sumeer Benawra. "All during February and March, our kids accumulated great scores that resonated all across the state."

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Senior Payal Kumar distinguished herself and her school by being selected at the state debate finals as captain of the 10-member All-State Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team, which also included fellow Buffalo Grove High School students Mike Maley and sophomore Zach Mellow. There, Kumar captured the first place Speaker Award, and along with Mellow, was also an Octo-finalist.

At the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association State Debate Tournament (for novice and junior varsity debaters), held at Granite City High School March 8-9, freshman Blake Maley captured the first place Speaker Award for Lincoln Douglas Debate (Novice Division), while Mellow took third place-Lincoln Douglas Debate (JV division) and seventh place Speaker Award-Lincoln Douglas Debate (JV division).

At the IHSA Individual Events State Speech Tournament Feb. 15-16, in Peoria, Buffalo Grove High School Speech & Acting team member Kymeisha Perot, a senior in her first year on the team, scored an impressive fifth place tie in the state in Dramatic Interpretation. Perot also placed 12th in Poetry Reading, senior Jill Lynch took seventh place in Oratorical Declamation, and Kumar placed 12th in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Buffalo Grove's team attended the Northern Illinois National Forensic League District Tournament March 1-3 (debate at Niles West High School in Skokie on March 1-2 and Speech at Huntley High School on March 3). The tournament was the qualifier for the NFL National Speech & Debate Tournament, which will be held in Birmingham, Ala., June 16-21. Nearly 120,000 students, the top competitors at 109 District Tournaments around the country, will compete for more than $200,000 in college scholarships in a variety of speech, debate, and performance events.

At the district tournament, Buffalo Grove delivered a stellar performance with the following students qualifying for nationals: Senior Jacob Custer (first place in Original Oratory (scoring first in each of five rounds of elimination), Mike Maley (second place in Lincoln Douglas Debate), Kumar (second place in Extemporaneous Speaking and third place in Lincoln Douglas Debate), and sophomore Georgette Voss (third place in Dramatic Interpretation).

That same weekend, powerhouse Jacob Custer also captured first place in the Illinois American Legion Oratorical Contest, which qualified him to enter the American Legion's 76th High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, "A Constitutional Speech Contest," in Indianapolis, Ind.

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