Westglades Middle School Speech and Debate Team Sets New Record with 34 Awards at MAST 5 Tournament
Westglades Middle School Speech and Debate Team members. {WMS}

By Ryan Yousefi

The Westglades Middle School’s Speech and Debate team is riding high off a record performance in its most recent competition.

The MAST 5 tournament, held at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on January 18, presented an opportunity to showcase the talents of middle school students across Broward County, with over 700 participants. 

Of those hundreds of children, a group representing Westglades Middle School’s Speech and Debate team, under the guidance of teacher and coach Brooke Pappas, delivered an outstanding performance culminating in an impressive 34 awards — a school record. 

Pappas tells Parkland Talk the results stem from the team’s preparation and structured practices in the lead-up to contests such as the most recent MAST 5

“Our students work daily in class, learning new events in speech and debate,” Pappas said, adding, “We have a structured program that starts from 6th grade, introduces the basics, and progressively gets more advanced to 8th grade with a high school honors level debate class.” 

A highlight of the tournament was the debut of several Westglades students. Pappas shared, “It’s always a big moment when students attend their first tournament. Seeing our first-timers, like Londyn Guardiola, Leora Codner, and Ava Costa, earn medals was exceptionally gratifying.” 

The team’s overall success from the event was astonishing, with 34 out of 73 students winning medals. The awards were widespread across grades, with standout performers in each category. 

Below is a list of Westglades MAST 5 medal winners. Students in bold earned 1st place in both rounds.

6th Grade

Wyatt VanEck
Ira Kumar
Londyn Guardiola
Liam Salame
Leora Codner
Libby Gilad
Sofia Sawhney
Ava Costa

7th Grade

Ariana Zvagelsky
Jax Subko
Gabriella Duman
Lily Bradford
Joaquin Vasiliadis
Emma Yaeger
Briana Loo Martinez
Ivanshi Gadani
Andrea win
Rexford Lee
Riley Tse
Emily Erickson
Maya Kassam
Ronn Stephen Flores

8th Grade

Jordyn Weiss 
Ava Austad
Gianna Martinez
Riley Gamm
Yasin Islam
Melanie Clifford
Neel Bharambe
Samyak Singh
Lily Wiener
Nylah Johnson
Scott Miller
Lindsay Rosaler

Pappas shares that the team is preparing for MAST 6 on February 21 and hosting an incoming 6th-grade Showcase.

“Angelique Kramer and Jax Subko will represent our team, sharing their experiences as 6th graders at Westglades.” 

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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