By Ryan Yousefi
On October 10, the Speech and Debate Team from Westglades Middle School had another remarkable day, this time at the MAST 2 competition hosted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
With a turnout of over 700 6th, 7th, and 8th graders across Broward County, the competition was a massive celebration of all the hard work and dedication the debate students countywide have put forth thus far this school year. Despite tough competition under the bright debate stage, the Westglades Middle School’s team rose to the occasion.
“MAST 2 was a tremendous competition. We brought 73 students to compete in various Speech and Debate events and had 21 students rank high enough to earn medals in their selected events,” Brooke Pappas, the Speech and Debate coach at Westglades Middle, shared with Parkland Talk.
Pappas shared a list of the students honored at the competition.
- Ira Kumar (Congress)
- Sophia Liu (Impromptu)
- David Kupresanin (Oratory)
- Melanie Keil (Storytelling)
- Sophia Bermudez (Storytelling)
- Ariana Zvagelsky (Impromptu)
- Gabriella Duman (Impromptu)
- Ayan Mehta (Impromptu)
- Zoey Ruiz (Poetry)
- Emily Erickson (Poetry)
- Jordyn Weiss (Congress)
- Lindsay Rosaler (Congress)
- Gianna Martinez (Duo Interpretation)
- Riley Gamm (Duo Interpretation)
- Ava Austad (Informative)
- Leah Glauser (Oratory)
- Sabine Fierro (Oratory)
- Lily Wiener (Poetry)
- I’Teyonna Goodwin (Poetry)
- Nylah Johnson (Storytelling)
- Yasin Islam (Lincoln Douglas)
Pappas says the students honored were extraordinary, but all students involved in the debate events this school year have shown a keen ability to learn new things while being a part of something special.
“The medals are wonderful, but all students who competed showed great preparation and courage to compete,” Pappas shared, adding, “They each received valuable feedback from their judges. They will use this to help them improve for MAST 3.”
One of the most memorable takeaways from the tournament highlighted the team’s spirit of unity and support, with Pappas pointing to one specific emotional instance of teamwork and togetherness.
As Pappas tells the story, one student showed up without the proper attire before the rounds. Without hesitation, another student removed his suit jacket and offered it to his teammate. The moment, seemingly unnoticed by most, was precisely what Pappas preaches to her classes about teamwork.
“I love to see them working together as a team.”
The Westglades Middle School Speech and Debate team is already gearing up for MAST 3, scheduled at MSD on November 16. Students have already begun selecting their events and have begun preparations, aiming to continue their winning streak.
As the team continued its trek, Peppas wanted to thank the community, especially the judges who made the events happen.
“The community has already given us so much praise and support. That means so much to us,”
- 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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