Two Mason students qualify for NCFL Speech & Debate Tournament

Debate team poses for picture.

The Speech and Debate club. (Front row, left to right) Alban Abola, Elizabeth Snyder, Alex Schwartz. (Back row, left to right) Jospeh Dakin, Evan Lankford, Charlie Adams, Maia Vollen. (Photo via @fccps Instagram)

Fernanda Molina, Editor-in-Chief

On February 29, 2020, freshman Alex Schwartz and junior Elisabeth Snyder qualified for nationals at Metro Finals at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. Schwartz won 6th place overall in the Declamation category and Snyder won 6th place overall in Original Oratory. 

With the help of Coach Steven Zhou, both girls have been practicing their speeches for months.

Similar to many first-year participants in speech, Schwartz chose to memorize and present a speech given at a Ted Talk called “Rethinking Storytelling to Help People Care” by Mariana Atencio. 

“Practicing for declamation actually gets more difficult after you have memorized your speech because then it can sound memorized. That gets really boring.” Schwartz said. “Zhou really helped me recite it as if it was my own.”

Snyder has spent even more time revising and practicing her speech on political civility.  

I’ve been working on this speech – writing it and memorizing it – since the start of the school year,” Snyder said. 

She is a veteran to the NCFL tournament as she qualified to attend last year. Therefore, she is excited about having qualified for nationals again as it serves her another opportunity to recite her speech.

With the NCFL tournament beginning the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, both girls are excited to compete.