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Plano ISD Speech Department Takes Home Two National Championships for a Second Year in a Row

Plano ISD Speech continued its streak of incredible representation at the National Speech and Debate National Tournament this past June.  Fifty students from seven high schools represented Plano ISD in fifteen events.  Normally held at multiple locations in a designated city, this year Albuquerque, New Mexico, the national tournament elected to hold its annual event virtually due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Students competed in district qualifying tournaments prior to school closures and on virtual platforms in early May with the hope that the national tournament might be a possibility.  Unfortunately, the competition so many look forward to and diligently work towards all school year, was not able to occur in a face to face meeting.  Competing in a grueling seven day tournament, the Plano ISD students delivered exceptional representation amongst the 6, 659 competitors from across the United States and its properties, in 923 Zoom Rooms with 125,492 live stream viewers.  For the seventh consecutive year Plano West was awarded the School of Outstanding Distinction, the highest award given to the top ten schools out of the more than 1300 in attendance.  Plano Senior High School  and Jasper High school received the 2020 School of Excellence in Speech award that  recognizes the top 20 schools in total speech points. Plano Senior High School was also awarded the The Bruno E. Jacob/Pi Kappa Delta Trophy that is given to the school with the largest number of cumulative rounds at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Congress. Plano Senior’s Robert Shepard received the District Leader Commendation-Lone Star District Service Award for his work in the Lone Star District of the organization.  Also receiving recognition was Stefany Cambra from Plano Senior High for her publicity work for the Lone Star District as a finalist for Best District Ad.  

Retired Plano Senior High School Speech & Debate Teacher Cheryl Potts was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Speech &  Debate Association, The highest honor for any high school speech and debate coach.  Each year, nominations are sought from member coaches. In the month of April, current Hall of Fame members and coaches with at least three diamonds (award recognitions years of service and amount of coaching points) vote to determine which nominees will be elected members of this most distinguished body, and Mrs. Potts was one of five national recognitions.  

More than 70 percent of PISD students advance to elimination rounds and Individual recognitions and awards were received by the following students:

Plano West Senior High School

  • 1st Place - Angela Wang - International Extemporaneous Speaking
  • 1st Place - Michelle Ma - Big Questions Debate
  • 5th Place - Tejas Bansal - Congressional Debate Senate 
  • 8th (tied) - Renee Li & Lillian Ye - Public Forum Debate
  • 9th (tied) - Daniel Liang - Big Questions Debate
  • Round 10 - Alyssa Nie &Angela Yi - Public Forum Debate
  • Round 10 - Rohan Kamalakantha & Andy Shufer - Public Forum Debate
  • Quarterfinals - Pranav Pattatathunaduvil - International Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Quarterfinals - Conny Cai - Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking 
  • Quarterfinals - Adithya Karthik - Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking 
  • Quarterfinals - Reeya Shah - Congressional Debate House
  • Octafinals - Aditya Kumar - International Extemporaneous Speaking

Plano Senior High School

  • 3rd Place - Jishnu Basu Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Quarterfinals - Julia Lin Informative Speaking
  • Octafinals - Isabelle Azmoodeh Program of Oral Interpretation

Plano East Senior High School

  • Octofinals - Neel Kanamangala - World Schools. Debate
  • Quarterfinalist - Anika Bokil - Congressional Debate House

Jasper High School

  • Semifinals - Charles Hou - United States Extemporaneous Speaking (Top 14)
  • Quarterfinals - Kyle Letterer - United States Extemporaneous Speaking (Top 30)
  • Quarterfinals - Kelly Hu - International Extemporaneous Speaking (Top 30)
  • Quarterfinals - Anushka Kumar - International Extemporaneous Speaking (Top 30)
  • Octafinals - Gabriel Bo - Original Oratory

Clark High School

  • Octafinals - Kate Tucker - Prose Interpretation

Shepton High School

  • Quarterfinals - Max Blackwell - Storytelling
  • Octafinals - Max Blackwell & Walker Blackwell - Duo Interpretation