LARGEST MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBATE PROGRAM IN NATIONAL EVENT

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June 9, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Students in largest-ranked middle school debate program are competing virtually this week on the national stage.

Five middle-school students (2020-21) are competing in this year's virtual Middle School National Speech and Debate Tournament.


In recent speech and debate news, five Notre Dame students are competing in this week's Middle School National Speech and Debate Tournament, an annual event sponsored by the National Speech & Debate Association/National Forensic League.

Rising ninth-graders Eric Davis and Jack Karasek, and rising eighth-graders Julia Pakkala, Caroline Powell and Brooks Warner are participating in NSDA's Middle School Speech Challenge. It's the largest contingent from Notre Dame to earn spots in the prestigious annual tournament, which is being held virtually June 7-12. 

In 2016 and 2018, Notre Dame was represented at the national event by Katherine Schmidt, who will be a senior this school year.

"Spurred by their participation in the Luck of the Irish Invitational and the involvement of the entire seventh grade and drama class this year, the kids really blossomed under the tutelage of coach Meredith Scott," said LeAnne Schmidt, Notre Dame's debate and forensics coach and language arts and U.S. history teacher in the middle school. "We couldn't wait to share our Irish with the rest of the NSDA on a national stage!"

Schmidt also pointed out that heading into the current national tournament, Notre Dame's middle school debate program was ranked first (by size, diversity and advanced debate degrees) out of all of the middle schools competing in NSDA's tournaments. That's five times larger than any other middle school debate program, and four times larger than the world's second largest program, Taipei American School, located in Taiwan.

Largest middle school debate programs competing in NSDA events are listed 1-10.


Results of this week's competition will be posted on Sunday, June 13.

The National Speech & Debate Association is the authority on public speaking and debate in the United States. Its mission is to connect, support and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through speech and debate.

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.