Junior and high school debate and forensics teams compete

Central Junior High School and Har-Ber High School debate and forensics students represented Springdale Public Schools at the March Madness competition March 10-11 at Fayetteville High School.

"The competitors from CJH did a fantastic job representing Springdale Schools," said Lauren Fryer, the Central Junior High coach. "Our students worked hard on their performances and it truly showed. Not only did they compete well, our students also demonstrated a high level of professionalism in their behavior. I am so proud of them."

Seven Central and two Har-Ber students will also compete in the National Championship for International Public Debate March 31 to April 1 in Conway. The competition will be hosted by the University of Central Arkansas College of Business.

"I know we will do amazing," said Adreana Perez, a ninth-grader who'll be representing Springdale Schools in Conway. "Everyone that is coming to IPDA nationals is dedicated to debate. I hope the ultimate winner is whoever has accomplished the most hard work in debate this year. Hopefully the final verdict will reflect that."

Students must accumulate specific points or wins throughout the debate and forensics season to qualify for IPDA nationals, Fryer said. Junior high students must accrue three wins or 18 points, while high school students must earn six wins or 36 points to qualify.

"Several of our students achieved the qualifying point or win total at March Madness," she said.

IPDA nationals is the speech and debate season finale for the Central students, Fryer said. Har-Ber competitors will continue on the national circuit to the Tournament of Champions from April 15-17 in Lexington, Ky., and the National Speech and Debate Championship from June 11-16 in Phoenix, Ariz.

"This year, CJHS and HBHS have also made additional efforts to work collaboratively in order for all students to have more opportunities for training and competing," she said. "Both teams have enjoyed getting to socialize and to compete alongside each other."

Springdale Public Schools March Madness Results

Central Junior High


  • 1st Place HS Storytelling- Cameron Bisbee
  • 3rd Place HS Prose- Presley Lawson
  • 4th Place HS Prose- Hannah Freeman
  • 6th Place HS Prose- Emily Butler
  • JH Storytelling Semifinalist- Madison Anderson
  • JH Dramatic Interpretation Semifinalist- Hannah Freeman
  • HS Prose Semifinalist- Addison Penner


  • 2nd Place HS Big Questions- Addison Penner & Loriann Rettstatt
  • 3rd Place HS Public Forum- Emily Starkey & Aaron Oesterle
  • 5th Place HS Big Questions Speaker Award- Addison Penner
  • 6th Place HS Public Forum Speaker Award- Aaron Oesterle
  • 6th Place HS Lincoln-Douglas Speaker Award- Adreana Perez

HarBer High School


  • 1st Place Extemporaneous Speaking- Nora Shitandi
  • Finalist in Extemporaneous Speaking-Halyn Vance
  • 1st Place Informative Speaking- Emily Taylor
  • Finalist in Informative Speaking-Kevin Cueva
  • Finalist in Original Oratory-Eoin Jimnez
  • 2nd Place in Impromptu Speaking-Nora Shitandi
  • 3rd Place in Impromptu Speaking-Samuel Tello
  • 1st Place in Humorous Interpretation-Richard Largaspada
  • 2nd Place in Humorous Interpretation- Jagger Thompson
  • 1st Place in Dramatic Interpretation- Abby Marks
  • 2nd Place in Duo Interpretation- Richard Largapada & Emily Taylor
  • Finalist in Duo Interpretation- Noah Ward & Ethan Gibson
  • Finalist in Duo Interpretation- Randy Tadrick & Meg Baker
  • Finalist in Duet Improv- Sam Tello & Sam Myers
  • Finalist in Prose- Megan Lucas
  • Finalist in Poetry- Emily Freeman


  • Finalist in Congressional Debate-Ella Tompkins
  • 1st Place in Congressional Debate- Knox Graham

Overall Awards

  • 2nd Place Squad Efficiency Sweeps
  • 2nd Place Overall Sweepstakes

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