2 GCA students make it to CNMI Team in NJSDA

Posted on Mar 11 2019


Grace Christian Academy’s National Junior Speech and Debate Association 2019 regional finalist and winners have their picture taken at Rev. Raymond S. Kinsella Library. (Contributed Photo)

Grace Christian Academy students bagged three gold medals in this school year’s speech regional competitions for 6th to 8th grade.

Two GCA gold medalists, Tae Hee Kim and Anthony Jacob Camacho-DLG, will join the CNMI team in the national competitions for National Junior Speech and Debate Association this June in Dallas, Texas.

As a first-timer, Kim, a GCA sixth grader, did a remarkable performance in all her competition rounds by winning two medals in Poetry Reading and Prose Reading and one silver medal in Dramatic Interpretation.

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to join speech and debate as a neophyte and won during the regional competition. My love for acting and speaking made me interested to join. I tried my best, prayed to God, and just enjoyed performing every round,” she said.

Kim, who has already won several awards in reading and speech competitions in Primary Grades Forensic Conference competitions, added, “I am excited to represent Poetry Reading for Team CNMI in Dallas, Texas this coming June.”

Camacho-DLG, an 8th grader at GCA and a veteran NJSDA competitor since 6th grade, won gold in Extemporaneous Speech at the NJSDA.

“My experience participating in this year’s NJSDA allowed me another opportunity to master the art of public speaking,” he said.

“I will do my best with humility and take in the experience afforded to me in representing the CNMI National Team. I would like to thank my coach, Ms. Grace Duran, for believing in me and providing me the guidance to push through. I want to thank my mom for encouraging me and being my No. 1 supporter. At nationals, I expect to challenge an elite pool of participants in order for me to push harder and challenge myself to strive for excellence,” he added.

Both are excited to represent GCA and join other students from other schools to form the CNMI Team for the NJSDA nationals.

NJSDA competitions encourage public and private school students to participate in and become proficient in the forensic arts: reading, debate, public speaking, and interpretations. School coaches are encouraged to recognize all the regional competition winners, including the first round, quarterfinals, semifinals, and if they make into the final round (some has four or more rounds).

GCA also congratulates the two junior thespians who have been winning several first places in the monthly competitions as they showcase their talents in Solo Musical and Duet Musical. Sara Elizabeth Keaton and Jinie Thompson emerged as 4th place in Duet Musical in the regional competition.

GCA NJSDA and Thespian coordinator/coach Grace Duran together with all the GCA volunteer judges, parents, teachers, and administrators are very proud of all the following competitors this school year.


Tae Hee Kim, 1st Place in Poetry Reading, 1st Place in Prose Reading, 2nd Place in Dramatic Interpretation
Anthony Jacob Camacho-DLG, 1st Place in US Extemporaneous Speech, 3rd Place in Impromptu Speech
Sara Elizabeth Keaton, 3rd Place in Dramatic Interpretation, 5th Place in Impromptu Speech
Gabriel Retardo, 2nd Place in US Extemporaneous Speech
Eunice Nicole Pagaduan, 4th Place in Poetry Reading
Angieleysha Punzalan, Finalist in Impromptu Speech
Matthew Ernest, Quarterfinalist in Impromptu Speech, Quarter Finalist in Prose Reading
Steven Adriatico, Quarterfinalist in Poetry Reading
Jennifer Woo, Quarterfinalist in Declamation


Sara Elizabeth Keaton, Jinie Thompson, 4th Place Duet Musical
Sara Elizabeth Keaton, Finalist in Solo Musical

GCA NJSDA and thespian coordinator/coach: Grace Duran

GCA NJSDA judges/ volunteers: Roby Pamintuan, Joshua Pajarillaga, Jonathan Elliott, Na lee Lee, Jonathan Elliott, Alice Kim, Arvin Dayao, Kevin Song, Melody Woo, Juruel Magtalas
GCA thespian judges/ volunteers: Melody Woo, Hanako Benitez, Lyzelle Castillo, Juruel Magtalas

Grace Christian Academy’s Junior Thespian 2019 Regional winners have their picture taken at GCA. (Contributed Photo)

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