CNMI’s middle school national team ready for NSDA


The NMI middle school National Speech and Debate Association competition team members pose for a photo before they performed their pieces in front of a crowd last Saturday afternoon at the Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan. (Erwin Encinares)

The 15-person CNMI team that will compete in the National Speech and Debate Association’s tournament in Dallas, Texas, is ready.

Both Public School System schools and private schools students from Dandan Middle School, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School, Hopwood Middle School, Grace Christian Academy, Mount Carmel School, Saipan Community School, and the Saipan International School would be joining the 2019 NSDA tournament in Texas in late June. 

With national tournament trip coordinator and DMS head coach Johanne Kristine Wolf leading the 15-member team, the NMI middle school national team for the NSDA performed their pieces over the weekend at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.

“We have five veteran students on board and they have shared their experiences with the 10 new national competitors, hence I am trusting that, as in previous years, our students will excel,” Wolf told Saipan Tribune.

According to Wolf, she recalled how October 2018’s Super Typhoon Yutu made it difficult for the students to compete.

“…Some of them had to drop from the pre-regional competitions—not because they were less passionate but merely due to the circumstance,” she noted. “It [was] a challenge to continue…when our [script] pieces were part of the rubble.”

Wolf said she owed it all to the coaches—Criselda Aldan, Grace Duran, Maria Mettao, Victoria Nishida, Tina Goodwin, Anne McCaslin, Tatiana Ilmove, and herself—that helped assemble the middle school-level NMI national team. 

She noted that the team had been practicing since early March 2019.

Aleeza Castro, a first-time NMI representative from DMS, said that she is nervous but is looking forward to the competition.

“I want to be good but I want to be better for my family and coach to prove to them that no matter who you are or what age you are, you can do anything,” Castro said. “I am going to try my best and have fun, but also win.”

Castro would be participating in the storytelling category.

The national team consists of DMS’ Oceana Teigita competing in poetry reading; SCS’ Jesse Sablan competing in humorous interpretation; FMS’ Aleeza Castro competing in storytelling; DMS’ Danielle Formalejo competing in original oratory; GCA’s Tae Hee competing in prose reading; FMS’ Klin Deleon Guerrero competing in declamation; MCS’ Jill Anne Mallari competing in declamation; SIS’ Anastasiia Shamanaeva competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate; HMS’ Edgardo Palma Jr. competing in dramatic interpretation; DMS’ Issa Teigita competing in prose reading; SIS’ Mylan Goodwin competing in impromptu speech; FMS’ Eman Barce competing in poetry reading; GCA’s Anthony Camacho competing in extemporaneous speaking; and DMS’ Lars Anthony Wolf and Bernice Sabino competing in duo interpretation.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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