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Local Students Debate Their Way to the Top

This group of South San Francisco High School students sure know how to talk.

Students from the South San Francisco High School speech and debate team will be showing off their skills on Friday Nov. 30 after recent success at a regional tournament.

In late October, 22 students competed at the 33rd annual Jon Schamber Invitational tournament at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. South City's Jacqueline Kong took home the top prize for the entire tournament, beating out 800 speakers from 40 schools. South City placed third overall.

Friday at 6 p.m. in the South City High auditorium, several members of the team will give speeches that they gave at the event in October and will continue to hone throughout the season.

The team's advisor, Robert Hawkins, said that the group has seen tremendous growth this year in both competive ability and numbers.

"Not only do we have more students than we have ever had," Hawkins said, "We also have a stronger, more dedicated and experienced group."

This year's state tournament will be held at West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita. Hawkins hopes to send at least 5 students, the number that qualified for last year's state event.

Hawkins described the speeches as "entertaining, provocative and passionate" and ranging from 8 to 10 minutes in length. 

Tickets to Friday's showcase are $5 for adults and $4 for students. A raffle will take place at the event, and tickets will be available there, as well as on campus, or via Robert Hawkins directly.

Congratulations to the following students who placed at the Jon Schamber tournament:

1st Place Triathlete (Overall Top Speaker at Tournament) - Jacqueline Kong

1st Place Impromptu Speaking - Jacqueline Kong
1st Place Original Prose/Poetry - Javier Ramos
1st Place Thematic Interpretation - Isabel Cervantes
1st Place Oral Interpretation - Gramuel Aguas

2nd Place Thematic Interpretation - Francesca Natividad
2nd Place Humorous Interpretation - Roxanne Knight
3rd Place  Original Prose/Poetry - Diego Perez
3rd Place  Thematic Interpretation - Javier Ramos
3rd Place  Oral Interpretation - Jacqueline Kong
3rd Place  Radio Broadcasting - Jacqueline Kong
3rd Place  Oral Interpretation - Sarah Ibrahim

Finalist Duo Interpretation - Louisse Geronimo / Brayan Zaldana
Finalist Original Prose/Poetry - Katie Rose-Olsen
Finalist Dramatic Interpretation - Darlene Ollada
Finalist Thematic Interpretation - Roxanne Knight

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