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Two Jackson High Seniors Place Second at National Speech and Debate Competition

The Jackson High School Speech and Debate team had a tremendous showing at the annual National Speech and Debate competition, held virtually over the weekend as more than 6,000 high school and middle school students from around the country participated. Two Jackson seniors finished second in the nation, including the school’s highest placement in speech. They represent the only Stark County students to place at the national competition. 

Seniors Shreyaa Nagajothi finished second in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Adam Hamdan finished second in United States Extemporaneous Speaking. Hamdan also was a 2020 state champion. Nagajothi is a four-time state qualifier and a two-time national qualifier. Hamdan, a four-time state qualifier and a three-time national qualifier, plans to attend Georgetown University and study economics and political science.

“The results this year at nationals were incredible, but the growth and togetherness of this team are what impressed me the most,” said Jackson High School speech and debate coach Ben McGugin. “Much of the success was paved by the hard work and dedication of former and current alumni, coaches, administration, and parents who have invested in the Jackson Speech and Debate program.

“I will miss the seniors but their legacy will remain and continue to inspire future speakers and debaters at Jackson.”

Other seniors who participated in the national tournament were:

Clare Abboud: Lincoln Douglas Debate; and a 2020 state champion

Ben Gregory: Informative Speaking

Zach Buckler: Original Oratory

Juniors who participated in the national tournaments were:

Pranav Nagajothi: International Extemporaneous Speaking, top 30 in the nation and a fourth-place at the state tournament

Krish Parikh: World Schools Debate

Nolan Scanlon: World Schools Debate

Matthew Visco: World Schools Debate

Louise Engohang: Original Oratory