Granada Hills Charter Speech and Debate Team Shines Bright at State Tournament

Granada Hills Charter Speech and Debate Team Shines Bright at State Tournament
Jordan Duke

With a performance that left a lasting impression, the team acheived success on the statewide stage.

In a display of talent and dedication, the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) Speech and Debate Team soared to unprecedented heights at the recent California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) State Tournament held in Fresno.

Record-breaking Achievements

Under the guidance of coaches Rachael Phipps, Grethel Muralles and Timothy Meyers, the team showcased its prowess by qualifying an impressive contingent of 12 students for the prestigious state tournament. Amongst the sea of over 1,000 competitors representing 178 schools, GHC stood out with its exceptional talent and determination.

Out of the 12 qualifiers, an impressive 7 students advanced to the elimination rounds, securing their spots among the top 18 in the state. The team's stellar performers included:

  • Alisha Hassanali: Earning the coveted title of Presiding Officer, Hassanali emerged as a State Champion, showcasing her exceptional skills in Congressional Debate.
  • Alexandra Lester: Demonstrating remarkable prowess, Lester secured the 14th position in Congressional Debate.
  • Emma Kavcioglu: Displaying finesse and eloquence, Kavcioglu clinched the 9th spot in Congressional Debate.
  • Savanna Kimball: With her captivating delivery, Kimball secured the 8th position in Humorous Interpretation.
  • Aayushi Garg: Commanding attention with her insight, Garg claimed the 14th spot in National Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Nancy Javkhlan: Showcasing her depth of knowledge, Javkhlan secured the 17th position in International Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Sarah Marmol: Tugging at heartstrings with her originality, Marmol claimed the 12th position in Original Prose and Poetry.

Furthermore, three of the team's members—Kavcioglu, Hassanali, and Lester—distinguished themselves by advancing to the final round in Congressional Debate, showcasing their exceptional talents and dedication to the craft.

A Double Triumph

Adding to the glory, Alisha Hassanali secured her second State Championship as the Congressional Debate Presiding Officer, solidifying her status as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of debate.

A Tribute to Excellence

In a heartwarming moment, the beloved Jerome Robinson, who retired last year, was honored with induction into the California High School Speech Association Hall of Fame. Robinson's dedication and years of service to the activity were celebrated, underscoring the profound impact he has had on the Highlanders community.

A Legacy of Success

The culmination of the team's collective efforts resulted in a historic achievement, with GHC claiming the thirteenth position overall in the state—a testament to their unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence. The coaches, students, and supporters alike rejoiced in this remarkable milestone, knowing that it was the result of countless hours of hard work and dedication.

As the team returns from Fresno with hearts full of pride and accomplishment, they carry with them the memories of an unforgettable journey—one marked by triumph, camaraderie, and the unwavering spirit of Granada Hills Charter.

Congratulations to the Granada Hills Charter Speech and Debate Team on their exceptional performance at the State Tournament, and here's to many more victories in the future!

Photos courtesy of Rachael Phipps