Dandan school garners most awards in regional speech, debate competition

DANDAN Middle School won the most awards in the recently concluded National Junior Speech and Debate regional competition with five of its students earning spots on the CNMI team that will participate in the nationals.

DMS students Jonathan Wolf, Lars Wolf, Oceana Teigita, Issa Teigita and Juliet Inocencio will join the other CNMI NJSDA winners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this June.

DMS coach Johanne Kristine Wolf said they began preparing for the NJSDA competition even before the school year started.

In the photo are Oceana Teigita, Juliet Inocencio, Issa Teigita, Lars Wolf, coach Johanne Kristine Wolf and Jonathan Wolf. Contributed photo

During the summer, she said she researched possible speeches and other pieces for the students. “I looked for potential pieces that could enhance the skills of the students. Most of the time, I had a student in mind for a particular piece. But if I didn’t, then I continued looking.”

Mrs. Wolf said the regional competition, which ran from September to February, tested the talents and endurance of middle school students.

When preparing for the competition, Mrs. Wolf said the parents and students worked as a team. “Parents and students can be very busy. We agreed when to run practice days. We made sure that we agreed on this. Sometimes practice went until 7 p.m., sometimes even on weekends. But I also made sure we had a get-together to relax.”

She said the students are excited about competing in the U.S.

Issa and her sister Oceana Teigita commended their coach.

“We have an amazing coach, and we would not have made it here without her,” they said, adding that Mrs. Wolf also coached them for the Primary Grades Forensic Conference when they were still Oleai Elementary School students.

Jonathan Wolf, a veteran competitor in the NJSDA, said he was happy that his brother Lars was included on the CNMI team.

Eighth-grader Jonathan Wolf made history when he became the national declamation champion in 2016. It was the first national title won by the CNMI.

Elena Inocencio, mother of Juliet Inocencio, praised the children for their hard work.

“The competitors this year were really good. It made me more nervous than my daughter,” she said.

The DMS students who made it to the final rounds:

Jonathan Wolf

1st Place – Duo Interpretation

1st Place – Humorous Interpretation

1st Place – Poetry Interpretation

Lars Wolf

1st Place – Storytelling

1st Place – Duo Interpretation

2nd Place-Declamation

Oceana Teigita

1st Place – Chamorro Interpretation

Issa Teigita

1st Place – Carolinian Interpretation

Juliet Inocencio

1st Place – Declamation

3rd Place – Original Oratory

4th Place – Impromptu Speaking

Source: Marianas Variety :

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