Saint James
Saint James School
Montgomery, Alabama

STJ Speech and Debate Brings Home the Win!

Bradley Wascher ’16, Saint James School Coach Dr. Ian Turnipseed, and Sophomore Salena Bulls celebrate big victories at National Speech and Debate Tournament in Salt Lake City. Wascher was named National Champion in Extemporaneous Commentary and Bulls was a Semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking.

Saint James School’s Bradley Wascher is a Speech & Debate National Champion

The Saint James School Speech and Debate Team took eight qualifiers to the National Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah in June. Friday evening, June 17th, Bradley Wascher took first place; he was named the National Champion for Extemporaneous Commentary.

Bradley competed with 250 other students from across the country, those who are respected as the very best-of-the-best in their events. In Extemporaneous Commentary, the speaker is given a prompt, typically related to current events or pop culture, and they are provided 20 minutes to prepare a 5-minute speech. In his winning speech, Bradley spoke about Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

As a strong competitor on the Saint James team, Bradley has worked under the direction of the Saint James Speech and Debate Coach, Dr. Ian Turnipseed. “I am very proud of Bradley's accomplishment,” Turnipseed said. “He is an amazing example of how hard work and dedication produce results. I am glad that Saint James School offers him and every student these opportunities and look forward to seeing other students follow in his footsteps, to hopefully similar results!”

Saint James School is the first school in Alabama to earn a National Speech and Debate Championship title in over a decade. “I'm glad to be able to finally bring back a national title to Saint James School and the state of Alabama,” said Bradley. “It has truly been an honor to represent my school these past few years." Bradley will be attending Western Kentucky University in the fall; WKU is home to the top ranked college Speech and Debate team in the country.

While competition is fierce, Saint James students consistently make their mark among their national peers. Rising Sophomore Salena Bulls from Saint James was named a Semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking at the National Tournament.

Speech and Debate is a structured forum for high school and college students to have a voice in an array of public issues. In this environment, the students gain research, presentation, and speaking skills that transition seamlessly into real-world expertise. The Saint James School Speech and Debate Team has enjoyed great success in recent years – sending several of its members to universities across the country with significant Speech and Debate scholarships.

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