The Notre Dame Speech and Debate Team (formerly known as Forensics) has a long standing tradition of excellence in competitive public speaking and debate.  Students have the opportunity to develop their communication skills as well as representing our school at several tournaments throughout the school year. 


Awards and Recognition

10/11 Chris Bianchi earned the Degree of Excellence from the National Speech and Debate Association

Saturday October 29 Phillipsburg HS Fall Tournament

Informative Speaking: 1st place, Greg Bianchi

Student Congress: 6th place, Cameron Sauers

Also representing Notre Dame were Chris Bianchi in Humorous Interpretation.

Saturday November 5 Southern Lehigh Joint Diocesan Tournament  

Dramatic Performance:  2nd place,  Chris Bianchi; Diocesan Qualifier, Annelisse Lynch

Original Oratory:  Diocesan Qualifier,  Greg Bianchi

   Also representing Notre Dame were: Carlene Pavelko in Novice Original Oratory,  Eddie Nuber and Julia Morgan in Novice  Student Congress.

Saturday November 12 Manville HS Mustang Classic

Dramatic Interpretation: 7th place, Annelisse Lynch
Humorous Interpretation: 4th place,  Chris Bianchi
Original Oratory:  6th place,  Greg Bianchi
Student Congress: 1st place, Cameron Sauers

  Also representing Notre Dame were:  Matthew Boehm in Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking, Keyana Garrett in Oral Interpretation, Eddie Nuber, Julia Morgan, and Jaime Schurra in Student Congress. 

  Also Eddie Nuber earned the Degree of Merit from the National Speech and Debate Association.

Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20. Villiger Tournament at St. Joseph's University  

Cameron Sauers won a Super Session Finalist Award in Student Congress.

Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4  Princeton Tournament
Cameron Sauers won a Semifinalist Award in Student Congress.  

Cameron Sauers also earned the Degree of Special Distinction from the National Speech and Debate Association.

November Super Speaker of the Month : Cameron Sauers

Saturday December 10 LaSalle College HS Forum Invitational

Junior Varsity Humorous Interpretation: 3rd place,  Nathalia Ulsh
Varsity Original Oratory:  Semifinalist,  Greg Bianchi

Also representing Notre Dame was Chris Bianchi in Varsity Humorous Interpretation

Also Nathalia Ulsh earned the Degree of Merit from the National Speech and Debate Association

December Super Speaker of the Month :  Greg Bianchi

Saturday January 7 Allentown Diocesan Forensics League Tournament at Berks Catholic HS  

Dramatic Performance: 4th place, Chris Bianchi 

Original Oratory; 3rd place: Greg Bianchi

Student Congress: 1st place: Cameron Sauers.

All the award winners earned a spot in ADFL National Qualifier on March 4.

Also Chris Bianchi earned the Degree of Distinction from the National Speech and Debate Association.

Saturday January 21 Lafayette College Invitational

Dramatic Performance:  3rd place,  Chris Bianchi

Extemporaneous Speaking:  3rd place,  Greg Bianchi

Student Congress:  1st place,  Cameron Sauers.

 Also competing and qualifying for the Diocesan National Qualifier on March 4 are: Dramatic Performance:  Nathalia Ulsh,  Duo Interpretation:  Katelyn Schweitzer and Nathalia Ulsh;  Oral Interpretation:  Keyana Garrett.

The following students earned degrees from the National Speech and Debate Association:
Degree of Merit:  Katelyn Schweitzer
Degree of Special Distinction:  Greg Bianchi.

January 28 Ridge Invitational, Basking Ridge, NJ

Student Congress: 4th place, Cameron Sauers 

 Also competing for Notre Dame were: Humorous Interpretation:  Nathalia Ulsh; Oral Interpretation:  Keyana Garrett; and Student Congress: Eddie Nuber.

The following students earned degrees from the National Speech and Debate Association:
Degree of Merit:  Keyana Garrett
Degree of Honor:  Nathalia Ulsh

Also Nathalia Ulsh earned the Degree of Merit from the National Speech and Debate Association

January Super Speaker of the Month :   Chris Bianchi

February 11  Allentown Diocesan Forensics League Tournament at North Schylkill HS


 Student Congress: 1st place, Cameron Sauers ; 4th place,  Eddie Nuber

Eddie Nuber earned the Degree of Honior from the National Speech and Debate Association.

2/14 Jamie Schurra earned the Degree of Merit from the National Speech and Debate Association.

February 25 Pennsylvania High School Speech League District 8 State Qualifier

Humorous Interpretation: District Champion: Chris Bianchi

Senate: District Champion: Cameron Sauers

Also competing for Notre Dame were: Greg Bianchi in Extemporaneous Speaking and Keyana Garrett in Prose.


Practices every Monday night from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in Rooms 2 and 3.  Announcements in Room 2.

In order to qualify to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association District Tournament, you must not only have the Degree of Merit (25 points with at least 10 of those in competition), you must also have a student account with the National Speech and Debate Association. The link to sign up for your free student account is https://www.speechanddebate.org/join/. This also affects how many slots we will be allotted at the District Tournament as only students with accounts count towards our school's allotment.




2005 National Champion

2014 National Champion

2005 National Champion

Fr. Stephan Isaac's Career Highlights

2005 National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest National Winner (see Fr. Stephan's Championship Speech in Resources section below)

NSDA Degree of Outstanding Distinction

Four-time NCFL National Qualifier: 2003: Original Oratory; 2004: Student Congress Semifinalist; 2005: Student Congress Semifinalist; 2006: Student Congress Finalist

Two-time PHSSL State Award winner: 2004: Student Congress, 3rd Place;  2006: Student Congress 3rd Place

2014 National Champion

Abby Marone's Career Highlights

2014 NSDA Congressional Debate House National Champion

Member of 2014-2015 Team USA World Schools Debate

Earned NSDA Degree of Premier Distinction

Nine total National Tournament appearances (all in Congressional Debate/Student Congress):

2012: NCFL, Semifinalist

2013: Tournament of Champions, Semifinalist; NCFL, Semifinalist; NSDA, Semifinalist 

2014: Tournament of Champions, 5th place; NCFL, 4th place; NSDA, 1st place

2015: Tournament of Champions, 5th place;  NSDA, 4th place

2013 PHSSL State Champion Student Congress Senate


2016-2017 Tournament Schedule

(tournaments marked individual participation are national events that the team does not attend, but students can. Also note that tournament dates and locations may be subject to change)

9/16-18     Yale Tournament - individual participation

10/14-16   Bronx Science - individual participation

10/29         Phillipsburg Invitational

11/5            ADFL/SCFL joint tournament at Southern Lehigh

11/12         Manville HS (NJ)

11/19-20   St. Joseph's University Villiger Tournament

12/2-4        George Mason - individual participation

12/2-4        Princeton Univ - individual participation

12/10          LaSalle College HS

12/17          ADFL at Phillipsburg HS

1/7               ADFL at Berks Catholic HS

1/14             Shikellamy HS

1/21            Phillipsburg Winter Tournament at Lafayette College

1/28             Ridge HS

2/3-4            Pennsbury HS

2/11              ADFL at North Schuylkill HS

2/11-12       U Penn  - individual participation

2/18-20       Harvard  - individual participation

2/26              PHSSL District 8 State Qualifier at TBA

3/4                ADFL National Qualifier at Northampton Community College

3/17-18       PHSSL State Tournament at Bloomsburg University

3/25-26       NSDA Valley Forge District National Qualifier at LaSalle College HS (3/25) and Gwynedd Mercy HS (3/26)

4/1                Holy Redeemer HS

April TBA   Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Video Oratory Contest Deadline (see Mr. Rizzo for details)

April TBA  Tournament Of Champions – speech and debate invitational individual participation

4/29            Southern Lehigh HS

May TBA   National Individual Events Tournament Of Champions – speech invitational individual participation

5/27-30     NCFL Grand Nationals in Louisville, KY

6/11-16     NSDA Nationals in Birmingham, AL

TBA            National Finals Pro-Life Oratory Contest at the National Right to Life Convention in TBA

ADFL = Allentown Diocesan Forensics League, NCFL = National Catholic Forensic League,  NSDA = National Speech & Debate Assn.,

PHSSL = PA High School Speech League, SCFL = Scranton Catholic Forensics League


Support Our Yankee Candle Fundraiser

Yankee Candle Fundraiser Brochure

Tournament Photos - Coming Soon

Congress Bill Deadlines

11/12 Manville HS due November 7 at 3pm

11/19-20 Villiger Tournament at St. Joseph's University due November 9



IN THE SUPER SESSION.  ​Please specify which bills should be used for Super Session!!!

12/10 LaSalle College HS due November 29. We may submit up to 2 pieces of legislation.