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Nichole Poltinnikov and NSDA trophies

Three Shady Side Academy Senior School Speech and Debate Team members competed at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament, held June 13-17 in Louisville, Ky. Twenty-three events are held during the tournament for students who qualified in their local districts. This year, 4,848 students from 1,081 schools and 51 states and territories competed at the national tournament.

Rising senior Nichole Poltinnikov competed in the Lincoln Douglas Debate and rising juniors Hari Viswanathan and Mathew Long competed as Senators in the NSDA Congress.

Viswanathan and Long were among 172 competitors in the Senate at the beginning of the tournament. They advanced to the semifinal round with 26 other students. This was the first time that Shady Side students competed in the NSDA semifinal round in the Senate. 

Hari Viswanathan and Mathew Long

Poltinnikov placed sixth in the country in Lincoln Douglas Debate, debating both sides of the resolution "Resolved: Radicalism is preferable to incrementalism to achieve social justice." She also eared the third-place trophy as a top Lincoln Douglas speaker, gaining the third most speaker points in the group of 264 competitors.

In addition, Shady Side Academy was recognized as a Debate School of Excellence due to Poltinnikov finishing in the top 20 of debate events at the tournament. 

Congratulations to Nichole, Hari and Mathew, faculty coaches Mary Krauland and Jacki Weaver, and the entire Speech and Debate Team on a great year of competition! 

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