Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 12am







    Friday, September 20, 2019-7:50:54P.M.






Font Size


NMI’s junior speech-debate team holds ‘showcase night’

SOME members of the CNMI team say they are more excited than nervous to compete in the National Junior Speech and Debate competition set for June 16 to 21 in Dallas, Texas.

Members of the team showcased their talents to their parents, teachers and coaches at Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday.

In an interview, Dandan Middle School students Oceana and Issa Teigita said they were excited to represent the CNMI for the second time in the national competition.

“I am excited to learn more and improve my craft,” Issa said. During her first national competition, she picked up tips and lessons that helped improve her performance.

Like her sister, Oceana said participating in the national competition taught her a lot.

This will be the first time for Aleeza Castro to join the national competition. “I’m a bit nervous, but I will do my best and make everyone proud because everyone is supporting me — my parents, my coach and my teachers,” said Castro, a sixth grader at Francisco M. Sablan Middle School.

Mount Carmel School’s Jill Anne Mallari, a veteran at the national competition, advised first-timers to have fun.

Members of the CNMI’s National Junior Speech and Debate team pose for a photo.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio Members of the CNMI’s National Junior Speech and Debate team pose for a photo. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“People usually get nervous once they hear that they’re going to the nationals,” Mallari said. “But once you get there…it’s all just fun.”

Mallari considers the national competition as an opportunity for her to learn and improve. “For the past two years, I have seen the best of the best and this year, I am planning to incorporate everything I have learned.”

Saipan International School student Mylan Goodwin said it is her first time to participate in the national competition. “So I am really excited to give my best and represent the CNMI.”

Dandan Middle School’s Lars Anthony Wolf said: “I have high hopes. The team members are hard working and their performance is getting better.”

Dandan Middle School student Bernice Shane Sabino is also a first-time competitor at the national level. “I expect that there will be a lot of good people in the competition, and I hope my performance will come close to their level.”

“The key to a better performance is practice,” Francisco M. Sablan Middle School teacher and coach Maria Connie Mettao said in an interview. “I always tell them to practice before their sleep, recite in front of the mirror. I also encourage parents to help their kids practice.”

Mettao said they have been devoting their free time to practice. “But I also see to it that they are doing their other homework and projects.”

The team will head to Dallas on June 15. The members are:

1) Oceana Teigita

2) Jesse Sablan

3) Aleeza Castro

4) Danielle Formalejo

5) Tae Hee Kim

6) Klin Deleon Guerrero

7) Jill Anne Mallari

8) Anastasiia Shamanaeva

9) Edgardo Palma Jr.

10) Issa Teigita

11) Mylan Goodwin

12) Eman Barce

13) Anthony Camacho Deleon Guerrero

14) Bernice Shane Sabino

15) Lars Wolf

View more of this article's accompanying photos in our gallery