Prospect High School students won first place at The National Speech & Debate Association's National Championship.
Students Molly McDermott and Kamila Cwanek competed against over 4,000 students and won the National Championship in DUO Interpretation at the tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
McDermott and Cwanek are the first District 214 National Champions in speech and the first students in Illinois to win a National Speech main event championship in over a decade.
“It was an amazing moment to see two students who have spent so much time working and perfecting their scene, perform flawlessly in front of more than 4,000 people and then be rewarded for their efforts by being crowned the National Champions,” said Scott McDermott, associate principal of Prospect High School. “The look of excitement on their faces after learning they had won will forever be in my memory."
The DUO Interpretation event that McDermott and Cwanek competed in is where students act out a 10-minute scene based on characters from a play or a movie.
Students are given the chance to advance to a maximum of 13 rounds in the tournament.
McDermott and Cwanek were in first place at the beginning of the 8th round and held the lead until the end of the tournament. McDermott and Cwanek performed “Bad Words,” a humorous story about kids using an inappropriate word in an innocent way, unfamiliar to the use that adults know the word for.
The performance resulted in several standing ovations and laughs throughout.