Upper St. Clair Township

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Upper St. Clair Speech & Debate Team Honored By Commissioners

Commissioner Pamela L. Enck congratulated the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate team on June 3 at the Board of Commissioners meeting for winning the Pennsylvania High School Speech League (PHSSL) State Championship. This marks the team’s third state title in a row and fifth since 2017. The tournament was held at Bloomsburg University on March 15 and 16.

Coach Ben Edwards, along with four of the students on the team, were present at the meeting to accept the honor.

“The time and effort that you put into these performances and competitions is awe-inspiring,” said Commissioner Enck. “It will lead you to do great things in your future lives and careers, whatever they may be, because you know how to look people in the eye, speak and think quickly.”

Upper St. Clair placed first in both the Speech Sweepstakes and Debate Sweepstakes, and it is the first time since 2022 that the Panthers swept all three top team awards.

Individually, three Upper St. Clair students were crowned PHSSL State Champions: Priyasha Itani for Persuasive Speaking, Ishaan Sharma for Extemporaneous Speaking and Arnav Kumar for Storytelling. Second place finishers included Ujal Gautam for Senate and Vincent Watson for Informative Speaking.

The Speech & Debate Team, under the direction of Mr. Ben Edwards and Mr. Dave Watson, competed against 80 schools state-wide, qualified 45 students and 32 overall entries. Thirty-six students advanced and 24 of those entries made it to the second day of competition.

USCHS Speech Team 2024 (1)