High Points for RL Boys at International Public Speaking Competition

Three of Roxbury Latin’s most promising debaters travelled to St. Clement’s School in Toronto, Ontario, in October for the International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Competition—a four-day tournament for 146 competitors from 46 schools in seven countries. In two preliminary rounds, Daniel Sun-Friedman (III), Avi Attar (II), and David LaFond (II) competed in three events each.

For Daniel’s memorized, 13-minute speech in the Persuasive Speaking category, where he addressed the abuse of online personal information, faculty and parent judges awarded him very high marks—points in the 90s. In the category of After-Dinner Speaking, Avi advanced to the final round by offering cleverly rollicking advice to an imagined society of debaters who aspire to be rappers. Avi finished tied for second, the only American to medal in any of the nine events. (The student audience’s laughter, however, seemed to indicate that Avi earned “the people’s choice” award.) David advanced to the finals of Impromptu Speaking, where he was given only two minutes to prepare a speech on the topic: I am a man more sinned against than sinning. David earned exceptionally high marks as well in Cross-Examination Debating, where he argued both sides of the question, “Should governments remove monuments that no longer align with modern day values?” Overall, David finished fourth among 21 American students from seven different schools. Thank you to Dean of Faculty Dr. Phil Kokotailo for helping prepare the students for competition and for traveling with them to Toronto.