Category Archives: 2020/2021 Tournament Results

Jesters Qualify for Nationals in Seven Events

Congrats to the Jesters who qualified at the Georgia Northern Mountain NSDA National Qualifier in late February

Nationals will be held virtually again this year, with the tournament still the largest high school competition in the world! Qualifying is no easy task, so these Jesters have really stepped up to the plate! Here is how we fared:

Public Forum Debate: Elena Hubert & Everett Stubin, Qualifiers; Griffin Richie & Sechan Tak, Qualifiers

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Peter Haynes, Qualifier; Lauren Scaffidi, Alternate; Aran Sonnad-Joshi, Alternate; Kelly Tran, Alternate

Congressional Debate: Sayan Sonnad Joshi, Alternate

Informative Speaking: Eleanor Ball, Qualifier; Matthew Vincent, Alternate

International Extemp: Oliver Gray, Qualifier; Bryant Hodgson, Alternate

Original Oratory: Lucia Fernandez, Qualifier; Ava Smith, Qualifier

United State Extemp: George Lefkowicz, Qualifier; Maeve Malaney-Lau, Qualifier; Ava Smith, Alternate

District Assistant Coach of the Year: Susan Ramsey

District Student of the Year: George Lefkowicz

Winner of Congress Sweepstakes, Debate Sweepstakes, Speech Sweepstakes (tie) and Overall Sweepstakes Winner!! 

First and Second Year Jesters Shine and Varsity Student Congress Team Dominates

The Jesters competed this weekend at the First/Second Year State Championships and the Varsity Student Congress. The team had an AWESOME showing, with students bringing home 7 State Championships!

Here are results:

1st/2nd Year State

1st Year Public Forum Debate: Zach Spangler and Jamie Marlowe, CHAMPIONS; Augie Werthman & Delia Schroeder, Semi-finalists; Charlie Suazo & Abby Hyken, Quarter-finalists; Abby Hyken, 10th Speaker; Charlie Suazo, 8th Speaker; Zach Spangler, 6th Speaker; Jamie Marlow, 4th Speaker

1st Year Policy Debate: Millan Bhatia and Shalin Gupta, Quarterfinalists

1st Year Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Harry Cook Semifinalist; Harry Cook, TOP SPEAKER

2nd Year Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Aran Sonnad-Joshi and Kelly Tran, CO-CHAMPIONS; Peter Haynes, Semifinalist

Extemporaneous Speaking: Sayan Sonnad-Joshi, CHAMPION; Ava Young, Runner-Up

Impromptu Speaking: Sayan Sonnad-Joshi, Runner-up; Ava Young, 3rd Place

Varsity Student Congress

George Lefkowicz, CHAMPION

Ava Smith, Runner-up

Nicolas Kamel, 4th Place

Finalists: Oliver Gray, Lucia Fernandez, Eleanor Ball, Sayan Sonnad-Joshi, Maeve Malaney-Lau


Thanks for your continued support! You can see all the results by clicking on the “Tournaments” page on this website:

Jesters Start 2021 Off with a Bang!

  The Jesters started off 2021 competing at two tournaments, the Alpharetta HS Treasure Hunt in Georgia and the Cavalier Classic Invitational in North Carolina. An incredible 21 students advanced to elimination rounds! Here is how we fared:

Alpharetta Treasure Hunt

Varsity Public Forum: Griffin Richie & Dana Richie, CO-CHAMPIONS; Elena Hubert & Everett Stubin, CO-CHAMPIONS; Griffin Richie, 4th Place Speaker; Cole Parker, 5th Place Speaker; Everett Stubin, 7th Place Speaker; Duncan Tanner, 8th Place Speaker; Elena Hubert, 9th Place Speaker Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Kelly Tran, Octofinals Novice Policy Debate: Shalin Bhatia & Millan Gupta, CHAMPIONS; Shalin Bhutia, 2nd Place Speaker; Millian Gupta, 3rd Place Speaker Novice Public Forum Debate: Jamie Marlowe and Zach Spangler, Finalists; Jamie Marlowe, TOP SPEAKER; Zach Spangler, 3rd Place Speaker; Delia Schroeder, 7th Place Speaker; Augustus Werthman, 9th Place Speaker Informative Speaking: Nora Ball, 3rd Place Original Oratory: Salaam Awad, tied for 2nd Place Extemporaneous Speaking: Oliver Gray, CHAMPION; Ava Smith, 3rd Place; Mark McClain, 5th Place  

Cavalier Classic Invitational

Extemporaneous Speaking: Maeve Malaney-Lau, Quarterfinalist; George Lefkowicz, Semifinalst Impromptu Speaking: Lucia Fernandez, Quarterfinalist  

2021 Sheard Excellence in Coaching

Our very own Mario Herrera was recognized with the 2021 Sheard Exellence in Coaching Award. We all know how special he is and how lucky we are to have him here at Grady! Here’s what they had to say about Mario:
Mario Herrera is the longtime coach at Henry W Grady HS (soon to be Midtown HS). He is a titan of our activity, but it isn’t the dominance of Grady Forensics that makes him worth of recognition. Mario approaches each moment in this activity as someone who is committed to doing the right thing and knowing that every person can grow from this activity. But Mario doesn’t just try to help students grow. He is a mentor to every coach around him. He works to find the best in each individual and inspire them to grow more. Mario is humble, grounded, and inspiring. This community is a better place because of Mario.
Thanks for your continued support!

Results from Chengdu, China: Congratulations to George and Griffin

I hope you all had a restful Thanksgiving Break!

Over break, the debate team of George Lefkowicz and Griffin Richie competed in the Chengdu, China Youth Debate Challenge. I’m happy to report that the team went undefeated in preliminary rounds, advanced to elimination rounds and ended up taking 5th place at the China/US competition. They are one of only 2 teams from the United States to be in the top 8 teams. It was a remarkable experience!

I know some asked if they could watch and I meant to let you know that the rounds were not open to the public or I would have invited everyone to sit in the debate rounds. But I told the debaters about the request and they were deeply touched. Thank you!

Thanks for your constant support!

Mario Herrera

Jesters Win in PA, GA

Congrats to the Jesters for their success at TWO tournaments this weekend, in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Right on theme for the week! 15 different students advanced to elimination rounds! Stellar job!  Here is how we fared:

Sequoyah HS Autumn Argument

Novice Policy Debate: 3rd Place, Henry Carter & Farris Duwayri (Jesters from Howard Middle School!!!); 2nd Place, Millan Gupta & Shalin Bhatia; 8th Speaker, Farris Duwayri; 6th Speaker, Henry Carter; 2nd Speaker: Shalin Bhatia; TOP SPEAKER: Millan Gupta

Novice Public Forum Debate: 2nd Place, Abby Hyken and Charlie Suazo

William Tennent HS Invitational, Pennsylvania, 12 states in attendance 

Original Oratory: Semifinalist, Lucia Fernandez

Extemporaneous Speaking: Semifinalist, Bryant Hodgson; Semifinalist, Oliver Grady; 2nd Place, George Lefkowicz

JV Public Forum Debate: Quarterfinalists, Jack Huray & Chloe Walker

Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Quarterfinalist, Peter Haynes

Varsity Public Forum Debate: Semifinalists, Duncan Tanner & Cole Parker

Winning at Winnersville

Congratulations to the Jesters who competed this weekend at the Wildcat at Winnersville Speech and Debate Tournament, hosted by Valdosta HS. The Jesters had another fantastic showing, having the most students advance and place than any other school. Schools from Georgia, Tennessee and Florida attended the tournament. Here is how we fared:

Original Oratory: Salaam Awad, 5th Place; Oliver Gray, 2nd Place

Informative Speaking: Bryant Hodgson, 4th Place; Nora Ball, 3rd Place

Extemporaneous Speaking: Bryant Hodgson, 5th Place; Maeve Malaney-Lau, 4th Place; Oliver Gray, 3rd Place: Jorge Navarrete, 2nd Place; George Lefkowicz, CHAMPION

Public Forum Debate: Duncan Tanner & Cole Parker, CHAMPIONS

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Aran Sonnad-Joshi, 3rd Speaker; Lauren Scaffidi, 1st Speaker; Lauren Scaffidi, 2nd Place Overall

We couldn’t compete without our community and parent judges! Thanks to Kathryn Lawler, Gene Likins, Vicki Gray, Harshad Joshi and Shashi Sonnad. You’re the best!

We have the next weekend off and then we split the team and compete at the Sequoyah HS Autumn Argument in Canton, GA, and the William Tennent HS Invitational in PA.

Incredible showing at the Johns Creek

Incredible showing at the Johns Creek HS Gladiator Debates Speech and Debate Tournament!

Original Oratory: Oliver Gray, 1st Place
Extemporaneous Speaking: 5th Place, Anna Rafferty; 4th Place, Ava Young; 3rd Place: Sayan Sonnad-Joshi; 2nd Place, Oliver Gray; CHAMPION, George Lefkowicz
Varsity Public Forum Debate: 9th Speaker, Duncan Tanner; 2nd Speaker, Cole Parker; CHAMPIONS, Dana Richie & Griffin Richie and Cole Parker & Duncan Tanner, CO-CHAMPIONS!
Lincoln-Douglas Debate: 2nd Speaker, Peter Haynes; 5th Place, Aran Sonnad-Joshi; Peter 3rd Place, Peter Haynes

Jesters Conquer at Calhoun

Congrats, Jesters on a great Calhoun tournament! Here is how we fared:
George Lefkowicz, 1st Place on Extemp
Oliver Gray, 2nd Place Extemp
Bryant Hodgson, 3rd Place Extemp
Sayan Sonnad-Joshi, 4th Place Extemp
Oliver Gray, 1st Original Oratory
Ava Smith, 1st Place,.Impromptu
Aran Sonnad-Joshi, 2nd Place, Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Lauren Scaffidi, 2nd Speaker,Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Everett Stubin & Elena Hubert, 2nd Place, Public Forum Debate
Elena Hubert, 4th Place Speaker, Public Forum Debate