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National Champion Carly Gelles

Sophomore Carly Gelles is the 2021 National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Tournament National Champion in Oral Interpretation of Literature.

Gelles was one of six Scarsdale High School students who qualified for the competition, which was held virtually this year. Among those who competed,

  • Thomas Gibney (Class of '22) made it to the Octafinals (the top 48 of 275 competitors) in Dramatic Performance.


  • Rishika Bansal (Class of '22) made it to the Octafinals (the top 48 of 253 competitors) in Extemporaneous Speaking.


  • Zach Siegel (Class of '21) made it to the Octafinals (top 16 of 255 competitors) in Lincoln Douglas Debate and was the Top Speaker in preliminary rounds.


  • Rowan Hafner (Class of '22) placed 7th overall, missing the final round by a slim margin in Extemporaneous Speaking.


Sophomore Carly Gelles won the National Championship in Oral Interpretation of Literature out of the 263 students that competed in the category.

In Oral Interpretation, students prepare two 10 minute selections, one prose and one poetry, that they perform in alternating rounds. Carly's prose selection was from the memoir "Educated" by Tara Westover. For her poetry selection, Carly wove together four poems on the related theme of the silencing caused by intimate partner violence.

Although the topic of intimate partner violence can be difficult, she worked closely with her coaches and parents throughout her poem selection and performance preparation, and had ongoing conversations about the subject throughout.

Gelles' championship caps a banner year for the Speech & Debate team, who successfully transitioned to an entirely virtual format for every tournament this year. The team's season finale will be the National Speech & Debate Assocation National Tournament June 13-19. Gelles is shown below performing, and learning she has been crowned the champion. 

Carly Gelles performs, and learns she is the National Champion.