Sophomore wins gold in national speech and debate tournament


Printed with permission of Nilufer Mistry Sheasby

Nilufer Mistry Sheasby smiles for a photo after winning gold in a national speech and debate competition.

Davis Marks

Nilufer Mistry Sheasby ’24 won first place overall at the 2021 National Online Forensics High School Championship (NOF), a speech and debate competition held online May 29 and May 30.

Mistry Sheasby won first place in the Original Prose and Poetry, Extemporaneous Argumentation and Spontaneous Argumentation (SPAR) categories. Her accomplishments helped lead the school to win first place overall in the school sweepstakes.

Mistry Sheasby joined the school’s speech team at the beginning of her freshman year, and though she had competed in other tournaments and practiced throughout the year, she said she was surprised by the outcome of the championship given the short amount of time she had been on the team.

“Winning gold overall in NOF was a very unexpected surprise,” Mistry Sheasby said. “I had just started speech in the fall, and for one of the events that I placed first in, SPAR, it was actually my first time competing in it.”

The competition lasted close to seven hours on both days, meaning Mistry Sheasby prepared and spoke back to back throughout the competition in order to compete in all her events.

Speech Coach Sarina Wang said she is proud of Mistry Sheasby’s win and the work she put into the team.

“I’m especially proud of [Mistry Sheasby’s] accomplishments because she had pulled together events last minute to compete against folks from across the country and ended up coming out on top,” Wang said. “[Mistry Sheasby] won multiple gold awards in both the speech and debate categories, which is truly impressive considering how this was her very first year.”

Mistry Sheasby also noted that, despite her accomplishments, the championship was deeply meaningful because it gave her an opportunity to speak about her personal experiences.

“In the Original Prose and Poetry category, I had written and delivered a deeply personal piece about being multiracial in America,” Mistry Sheasby said. “I felt like my story had moved other people and helped them feel heard as well, which is, at its core, the point of the competition.”