New York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino spoke at the January 28th Long Island Forensic Association tournament, hosted by Walt Whitman High School. The event boasted approximately 175 of Long Island's top Lincoln Douglas debaters and Public Forum competitors. These students hail from area schools including Walt Whitman, Chaminade, Syosset, Schreiber, Roslyn, Great Neck South, Half Hollow Hills East, Half Hollow Hills West, Kellenberg, Jericho, and Cold Spring Harbor.
Senator Marcellino opened the all-day tournament with words of inspiration to what Walt Whitman forensic speech and debate advisor Lisa O'Keefe called "America's future leaders." Senator Marcellino, a former teacher, quoted Theodore Roosevelt and spoke about the importance of having the courage to make a difference in the world. Marcellino gave recognition to the commitment these students possess and the intelligence and talent they exemplify in researching and presenting their arguments. After addressing the audience, he took the opportunity to meet each student individually to express his pride and admiration.
Walt Whitman Principal Jim Polansky was on hand to lend moral support to the students prior to their debate competitions. Whitman students made an outstanding showing in those competitions. Tehreem Rehman had three wins, Desiree Gargano two wins, Ruhani Nanavah two wins, Brianne Roselle one win, and Adeel Ahmed and Anam Rehman had a strong showing.