Lower School Students shine in Forensics Tournament

Collegiate’s clever fourth through sixth-grade forensics team took top titles at this year’s Robert S. Sergeant Independent Schools Forensics Tournament hosted by Nansemond-Suffolk Academy on April 18, 2018. Students proved their impressive communication skills through speech-making and oral presentation. Our Oaks were up against tough competition from Cape Henry Collegiate, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Christian, Virginia Beach Friends School and The Williams School.

Forensics club gives students the platform and knowledge to speak effectively. After many months of practice, students faced-off against their peers from other independent schools in Hampton Roads in several areas: The oratory portion of the competition asks students to write and recite a persuasive speech; poetry requires students to recite a poem; the prose portion looks for students to read an excerpt from a novel; and storytelling requires students to perform a story for the audience. Students are then judged on a variety of oral communication skills, and this year, Collegiate students brought home five top titles.

Sixth grader Blaike Hill was “really excited about winning third place in boys’ prose.” He continued by saying, “I felt like the whole team worked really hard preparing for the tournament.”

“Prior to winter break, we organized our team and picked who would be competing for which category,” said third-grade teacher Lauren Langley who advises the club at Collegiate. “I met with each student in the storytelling division before school or after school. This was a huge time commitment for the students and their families. I am so proud that they all gave 100 percent.”

Congratulations to each student who participated!


  • Sarah Bartlett
  • Grant Fowler
  • Alex Salzberg
  • Aya Musselmani
  • Nora Sheeta - alternate
  • David Sawyer - alternate
  • Megan Saunders - alternate


  • Carmen Gaskin - Third place in girls' prose
  • Blaike Hill - Third place in boys' prose
  • Henry Frankenberry
  • Ayla Reddix
  • Bella Clements - alternate
  • Dahra Reece Rexford - alternate

Original Oratory

  • Blake Hrisko - Second place in boys original oratory
  • Emear Smith
  • Elliot Thomson
  • Emma McMonagle

Story Telling

  • Brandon Willis - First place in boys oratory
  • Dinari Redmonds
  • Meera Shah - First place in girls storytelling
  • Mackenzie Farrell