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Sacred Heart School junior Adam Tomasi heads for Kansas City to compete in largest debate tournament in US; Kingston student ranked among top nationally in debate performance
KINGSTON, MA, ISSUED JUNE 16, 2014…Kingston resident Adam Tomasi, a junior at Sacred Heart School in Kingston, is about to step onto a very large national stage, representing his school at the NFL Nationals (National Speech & Debate Association), one of the country’s premier debating competitions.
He will test his skills in the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate, where he will compete with the “best of the best” of school debaters from across the United States, at this tournament to be held in Kansas City. More than 2000 students and hundreds of judges will be at this tournament, which is among the largest, if not the largest, competition in the world.
Tomasi, who has been a Sacred Heart student since his days in kindergarten, is acknowledged as the best debater that Sacred Heart School has. In fact, according to Speech and Debate Coach Daniel Sapir, “Adam is the best debater I have ever worked with.”
The Sacred Heart School Speech and Debate Program ( www.sacredheartkingston.com) is viewed as a very strong program, offering instruction to students beginning as early as 6th grade. The program is nationally ranked, and students travel nationally for competitions.
“Adam began when he was an 8th grade student,” said Sapir, who recalls that his student earned a First Place in a Lincoln-Douglas Invitational that year at Columbia University.
For Adam Tomasi, this “Superbowl of Debates” is the latest in a long series of accomplishments. He has earned more than 2150 NFL (National Forensic League, now National Speech and Debate Association) points, which is a record for Sacred Heart School. His debate topic is: “Resolved: The United States ought to prioritize the pursuit of national security objectives over the digital privacy of its citizens.” As a participant in this debate, he will be prepared to argue both sides of the statement.
There is considerable practice needed even for this skilled debater, who can speak (when necessary) 400 words per minute. His preparation for national competitions is different than that of other students in different schools where there are multiple team members. Because he is the only student at Sacred Heart to advance to this level of competition, he has had to make his own arrangements in his out-of-school debate prep, which includes working with the network of debaters he has built up over the years. His out-of-class debate preparation is with colleagues and friends all over the country via Skype, which helps him prepare for both sides of the same argument. “Being able to think quickly on your feet is key to succeeding, because at a moment’s notice, an opponent can require us to change direction,” he said.
Adam’s parents, Steve and Linda Tomasi, speak with great pride in their son’s accomplishments and note the amount of time and travel that this takes, with his preparation and travels to competitions all across the United States. In his earliest competition at Columbia University, he was competing with 16-year olds when he as an eighth grader. And his pace has continued to pick up. In January of this year, he competed successfully at the Columbia University National Tournament in New York City; and in February, his travels took him to the NFL Nationals Qualifiers, Manchester-Essex, MA (Top seed, undefeated, Lincoln-Douglas) and to the Boston Catholic Forensic League Qualifiers, Shrewsbury (where he qualified for nationals). He earned the Top Speaker award at the Harvard University Invitational Debate Tournament in Cambridge, MA, and recently auto-qualified for next year at the Tournament of Champions, at the University of Kentucky.
Pamela Desmarais, President of Sacred Heart School, said, “Our entire school family is so proud of Adam and all that he has been able to accomplish. He is an exceptional student and debater and we know that he will continue to excel.”
About Sacred Heart School
Sacred Heart is a private, co-educational Catholic school system, which provides educational opportunities for students throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, from preschool through grade 12. As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence, Sacred Heart School strives to inspire minds, define character and encourage responsible leadership through a curriculum that prepares students to pursue knowledge throughout their lives. The school provides students with a strong liberal arts curriculum, and integrates technology into the hands of students with its One to One iPad Program. Sacred Heart also offers extensive athletic, arts and extra-curricular activities for students. Founded in 1947, the school underwent a governance change in July 2011, incorporating the Sacred Heart Schools in Kingston, MA as Sacred Heart School System, Inc. This new structure was implemented to assure the continuation of academic excellence of the Sacred Heart Schools for the future, as well as the Catholic mission and the religious community traditions. The school system serves students on a beautiful, expansive campus on Route 80 that includes three school buildings, a central administrative office, and athletic fields and facilities. Sacred Heart School welcomes students of all faiths and diverse backgrounds. The school prides itself in a commitment to developing the whole student, offering an independent school atmosphere and top-tier academics. Pamela Desmarais serves as the school’s President. The Sacred Heart campus is located at 251-399 Bishops Highway, Kingston, MA 02364. For additional information about the school, please visit www.sacredheartkingston.comor call 781-585-7511.
Photos: Adam Tomasi shown at the Beltway Invitational in 2013; and also at Tournament of Champions,Lexington, KY with Sacred Heart Speech and Debate Coach Dan Sapir.