The opening paragraph of the letter that landed on Trey Cassidy’s desk last week read: “…I am proud to congratulate your student, Chelsea Sheldon, on earning the National Speech & Debate Association’s Academic All American Award!” Knowing Chelsea as he does, Cassidy was pleased but not surprised. “This is a young woman who was Commended in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, is an accomplished artist, a skilled writer, a talented actor, and of course, a phenomenal public speaker. Chelsea is a wonderful example of a well-rounded student who’s also just a really good kid. We’re very proud of her.”
Chelsea, who is a Bancroft senior and a Sandboxer, was last year’s State Champion in Original Oratory and placed 31st in the country at Nationals. Asked about the Academic All American Award, she remarked, “I am truly touched to receive this award from the National Speech and Debate Association. It is a great honor. Similarly, I can’t thank the Bancroft Speech Team enough for helping me find my voice over the past four years.”
In order to be eligible for the All American Academic distinction, Chelsea had to earn 750 merit points in speech tournaments, achieve a GPA greater than 3.7 (hers is 4.0), and demonstrate outstanding character and leadership. Fewer than 500 of the 141,000 association members ever reach this level. As her proud coach (and mom) Pam Sheldon explains, “There are usually only three or four rounds of competition in a tournament, and the most you can earn in one round is six points. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to accrue 750 points.”
A co-captain of the close-knit Speech Team, Chelsea brought home another award from a recent tournament (1st Place in Original Oratory), as did several of her teammates: Caroline Morgan (2nd Place in Children's Literature); Jon Call & Abby Mann (3rd Place in Team Improv); Noah Cichowlas & Aiden Petter (4th Place in Team Improv), and Aryan Chaudhary (Finalist in Student Congress). Chelsea, Caroline, Aryan and Giuliana Russo all got bids to the State Tournament in April!
We congratulate Chelsea and all of her fellow Speechies and coaches on their teamwork, perseverance, and dedication to representing Bancroft so admirably on the local and national stage. ♦
Chelsea Sheldon '18 (front row, third from left) and fellow members of the Bancroft School Speech Team at a recent tournament.