Buchholz students qualify for national speech and debate competition


Published: Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 5:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 5:18 p.m.

Buchholz High School speech and debate team members qualified for the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Nationals to be held over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago.

They are: Elsa Cuadros in Original Oratory, Taylor Croft and Catherine Whiting in Duo Interpretation, Jason Crawford and Ben Porter also in Duo Interpretation, and Dominique Xi in Oratorical Declamation. Xi also placed fifth at the Novice State competition held April 11-12 in Wekiva High School.

The team also won the National Speech and Debate Association’s 2013 Leading Chapter Award, a distinction also received in 1964.

The speech and debate team has competed in 13 tournaments thus far this school year, including the Blue Key tournament hosted by the University of Florida, the Barkley Forum for Speech and Debate at Emory University in Atlanta, and the Florida Forensic League State Tournament in Fort Lauderdale.

The team is also running a YouCaring fundraiser in an effort to offset the cost of the trip to Chicago in May. Due to the very limited public school budget, the team is entirely funded by student dues and by donations and fundraisers, and travel costs will be about $4,000. “The team needs all the support it can get,” said Richard M. Burns, head coach of the speech and debate team at Buchholz.

Those interested in contributing can pitch in with Buchholz Debate: The Journey to Nationals on the website youcaring.com.

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Cancer researchers from the University of Florida Health Cancer Center are among six grant recipients, each receiving $50,000 to fund their studies, to be honored at the Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research event on May 20 at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.

They are: Dr. Julie Bradley, Dr. Ying Li and Dr. Jeffery Harrison.

The Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research Inc. is a 200-plus member organization that strives to eradicate the disease by supporting research, raising community awareness and commissioning annual tours of UF Health Cancer Center and Moffitt Cancer Center.

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Archer resident Chandler Ash, 17, has been named South Region Youth Advocate of the Year for his leadership in the fight against tobacco by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He was honored at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 18th annual gala held Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Chandler, a home-schooled senior, got involved in fighting tobacco in middle school through Students Working Against Tobacco after watching his grandfather struggle with tobacco addiction.

He set a goal of reducing tobacco use among youth in his county, and much of his advocacy work has revolved around the problem of fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products. As a result of Chandler’s work, the Gilchrist County Commission passed an ordinance requiring all candy-flavored tobacco to be placed behind the counter, out of the sight and reach of children. The commission also passed a resolution recommending that tobacco retailers refrain from selling candy-flavored tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.

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Rachel McKivigan has signed a combination swimming athletic/academic scholarship to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. She is a senior at Buchholz High School and a member of the swim team. She is the daughter of Pat and Lori McKivigan of Gainesville and a member of High Tide Aquatics.

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English professor Sidney R. Homan has been awarded the University of Florida’s Teacher-Scholar of the Year award for 2013-2014.

Originating in 1960, it is UF’s most prestigious and oldest faculty award. It offers an honorarium of $6,000 in addition to other recognition.

Homan along with other winners was recognized recently at a reception hosted by UF President Bernie Machen and his wife, Chris.

Homan joined the UF faculty in 1972. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars and visiting professor of Jilin University in the People’s Republic of China. He has published widely in Shakespeare, Renaissance and modern drama.

He is the author of 10 books on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights. His scholarly interests range from “When the Theater Turns to Itself: The Aesthetic Metaphor in Shakespeare” (1982) to his present work on a piece of historical fiction, “The Dove Society,” a novel, “One Wednesday in Brooklyn,” and an edition of essays, “The Audience As Player: Interactive Theatre Over the Years.” He also collaborated with a colleague in sociology on a book about Hitler in the movies.

Homan has worked in professional, university and community theaters where he has directed and acted in the plays of Shakespeare, Beckett, Stoppard, Pinter, Feiffer, Shepard, Checkhov, Wilde, Shaw, Williams, Churchill and Wasserstein, among others. In February 2003, he made his New York debut in “All Our Yesterdays.” He has directed musicals, and also adapted for the stage everything from Dylan Thomas and Machiavelli to slave diaries, as well as letters to the editor of the local newspaper in a show called “More Letters to the Editor” and a collage of African-American writings, songs and dances entitled “Black Voices.” He also has been a member of two improv groups, “Theater Strike Force” and “Yes, But….!” More recently he has directed Stoppard’s play “Arcadia,” and formed a new improv group, “Much Ado about Doris.”

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