Over Memorial Day weekend, talented students from Newark made a significant impact at the National Catholic Forensic Language (NCFL) Grand National Tournament. Samuel Thomas, twelfth-grade student, from Central High School celebrated a historic fifth-place national finish. Coached by Dennis K. Philbert, Central High School continued its record-setting tradition. Samuel Thomas is the second Newark Public School student to make it to the finals of this national competition and the first to advance to the Dramatic Performance final.
Joining Thomas on this victorious experience was his fellow teammate, Deborah Edohwokui, also coached by Mr. Philbert, who placed 23rd in the nation as a quarterfinalist in Oral Interpretation. At the same time, the Newark School of Fashion & Design marked its debut at the tournament with Edwin Granados, coached by David Richardson, who finished among the top 48 Octofinalists in Dramatic Performance. Meanwhile, Mitchel Elusanmi, a Barringer High School student, participated under coach Michael Sowell's guidance, further broadening the Newark representation at the tournament.
Other dedicated participants from Central High School included Micah Acolatse, Ayomide Adekoya, and Mary Nabulya, all nurtured under the coaching expertise of Mr. Philbert. This achievement marks a proud moment for Newark Public Schools and is a testament to the partnership with the Newark Debate Academy. Their joint efforts continue to foster an environment that champions academic excellence, instilling in students the skills to reach their potential.