6th-8th Grd

Velásquez Academy has most clearly established itself as a state and national power at the Middle School level. Our accomplishments are not only sterling, they nearly defy belief when taking into account how tiny our core squad of competitors is! Pound for pound (or speaker for speaker, if you will) we carry a very dense core of talent, in that every major competitor is a multi-skilled, serial champion. What is the objective proof of this? Six of the Top Seven 2015 middle school speakers in California were from our squad, and ALL SEVEN of our main competitors made it into the national Top 25 for 2015, an unprecedented feat, with the next-nearest school only placing four competitors!

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Despite having only existed for a brief time and having no grounds to expect to contend with programs with multiple, experienced coaches and far more time and money than we, our debut and follow-up year at Nationals yielded astonishing results: EVERY single team member “broke” through to the elimination rounds (5 out of 5 in ’14, 6 out of 6 in ’15) with three Quarter-Finalists (Original Oratory, Declamation, Duo) & one Semi-Finalist (Congressional Debate) in 2014 and four Quarter-Finalists (Storytelling, Original Oratory, two in Declamation), five Semi-Finalists (Duo, Declamation, Original Oratory) & three Finalists (Prose, two in Congressional Debate), including 7th in Original Oratory (Catherine Tanidjaja), 4th in Prose Interpretation (Rachel Kho) and the National Champion in Congressional Debate (Jack Xiao) in 2015.

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VA advanced all five students at its first MS Nationals (2014)! Left to right: Rachel Kho (22nd in Duo), Catherine Tanidjaja (13th in Original Oratory, 22nd in Duo), Prof. Velasquez holding Christian Sim’s Semi-Finalist plaque (20th in Congress), Markus McCormack (16th in Declamation)
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7th Grader Christian Sim was our first and only Semi-Finalist at our first Nationals in 2014, winding up in 20th Place in Congressional Debate
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Left to right: Prof. Velásquez, Catherine Tanidjaja (7th Oratory, 8th Duo, 9th Declamation, Top 24 in Storytelling), Jason Lee (10th Declamation), Jack Xiao (National Champion in Congressional Debate), Christian Sim (8th in Congressional Debate), Rachel Kho (4th in Prose, 8th in Duo, Top 24 in Declamation), Dorothy Vassantachart (Top 24 in Original Oratory & Declamation)

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In addition, our two-year record at the CA Championship Tournament is spectacular :

MS State 2014! Left to right: C. Sim (2nd, Congress), D. Vassantachart (1st, Impromptu, 2nd, Declamation), Prof V, C. Tanidjaja (2nd, Original Oratory), R. Kho (2nd, Dramatic Interpretation)

2014 State Tournament: Impromptu Speaking (State Champion, 11th, 12th), Congressional Debate (2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th), Declamation (2nd, 8th, 9th), Original Oratory (2nd), Dramatic Interpretation (2nd), Duo Interpretation (5th)

2014 California Middle School Speech & Debate State Championship (full results link)

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2015 State Results! 1st in CA in Congress & Declamation! 2nd in Drama & Poetry! 3rd in Duo! 4th in Extemp, Declamation & Congress!

2015 State Tournament: Congressional Debate (State Champion, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th), Declamation (State Champion, 4th, 6th, 10th), Dramatic Interpretation (2nd, 6th), Poetry Interpretation (2nd), Duo Interpretation (3rd), Extemporaneous Speaking (4th), Original Oratory (5th, 9th), Impromptu Speaking (7th, 10th)

2015 California Middle School Speech & Debate State Championship (full results link)

These were the State & National rankings for VA in its first year of xistence!!
These were the State & National rankings for VA in its first year of xistence!!
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A 1st & four 2nds at our first State Championship? Too lucky to have so many brilliant students.
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Champions over high schoolers at Long Beach! The first tip that 2014-2015 was going to be special!
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Champions at Cypress College at a high school-only tournament. Shhh! Don’t tell! LOL
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More great performances versus high school students! Congrats to R. Kho, J. Lee, M. McCormack, J. Xian & H. Velasquez-Galvez (our lone high schooler)

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My last two winners before I stopped coaching at Perfect Score Academy! 1st in L.A. in Declamation & 4th in Original Advocacy!

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