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Award winning forensics team honored by board of trustees

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The El Camino board of trustees honored the EC forensics team for their outstanding accomplishments during their 2017 season, on Monday, May 22 in the Alondra Room.

The 2017 season was the forensics’ team most successful season in its history. The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) awards two national titles every year and they won both, according to EC President Dena Maloney.

The first national champion they won was the NPDA season-long sweepstakes, according to forensics coach Francesca Bishop. The award is won if a college accumulated the most amount of points during a season. EC was ranked No. 4 out of more than 200 community colleges and universities. EC was No. 1 out of community college point rankings.

Bishop thanked the dean of Fine Arts, Berkeley Price and the vice president of Academic Affairs, Jean Shankweiler for their support. She specifically thanked the auxiliary board for the boost in funds for the forensics team.

“Without that (raise in funds) , this would not have happened this year.” Bishop said.

The most recent tournament the EC forensics team won was the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, according to assistant coach Joseph Evans. More than 60 teams are invited to be in this tournament and EC was one of them.

“Our top debater Curtis (Wang) and his partner Zara Andrabi qualified for that tournament,” Evans said. “(They) did the best of any community college in the history of the tournament, they placed eighth overall.”

EC was the only community college invited to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. All other schools were four-year universities.

Even though EC did not win the Tournament of Excellence, Evans feels that earning the eighth place finish is very special.

“Not only are we the first community college to ever advance this far,” Evans said. “But the first college in Southern California to advance this far.”

There are seven students on the forensics team, six of them were accepted into either UC Berkeley or UCLA, and five of the seven students were in their first year at EC.

Four students will return to EC for a second year, one will be transferring to UC Berkeley, another will be transferring to UC Irvine and one student is deciding between UC Berkeley and UCLA.

President of the Board Kenneth Brown is incredibly proud of what the forensics team did this year and appreciates all the work the students and coaches put in.

“Whatever they’re feeding the forensics coaches … I want everybody else to have,” Brown said. “This year, they’ve done something that no other community college in the nation has done … we got to recognize that. There’s a lot of people putting blood, sweat and tears into this.”

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Award winning forensics team honored by board of trustees