Seton Students Enjoy Winning Season In Forensics

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CLARK—The Mother Seton Forensics Team brought home no less than 16 trophies this year, and one member won her way to national competition.

In the leading position was junior Rachel del Valle of Newark, president of the Forensics Club.  Presenting her own composition, a speech on television, satire, politics, and the news, del Valle won trophies in four separate days of competition.  Her overall score for the year placed her first in her event, original oratory, among some two dozen public and private schools.

As a result, she competed in the National Catholic Forensics tournament on Memorial Day weekend, with the best public speakers from more than 2,000 high schools countrywide.

Sheila Loesch, a Mother Seton sophomore who lives in South Orange, won two trophies this year in Declamation; she performed a humorous commencement speech originally given by Jim Gaffigan. In the same event, freshman Dannah Laguitan of Woodbridge also won, but her piece was entirely serious: Mary Fisher’s moving oratory, “A Whisper of AIDS.”

Senior Dianna Micek of Linden, a four-year participant who has worked in several speaking events and who is a club officer, won in her event, Varsity Oral Interpretation. Micek specializes in comic performance and did an especially popular presentation of Dr. Seuss’s environmental fable, “The Lorax.”

In junior varsity Oral Interpretation, juniors Bintu Conteh of New Brunswick and Claire Teasdale of Westfield each won two trophies; sophomore Soley Esteves of Avenel won two trophies and sophomore Sandeep Sandhu of Colonia won three.   Both Esteves and Sandhu were brand new to forensics.

The Mother Seton students compete against male and female students from both public and private schools. The meets include participants from 15 to 25 schools in the Newark Catholic Forensics League, one of the largest leagues in the nation.

Dr. Marylou Motto, who teaches in the English Department and coaches the Mother Seton Forensics Team, says that although the team is small, team spirit is high:  “Even the girls who compete against each other cheer one another on.  When the team does well and many girls win, the entire team celebrates.   Our school slogan is ‘academic excellence and Seton spirit,’ and the forensics team exemplifies both qualities.”

Mother Seton Regional High School, a mid-sized Catholic school for girls located in Clark, just off the Garden State Parkway circle, draws enrollment from five counties.

The 2008-09 Mother Seton High School Forensics Team-Standing (left to right):  Dianna Micek, Soley Esteves, Dannah Laguitan, Sandeep Sandu, Claire Teasdale, Dr. Marylou Motto. Seated:  Sheila Loesch, Rachel del Valle, Bintu Conteh. (Photo by Joan Barron)


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