Seventh Graders are Tops as Forensics Team Sweeps Competition, Earning Top Three Spots (

West Essex — Education Top Stories

Seventh Graders are Tops as Forensics Team Sweeps Competition, Earning Top Three Spots

Christine Corliss

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 • 10:29pm

West Caldwell, NJ –  Seventh graders from Grover Cleveland Middle School (GCMS), Caldwell, came out on top on Saturday, December 7, when twelve students from the middle school traveled to Chatham, participating in the Interpretive Reading Forensic Tournament run by the New Jersey Drama and Forensic League. The seventh graders returned with four winners and three trophies, earning first, second and two students tying for third place. Designed to get students interested in public speaking and to award those who show excellence in speech, the competition, also enhances students’ public speaking knowledge and skill.

“Practicing to compete in an interpretive reading competition takes a lot of dedication and hard work,” said teacher and forensic team coach Claudia Douris. “The students work very hard to perfect their performances, practicing their presentation techniques for months at a time. These students really rose to the challenge.” 

Twelve school districts participated in the event held at Chatham Middle School. Representing GCMS were eighth graders Stephanie Eckhardt and Ben Mulick, seventh graders Julia Tuck, Natasha LaChac, DeeAnna Meluso and Jessica Rizzo, and sixth graders Connor Padover, Ben Kopen, Isabel Caravella, Laria Bryant, Chloe Cordasco, and Anya Bargielski. The Caldwell middle school swept the competition, earning the top three spots. Tuck earned first place in the competition, with LaChac taking second, and Meluso and Rizzo tying for third.

For more information on Grover Cleveland Middle School, visit