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Anderson Senior Wins Top National, State Honors in Original Oratory

Anderson High School senior Nikki Dargahi has won first place in one of the largest and most competitive high school speech and debate tournaments in the country.

Dargahi earned top honors in original oratory when the Anderson team traveled to Chicago in November to compete in the Glenbrooks tournament, beating 115 students in 13 rounds of competition.

For an original oratory, students must research a topic, then write, memorize and perform a speech intended to inspire the audience.

Dargahi spoke about the dangers associated with ethnocentrism, the idea that a person's own culture or ethnicity is superior to those of other people.

At UT-Austin’s Longhorn Classic in December she repeated the feat, defeating more than 100 competitors to capture first place in original oratory.

Joe Uhler, Anderson’s speech and debate team coach, praised Dargahi for her accomplishments.

"Nikki has worked exceptionally hard this year, and she has grown into one of the top speakers in competitive high school speech and debate,” Uhler said. “She is also incredibly humble and is a supportive teammate. We are so lucky to have Nikki representing Anderson High School."