Class of 2017

Alexander Landyshev - This lean, mean, Russian machine is best known as Landy, Sergeant at Arms for the ‘16-17 school year. Don’t be fooled by his stern appearance, he is truly a lovable teddy bear in his heart! A dynamo in Congress, Landy proved time and time again how tough of a competitor he was. With every step he took in various congress chambers across the state, the ground shook, knees wobbled, and at least one competitor shed a single tear. His passion for debating others and competing in Congress earned him much respect among competitors. He was always willing to discuss bills and strategies with other novice and varsity team members, serving as both a mentor and indispensable resource. Landy made it to semi-finals at Berkeley in Congress, finals at La Costa in congress, and is a state qualifer, but his bigges accomplishment is being able to devour a 5lb burrito. Landy will begin studying engineering at Purdue University in the fall of 2017.



Emily Turkel - Four year member, two time captain Emily has dabbled in a variety of events, but found her place as a public forum debater. Over the course of her high school career, she has partnered with both Katie Chiou and former secretary Matthew H Kim aka Matty Ice. She and her partners have gone undefeated at tournaments including the Monroe I Have A Dream Tournament, the Fall Open, the National Qualifiers and the Spring Open. She has attempted to make the switch to more “circuit” tournaments, but has an out-round curse. Even with the curse, she and her partner have qualified to the State Tournament, the National Tournament twice, and have done well at invitationals such as Presentation and Harker. Her sassy attitude, love of gardening, and history of fun hair colors is sure to make you smile! Find her at UC Berkeley fall 2017.



Mohammad Alam - Known among friends as Moho, Mohammad is loved by every single person he meets. His career spanned four fun-filled years, his junior and senior year was spent rebuilding Parliamentary Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. He was also the historian his senior year. Moho started out as a shy, introverted student who struggled with a stutter whenever he spoke in public. At one point, he almost fainted from the pressure. Four years later, he now is one of the most outspoken, confident speakers on the team. His voice booms with enthusiasm and verve, his fearless energy crackles when he leaps to speak in front of the team. As a mentor and friend for many on the team, Moho is an inspiration to all of us. Mohammad excels in Extemporaneous Speaking (Extemp) and Parliamentary Debate (Parli), winning fifth place in Extemp at the 2017 I Have a Dream Invitational, Octo-finals in Extemp at Bekeley,2017 league champion in Extemp, and the 2016-2017 John Bernabei award for attending all league tournaments, among numerous other individual accomplishments. Moho will begin studying biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz in the fall of 2017.

Zachary Grove- Known for his perfectly coiffed hair and hipster aesthetic, was a captain in both his junior and senior years as well as a historian his sophomore year. This four year member has been extraordinarily successful in the interpretive (acting) events. Whether it be his Duo Interpretation of Peter and the Starcatcher, his Dramatic Interpretation of I Am My Own Wife, his Thematic Interpretations on the subjects of “madness in art” and “fascism and the dangers of group thought” or any number of other pieces, Zach has proven he has serious acting chops. A friend of everyone on the team, Zach loves to share his passion for performance with anyone willing to listen. He has qualified to the National Speech and Debate Tournament twice, the Tournament of Champions twice, and the State Championships twice. Additionally, he placed in the top 64 in the nation in Thematic Interpretation at the National Speech and Debate 2016 Tournament, amongst other individual tournament accolades. He will be studying history and film at UC Berkeley in the fall, coiffed hair and all.



Faina Mitnik - Faina is a two year member and the caretaker of the team. She was the top PO at Hart Congress and performed well with her Oratorical Interpretation at our Spring Varsity tournament. Breaking stereotypes about nerdy speech and debate kids, Faina is a successful member of both the NHHS girl’s tennis team and marching band. Her outgoing energy and passion for everything she does make her an all-around amazing team member and friend to all those on the team. Farina's constant dedication to improving while still having a wonderful time competing serves as a testament to her outstanding character and chutzpah. UC Davis is lucky to have such a loving person in its graduating class of 2021.

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