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Patch Whiz Kid of the Week—Anya Poplavska

Know an outstanding youth, sports team, school club or any accomplished young citizen who is deserving of this mini-profile honor? Send your nominations to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

Anya Poplavska is an eighth-grader at Joaquin Miller Middle School who excels in speech, debate, academics and the performing arts. Courtesy Helen Heinsohn
Anya Poplavska is an eighth-grader at Joaquin Miller Middle School who excels in speech, debate, academics and the performing arts. Courtesy Helen Heinsohn
Anya Poplavska, Age 13

Schools: eight-grader at Joaquin Miller Middle School in Cupertino, Young Genius Bay Area Speech and Debate Academy in Los Gatos and Saratoga.

Accomplishments:

  • Octofinalist in public forum debate at Santa Clara University in November of 2013
  • Part of Young Genius Speech and Debate Team at Miller Middle School, placed third
  • Starting Arts student
  • Third-year member of advanced choir at Miller Middle School
  • February 2013, Best Middle School Choir at Heritage Presidential Inauguration Festival, Washington D.C.
  • Summer 2013, lead role in musical “School House Rock” performed at Santa Clara University Theater.
  • Summer 2011, lead role in musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Retro Dome Theater.
  • Six years of competitive artistic gymnastic experience, 2005-2011
  • Competing at Northern California State Artistic Gymnastic; scoring first place all around in her age division in the fall 2011.
  • Outstanding academic student since elementary school
  • Honor Roll student
  • Gifted and Talented Education, or GATE program qualified
  • Fluent in Russian, has been studying language for eight years in Campbell

Key to Awesomeness:

Anya has been passionate about speech and debate since 2012, according to Young Genius Bay Area Speech and Debate Academy owner Helen Heinsohn.

Anya and speech and debate partner Emily Chen competed mostly with high school teams and got to the top 16 out of more than 100 teams in the last tournament at Santa Clara University, Heinsohn said.

“This is such a remarkable accomplishment for a middle school team of their caliber. I am proud to coach such outstanding students,” said Don Heinsohn, director of the Young Genius Educational Center Speech and Debate program.

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