John Trezza was recently named a national winner for his ability to debate legislation.

The Roslyn High School sophomore took first place in one of several categories at the 2011 Princeton Classic, a national competition that test teens in fields such as speaking, public forum debate and Congress.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Trezza took top honors in the Congress category by debating topics ranging from amnesty for illegal immigrants to cutting aid to Pakistan to tax cuts under President George W. Bush.

Three other Roslyn students -- Jenny Godman, Julia Cohen and Phillip Weinstein -- were among the event's 16 finalists.

"For all the work I put into it, to say I was number one is a really great feeling," said Trezza, 15. He added: "General speaking skills for life can be very important, and this [competition] is a great tool for students."

Participating pupils were scored on criteria ranging from speaking ability to tone to content, Trezza said. To reach the finals, he survived preliminary and semifinal rounds that he described as "quite exhausting."

At Roslyn, Trezza is a member of the Forensics Club, Global Awareness Club, Model Government and Chess Club. He is also on the hockey team.