Debate Team: Aiming for Albuquerque

Debate Team trophy from the Eagle Scramble. Photo credit: Dickson
Debate Team photo.
Photo credit: Cameron Gratz ‘23
Debate Team trophy from the Eagle Scramble.
Photo credit: Dickson

This year, the Debate Team had a successful season with their points for high school putting them fourth out of thirteen in the state; with high school and middle school points combined, second in the state.

They had two debates so far, and this January, they are scheduled to go up to Georgia for a tournament. They will then go to a tournament in Gainesville, and then on to the state qualifiers in Fleming Island. After that, they will hopefully go on to a tournament in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and finally, nationals in Albuquerque.

This year, they focused heavily on Congress, which is an event where, like the United States Congress, the objective is to debate and pass bills. But Matthew Keller ‘21 says, “we’ve noticed we might have to switch out to a new set of or a new competition instead of Congress.”

The debate team also participated in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, named after the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, with two students, Fapianey Alexandre ‘21 and Dahlia Kirov ‘21 exceeding their topic on whether
standardized test is a fair way to judge students’ intelligence. They had to argue both sides and placed first two times.

Some other students who did well are Sophie Grace Posick ‘22, Nilesh Patel ’22, Andrew
McGraw ‘23, Joe Libby ‘21, Matthew Keller ‘21, Will Stankard ‘22, Tyler Schimpff ‘22, George Duffy ‘21, and our very own Bugle staffer, Cameron Gratz ‘23, who achieved first place in the Congress event.

As for the newer team members, “all the members kind of flowed in with…how we work” says Keller.

When asked what the best part was, Mrs. Kervin, one of the two faculty sponsors along with Mr. Hutchings, said “the high points have been the students themselves.”

Throughout the year, the debate team has also been discussing how to talk about complicated and controversial issues like the Hong Kong protests and Syria and Turkey. “Everything current in the world…all of these things that really give them an insight into current politics and current legislature that has been passed already, but we’re always thinking about the Constitution.” says Mrs. Kervin.