Debate team consistently scores multiple awards

By Megan Guerrero

The Debate Team has been on a roll lately winning multiple awards at their recent events, the Jack Howe Invitational, the TLCL Fall Congress Tournament, and the TLCL Novice Tournament.

Most recently on October 22 and 23, the Debate Team competed online at the TCFL Novice Tournament. Sophomore Adya Barthwal went undefeated with a 3-0 record. Junior Emma Kedilerli, and sophomores June Peers, Ren Thankamushy, and Fredric de Quiros were superior winners, ending with 2-1 records. 

Before that, on October 8, the team scored as well at the TCFL Fall Congress Tournament at Hart High School. Junior Alisha Hassanali won first place in the varsity competition. In the novices tournament, freshmen Alexandra Lester and Danielle Lerman scored third place. Freman Lilliana Agazaryan won fourth place. Freshman Jazmine Ponciano won fifth place. Senior Destiny Jackson won Best Presiding Officer.

Last month in their first tournament at the Jack Howe Invitational at Cal State Long Beach, junior Aayushi Garg won first place in Open Congress as well as winning third place in a speaking competition. In the Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate, senior Ahmandreza Sotoudeh won seventh place and senior Dhandi Bhavanbir won tenth, among many other awards at that tournament.

The debate team offers a wide range of benefits to its members such as building friendships with students who have similar interests as well as developing confidence, public speaking practice, and research skills.

In every debate there is an affirmative side who speaks in favor of the resolution and a negative side who speaks against it. Debates usually take about an hour and consist of speeches for and against, as well as cross-examination.

Debate team advisor and English teacher Jerome Robinson believes that to flourish in a debate tournament is like succeeding in English. 

“Structure and organization is the key to great debating just like writing an essay,” Robinson said. “In order to get your point across, you have to guide the judge through the arguments in a logical fashion.  Many of the debaters also do well in their English classes when it comes to writing.” 

Many of the debaters have a great passion for crafting logical arguments. For the congress team’s Emma Kavcioglu, sophomore, her favorite part about her teammates is everyones’ great talent and passion.

“My favorite things about my teammates are their dedication to speech and debate and also their eloquence and talent in speaking, no matter what debate they do,” Kavcioglu said. 

Robinson echoed Kavcioglu’s sentiment about the people on the debate team being passionate. 

“The best part about coaching is watching the future leaders of America,” Robinson said. “They can absorb a plethora of information in a short span of time. People are amazed that a public school can produce such smart students.”