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DHS Debate Students Qualify for Nationals

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DHS Debate Students Qualify for Nationals
Posted on 03/30/2022
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In addition to the Deering High School Debate Team’s great success at the State Championship Tournament in February, team members have now qualified for nationals.

Freshmen Public Forum debaters Mya Landry and Violet Blum Levine qualified to go to nationals with the National Catholic Forensic League. “They’ll be traveling to Washington D.C. Memorial Day weekend to compete with other top debaters from around the country,” said Krista Simonis, who co-coaches the team along with teacher Molly Callaghan. “On top of the success the Deering Debate has had (state champions in both Novice and Varsity Public Forum), this is a fantastic way to end the long debate season.”

In addition, freshmen debaters Isabella Figdor and Anya Heiden placed as first alternates. Simonis explained that there are four spots available for the national tournament. “Our ‘first alternates’ placed fifth in the tournament, meaning if someone else couldn't go, they would be able to attend,” she said. “Considering that all of our freshmen were competing in a bracket with upperclassmen, this is a remarkable achievement.”

The qualifier event was held on Saturday, March 19. “Their resolution for this tournament in March was: ‘In the United States, the benefits of increasing organic agriculture outweigh the harms,’” Simonis said. “This means they had to be prepared to argue both sides of the issue, with evidence. Previous topics for this year included: NATO and the Baltic States, cryptocurrency, the legalization of illicit drugs, and Turkey's membership in NATO.”

She noted that debates have been all online for the past two years, due to COVID, so the nationals will be the first time these DHS debaters are able to debate in person.

“Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson talked about how beneficial being a part of high school debate was for her, and I know our students are certainly getting many of the same benefits,” Simonis said. “We're excited to continue fostering champion debaters and hopefully we’ll see an expansion of our program next year as well. We doubled in size this past year!”

The team is fundraising to enable Violet and Myra and a chaperone/judge go to D.C. for the contest. Additional funds will go to the team’s overall budget. To donate, go to: https://square.link/u/s3aNjm46