Upper School Debate Team scores record wins at tournament

The Upper School Debate Team is on the road to a very promising season after an impressive showing at a recent tournament. On Saturday, November 16, the debaters competed at an all-day tournament at Arundel High School—clocking a record number of wins.

More than half of the participating students won all of their rounds. In the Junior Varsity (JV) division, Ally Wolfe '23 and Francesca D’Alessio '23  took home gold medals while Sam Schreiber '23 and Abby Buck '23 won bronze medals. Bronze medals were also awarded to Ellie Proutt '21, Roan Blakeley '21, Parker Hollendoner '21, and Henry Geller '21 in the Varsity division.

Faculty advisor, Travis Henschen, reports that the team has grown significantly over the past two years and estimates 25 students will participate in debate tournaments this year. The team, run and organized entirely by students, also credits parental involvement with their growing success. Several Friends parents have volunteered to lead workshops and presentations in an effort to support the burgeoning team. Dr. Omowale Elson (parent of Imani Elson '21) teaches debate at the college level and recently led a workshop for the team, and last year Janet Lord (parent of Daniel Mertus '19), gave a presentation on international law as the team prepared for a topic about Catalonian independence.

Henschen notes that at least one team qualifies for the regional tournament each year, and the group is looking ahead, hoping to compete in the national tournament this year.
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