Success for Shoreham-Wading River High School Debate Team’s first tournament

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The High School Debate Team experienced a successful day during their first competition recently held at Syosset High School.

Seven students – Sarah Acerra, Declan Beran, Emma Kirkpatrick, Patrick Lane, Katie Loscalzo, Mahdi Rashidzada and Jalal Sawas – attended and each debated four times throughout the tournament. Acerra, Beran, Loscalzo and Rashidzada each won one of the Junior Varsity rounds they competed in and Acerra scored 29/30 points in her very first round.

The students participated in the Lincoln Douglas Debate, a debate of values in which each side attempts to prove that they can provide a better value than the other side. Their topic was whether wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations.

Beran and Kirkpatrick, co-captains of the team, founded it last year and worked with SWR High School English teacher and adviser Brenna Gilroy to get other students interested. They meet weekly to practice debating, learning effective research, analytical and public speaking skills as well as teamwork and collaboration – all skills transferable to the students’ everyday lives and beyond.

“It was a memorable experience for everyone,” said Gilroy. “The team is now looking forward to honing their skills for January's tournament at Schreiber High School.”