Debate Team members head to state championships

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Nine members of the High School Debate Team recently competed at Jericho High School and three of them now qualify to debate at the state level.

Freshmen Paul Losacalzo, Yusra Rashidzada and Jalal Sawas competed at the Novice level and Sawas won three of four debates to qualify him for the state level. Juniors Sarah Acerra, Declan Beran, Andrew Honold, Emma Kirkpatrick, Kathleen Loscalzo and Mahdi Rashidzada competed at the Junior Varsity level. Rashidzada won three of four debates and will also head to the state competition.

According to English teacher and adviser Brenna Gilroy, the tournament was the first Honold has competed in, which made his first-place win in the JV division exceptional. He won all four of the debates he competed in to qualify him for the state level.

Beran and Kirkpatrick, co-captains of the team, founded it last year. Members practice debating, learning effective research, analytical and public speaking skills as well as teamwork and collaboration – all skills transferable to their everyday lives and beyond.

The students will head to the New York State Forensic League Championship tournament to be held at Hofstra University in April.