Middle School Students Excel at Debate

FROM THE EXAMINER 2013-12-26 / Front Page The English-Speaking Union, in collaboration with ClaremotMcKenna College, sponsored the Garden State Debate League tournament for middle school students on Dec. 7 at Stone Bridge Middle School in Allentown. Competing for trophies in the categories of Best Speaker, Top Team and Best Overall School were 86 students from Barkalow Middle School (Freehold Township), Bolger Middle School (Keansburg), the Hun School (Princeton), Mother TeresaRegional School (Atlantic Highlands), Our Lady of Sorrows (Hamilton), Rumson Country Day School (Rumson), Stone Bridge Middle School (Upper Freehold Regional School District,and the Wilberforce School (Princeton), according to a press release. The 29 teams all posed well-researched arguments on both sides of these topics: the atomic bombing of Japan was justified; single sex schools are good for K-12 students; raising the minimum wage causes more harm than good; and surveillance measures by the U.S. government are warranted. Stone Bridge earned the first place school trophy for mostteam wins with 15, and the Hun School earned second place with 12 wins. The Wilberforce School took home the tournament trophy for highest percentage of wins and Stone Bridgeearned second place. Students were also awarded individual speaker points for their debate performances. The following students earned the top speaker award for their schools: Andrew Salm (Barkalow), Bernie Comey (Bolger,Michael Alonzo (Hun), Steven Claggit (Mother Teresa), Lauren Wright (Our Lady of Sorrows), Taylor Harrison (Rumson Country Day) Deven Kinney (Stone Bridge) and Andy D'Alessio(Wilberforce). Nelson Lin, a first-time debater from the Barkalow Middle School, won the gavel for earning the most points for the entire tournament. The Garden State Debate League is part of a national network of middle school debate programs established 10 years ago by Claremont McKenna College to integrate public speaking and debate into the school curriculum for young adolescents, according to the press release. Through middle school debate leagues, the English-Speaking Union promotes the art of public speaking and debate, and improves the state of civil discourse among the nation's younger citizens.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Guterl published on January 5, 2014 12:43 PM.

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