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Parker School debate team competes in national tournament

July 25, 2017 - 12:20am

WAIMEA — Parker School’s debate finalists participated in the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama June 18-23. Students Susie Krall, Kirk Hubbard, Zoe Vann and Anna Gaglione participated in policy debate and Hunter Kalahiki-Arnbrister’s program was in oral interpretation.

The Parker School students competed with over 500 of America’s brightest to determine the prestigious academic honor of national champion. They all won several rounds, with Vann making it the furthest, winning five rounds in extemporaneous debate.

Parker student Hubbard commented, “We didn’t know what to expect from the National Debate Tournament, but both our debate teams found ourselves very well-prepared following a monstrous amount of research and collaboration. I appreciated this opportunity to compete at the highest level of competitive high school debate, as it showcases the formatting, skills, and sheer research that we can utilize not only in this next year of competition but also in later life.”

This trip was made possible by generous donations from the Julia Burke Foundation, the Hapa Fund of Hawaii Community Foundation and individual donors. The donations covered 100 percent of the trip, giving the students, debate coach Carl Sturges and speech coach Christina Culligan the financial support they needed to travel across the country and participate in this week-long event.

The future of Parker’s debate team is bright. Forty students are signed up for the 2017-2018 school-year, many of them with debate experience.

Sophomore Gaglione remarked, “The whole experience has been extraordinary. I learned so much. I’m ready to start implementing some of the tactics and styles we learned watching our competition in this upcoming year. I think that with this new knowledge, this year’s Policy Debate team is really going to excel. I’m excited to work hard and prove myself at Nationals next year.”

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