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Upper School Debate rolls again this year

12316562_724764837660409_7923373217373716089_nThe Greenhills Upper School debate team has continued its winning ways this year, with success in tournaments in Michigan and across the country.

For the second year in a row, Greenhills debaters won the qualifying tournaments to represent Michigan at both the National Speech and Debate Association’s (NSDA’s) National Tournament and the National Catholic Forensic League’s (NCFL’s) Grand National Tournament. Junior Powel Kazanjian and sophomore Harry Bagenstos will attend NSDA Nationals in Salt Lake City this June. They will also attend NCFL Nationals in Sacramento this May, where they will be joined by sophomores Divya Macha and Amina Tanweer.

These achievements cap a year of great success. Kazanjian and Bagenstos made finals at the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association’s (MIFA’s) Varsity State Championship tournament, and freshmen Mubarak Hassan and Drake Rosenberg made finals at MIFA’s Novice State Championship. Kazanjian and Bagenstos also won three invitational tournaments in Michigan this year, made it to finals at another, and made it to semifinals at still another. And they made it to elimination rounds at two large national tournaments: at Lexington High School in Massachusetts in January, and at Millard North High School in Nebraska in February. At the Harvard Invitational Tournament in February, Bagenstos was ranked the 23d speaker (out of 612 from across the country) in the varsity division, and the Macha/Tanweer team achieved a winning record in the junior varsity division.

12772015_761733793963513_7851725553872374458_oThroughout the year, seven Greenhills debaters won individual speaker awards at one or more tournaments:  Kazanjian, Bagenstos, Tanweer, Hassan, junior Nikhil Chamarthi, sophomore Bella Pryor, and freshman Leo Fried.

The Greenhills debate team participates in the Public Forum Debate event, in which two-person teams argue about topics that relate to prominent public issues. The topics change every month. This year’s debate topics have included the question whether the federal government should pay reparations to African-Americans; whether a government should prioritize the humanitarian needs of refugees over its national interests; whether economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to the West; and whether the federal government should implement a carbon tax.

Debaters develop skills in extemporaneous public speaking, research, writing, and analytic thinking. They also become broadly familiar with a variety of political and policy questions. Greenhills restarted its Upper School debate program last year after a hiatus of many years, and our team has enjoyed the opportunity to match wits with the best debaters from Michigan and across the country.


Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.