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Debate Team Wins State Championship, sends two to nationals

webdebateFor the third straight year, Greenhills debaters Powel Kazanjian and Harry Bagenstos are heading to the National Speech and Debate Tournament, which will be held in June in Birmingham, Ala. Their selection followed a strong year overall for the debate team, which also won the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association’s Varsity State Finals on Jan. 7.

Kazanjian, a senior, and junior Harry Bagenstos went 4-1 in preliminary rounds in the state finals at Calvin College, then defeated a team from Cranbrook Upper School in the semifinal round before beating a team from Saline High School in the final round to win the championship in public forum debate.

Juniors Nikki Farahanchi and Bella Pryor, and sophomores Mubarak Hassan and Drake Rosenberg, also represented Greenhills at the state tournament. Competitors debated the resolution, “Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.”

Greenhills debaters this year have racked up a string of successes in Michigan and around the country. In the state, Kazanjian and Bagenstos won the Saline High School tournament in September and reached finals at the Groves High School tournament in November, and Bagenstos and Hassan joined forces to win the Wayne State University tournament in October. The team also hosted an invitational tournament at Greenhills in September.

Out of state, Kazanjian and Bagenstos reached elimination rounds at the Wake Forest University tournament in September and the Badgerland tournament in November. The team is traveling to the Boston area for the Lexington High School tournament later in January, and to tournaments at Stanford and Harvard Universities in February.

In the public forum debate event, two-person teams debate topics that rotate each month and typically involve prominent questions of domestic and international policy. Since reviving its upper-school debate team in 2014-15, Greenhills has qualified to represent Michigan in the national championship tournaments of both the National Speech and Debate Association (formerly the National Forensics League) and the National Catholic Forensic League each year.


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.

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