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DHS Debate Team Triumphs at States

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DHS Debate Team Triumphs at States
Posted on 02/17/2022
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Congratulations to the Deering High School Debate Team for their fantastic success at the Feb. 12 State Championship Tournament. “The day was an absolute triumph for Deering Debate,” said Deering English and ELL teacher Molly Callaghan, who co-coaches the team along with Krista Simonis. “Twelve Deering debaters competed in the grueling, day-long virtual event.”

Callaghan said Deering’s freshmen debaters swept the novice bracket. Competing in the Public Forum event, freshmen Anya Heiden and Isabella Figdor won first place; Mya Landry and Violet Blum Levine placed second; and Rose Bolduc and Eli Tuchinsky came in fourth.

Also on the winners' podium for Public Forum were Balqies Mohamed and Emily Cheung, seniors and the team’s co-captains, who won first place in the varsity bracket.

In addition to Deering students winning two events at the tournament, the Deering team as a whole won the sportsmanship award, and Balqies Mohamed was awarded a $250 Maine Forensics Association scholarship for graduating seniors. 

Sophomores Levi Pelletier and Matthew Okulski, and juniors Colby Drabik and Bennett Galin participated in the Congress event. “Our Congress debaters did not place in the stacked event, but we're proud of their commitment and the huge improvements they have all made this year,” Callaghan said.

Participating in debate requires a huge amount of work on the part of students, she said. “The Congress debaters had to research and prepare speeches on a wide variety of legislative matters, including a negative income tax, the war in Tigray, the right to digital privacy, and defunding the police,” Callaghan said. “Public Forum debaters had to research and prepare both pro and con arguments on this resolution: ‘On balance, Turkey’s membership is beneficial to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.’ We couldn't be more proud of their hard work and success this year.’

She noted that, although the regular tournament season is over, there still are national qualifying tournaments left.

PHOTO: Some members of the outstanding Deering Debate team members pose for a photo in front of the school.
Back row, left to right: Emily Cheung, Balqies Mohamed, Anya Heiden, Isabella Figdor
Front row, left to right: Mya Landry, Eli Tuchinsky, Violet Blum Levine