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Dwight Takes the East Coast High Schools Public Debate Program’s Second Meet by Storm!

Dwight’s Debate Team gave a stellar performance filled with debate firsts at The Hackley School on December 9, during the second meet of the East Coast High Schools Public Debate Program.

A total of 29 individual teams from 6 schools competed.

“This was perhaps the best performance in the six years that I have worked with this program,” said Debate Coach Shane Hansen.

Dwight’s Achievements: 

  • 1st Place Team Award
  • 2nd Place School Award
  • 3rd Place Tournament Award

Though teams usually have three members, Dwight’s First Place team won as a two-person team. Grade 12 students Zoe Samton and Kumayl Badami had a perfect record of 4-0 (a Dwight first) to earn first place out of the 29 teams (also a Dwight first).

Adding to that accomplishment, Kumayl, in one of the four rounds, earned an extremely rare speaker score of 86. A score above 83 is quite unusual for any high school student—and the judge from that particular round went out of her way to compliment Kumayl on his performance. As paraphrased by Coach Hansen, the judge said, "The way he explained the economic impacts of their argument, well, it was like a magic spell.”

In addition, grade 9 student Lily Beal, in only her second ever high school competition, earned the 14th Top Speaker Award (out of approximately 85 students), and was the top speaker for Dwight.

Since Dwight Debate joined the league seven years ago, the most teams Dwight has taken to a competition is five. They took seven to Hackley School—and would have taken more if testing obligations and illness hadn’t brought that number down from 10 teams. This is indicative of the massive growth of the program over the past years of debate.

But numbers aren’t everything. When asked what made our debaters so great, Coach Hansen said, “They train well, practice hard, and are highly competitive while also maintaining dignity and decorum at all times. I am deeply proud of this crew and this program. They go out to other schools, interact with a wide range of students and faculty/adults from the area, and conduct themselves with integrity, respect, and civility, and truly are exceptional examples of the best of Dwight.”

Congratulations to all our Dwight Debaters: 

  • Grade 12: Kumayl Badami, Maria Ribeiro, Zoe Samton
  • Grade 11: Michael Dymant, Juan Pablo Gomez, Ginger Fe Kaplan, Oscar Killmer, Benji Lopez-Brown, Nakai Maodza, Olivia Palermo, Andrea Pennisi, Lara Oosthuizen, Josh Racz, David Weisleder
  • Grade 10: Aryan Kapoor, Julian Nacht, Hugo Newman
  • Grade 9: Lily Beal, Kai Chen, Andrey Zubov

The next debate competition is on Saturday, January 20, 9 am-4 pm in the Quad on Dwight’s CPW campus. The Dwight community is encouraged to attend and watch their team compete with a touch of home-field advantage…

…not that they need it!