On Friday and Saturday, a select group of 15 PS 161 debaters competed at the Westchester Classic Middle School and High School Debate tournament, a prestigious, intense two-day experience.
38 schools from 7 states participated in Middle School and High School Policy, Public Forum and Parliamentary debate. PS 161 alone represented Harlem debate this weekend.
Our students competed in two days of tough competition in MS Parliamentary Debate, featuring 4 guaranteed preliminary rounds, a mixer round where students partnered with debaters from other schools, and four cut-throat elimination rounds. Topics included prohibiting children from social media, police-worn body cameras, the common core and whether America is on the decline.
All five of our 3-person teams had winning records in the preliminary rounds, and we were the only school at the entire tournament to have every student break into the elimination rounds.
The team of 8th graders Julio Cordero, 7th grader Christopher Rivera and 6th grader Justin Cordero were Octo-finalists(top 12 teams).
The team of 7th graders Alex Gonzaga, Lenny Montesano and 6th grader Dashaun Conde were Octo-finalists (top 12 teams). Dashawn also won 12th place individual speaker
The team of 8th graders Rajendra Singh, Ernest Rosario and Feiry Guaba were Quarter-finalists (top 8 teams), battling their way through 6 rounds of debate! Feiry also won 5th place individual speaker, and was PS 161’s top ranked individual speaker of the tournament.
The team of 8th graders Syu Caballero, Jalen Guichardo and 7th grader Herbert Espinal were Quarter-finalists (top 8 teams), battling their way through 6 rounds of debate! These three were the only Parliamentary team at the tournament to have a perfect 4-0 win-loss record in the prelims. Herbert earned 8th place individual speaker.
The team of 8th graders Luis Benitez, Katherine Rosas and Allan Rivas were Finalists (top 2 teams), competing in EIGHTrounds of debate. In the awesome final round in front of a panel of judges and a huge audience, they debated police worn body cameras against a fantastic team from the Salk School. The round was a fascinating blend of cultures and debating styles. Luis, Katherine and Allan were narrowly defeated in a split decision from the panel, earning 2nd place team. Katherine also earned 13th place individual speaker.
Special thanks to…
Desiree Howard and Anjali Berger for chaperoning the trip! They are the best! Anjali also judged 10 rounds of competition with kids from other schools.
Parent chaperones Rosanna Morel (Feiry’s mom), Marina Velez (Ernest’s mom) and Elizabeth Rivera (Kathy’s mom) — great people!
And thank you to Ms. Price for supporting this experience, and allowing our kids to represent Harlem in this life-changing activity.
We host a tournament!! Please let me know asap if you would be willing to volunteer in any way! The more the better!
All the best,