Categorized | Education, Featured

Parker School debate team wins state championship

The Parker School winning debaters and their coach, Headmaster Dr. Carl Sturges. Clockwise from top left: Maksim Ionin; Carrie Hiller; Luke Potter; Jaren Ashcraft; Dr. Carl Sturges (holding the team Championship trophy); Sivan Najita; Michael Note; Kosuke Kume; Paul Gregg; Elliott Jacobson; Maia Tarnas; Kyley Nishimura; Nya Phillips. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)


The Parker School Debate Team took first place at the Hawaii State Forensic Championship, which was held at Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama Campus and Punahou School on Oahu on April 18-19.

They won by just one point, with 28 points to Iolani School’s 27 points and captured the Cades Schutte Debate Sweepstakes Trophy.

This is the first time in 30 years that the trophy has left Oahu to travel home with a neighbor island school.

Of the 32 students on Parker’s debate team, 23 traveled to the state tournament, and 12 of those qualified for the semifinals and finals. All 12 won individual trophies.

In Beginning Public Forum Debate, Nya Phillips and Kyley Nishimura took second place; Luke Potter and Jaren Ashcraft placed third; and Michael Note and Kosuke Kume took fourth.

In Advanced Public Forum Debate, Maia Tarnas and Elliott Jacobson placed third. In Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Carrie Hiller won first; Maksim Ionin, a one-year visiting Russian foreign student, took second; and Sivan Najita placed third.

Paul Gregg came in second in Championship Lincoln-Douglas Debate and qualified for the Nationals, which will be held in Montgomery, Ala. in June.

Dr. Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster and debate coach, said of the team’s championship win, “Small schools can accomplish great things if they have students who support one another and believe that they are as good as anybody else. This team definitely showed that they are not only talented but have a great deal of heart. I enjoyed every minute of coaching them this year.”

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