Categorized | Education, Featured

Parker School wins mainland debate tournament


KAMUELA, HI –Parker School’s debate team walked away with the first-place sweepstakes trophy at the University of Utah Beehive Classic Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 5 and 6. This stunning win makes Parker the first-ever Hawaii debate team to place first at a major college-hosted mainland tournament.

Parker was a true underdog, being the smallest school in terms of enrollment, competing against 40 schools from five states and 1200 student participants. Strong performances by Parker’s twenty-eight high school debaters made it possible to edge out second-place Park City High by one point to win the tournament-wide sweepstakes trophy, 116 to 115.

Top finishes included Katie and Ellie Carey, who won eight straight debates to emerge with the first place open policy debate trophy, and a three-way top finish by three of Parker novice policy debate teams, all of whom went undefeated (Sophie and Maddie Weigle, Violet Freeney and Terra Hernandez, and Elissa Mazkour and Rebecca Tang).  Brayden Byron and Grace Bollinger made into the semifinals of open public forum debate, Mauloa Thompson and Lucas Koranda reached the semifinals in novice public forum debate, and Hana-Lei Ji and Jamie Saito made it to quarterfinals in open policy debate.

In program oral interpretation, Hunter Kalahiki-Arnbrister took second place and secured a bid to the Tournament of Champions in the spring.  In impromptu speaking, Jamie Saito reached the open semifinals while Lucas Koranda took fourth in the novice division. Grace Bollinger was named top speaker in open public forum debate (out of 80 contestants), Hana-Lei Ji was the top speaker in open policy debate (out of 44), and Violet Freeney earned top speaker in novice policy debate (out of 28).  Parker debaters took the top six-speaker spots in the latter division.

The entire trip was made possible by a generous grant from the Julia Burke Foundation to cover traveling costs and tournament fees for all participants. Next, Parker debaters will compete on October 19 at the Invitational Tournament at University Lab School on O’ahu.

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