Speech and Debate team prepares for tourney

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Madalina Ciuca


  With Los Alamos High School hosting a tournament soon and multiple victories at the East Mountain High School debate tournament, the Speech and Debate team seems to be ready for action. 

Under the leadership of Margo Batha, Janet Newton and Ryan Adams — a former LAHS debater filling the position of assistant coach — the team has already won its fair share of victories even though it is only November. 

The greatest success this year has been the EMHS tournament, as the team brought home trophies in a variety of disciplines. 

In the Public Forum area (debating current events), Toni Batha and Jessie Zhao secured third place, with Zhao also receiving third place in Dramatic Interpretation and second place in Oral Interpretation. 

Victoria Wang and Ariel Chen were also finalists in interpretation events. The team was also well represented in the Varsity Policy area (referring to specific government policies and their critiques), with Naftali Burakovsky and Sam Baty placing second. 

Policy debate was also a strength for the novice debaters, who received both third and second place, with the work of Rosemary Vigil, Devon Conradson, Ben Duan and Graeme Thistlewaite. 

Another popular event is the Lincoln Douglas debate, which focuses on the values associated with a resolution. In the novice section, Tess Daughton and Ciara Sterbenz both placed first and the Varsity section placed second, represented by Wang, who also placed third in Expository Debate. Katie Haynes was also a finalist in the event.
      So what’s next for the LAHS Speech and Debate team? Their home tournament, of course. “It will be a major educational event, hosting 300 students from around the state,” Margo Batha said about the tournament. 

“Students welcome the high level of education of the judges, given that they are from Los Alamos.” The tournament will begin at 4 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Los Alamos Middle School. “Our team is growing really fast and we have a bunch of awesome new people that joined this year and are already doing really well,” team president Miriam Barnum said. Batha is hoping to “see success in New Mexico and outside, and just have a lot of fun.” 

Newton said, “It’s exciting to see the changes. The team has grown a lot and we are thrilled by the students’ desire to grow as critical thinkers.” 

 Volunteer judges are welcome to register by contacting Newton or Batha at 663-2651 or 663-2540, or via email at m.batha@laschools.net.