Northwest Middle School Students Learn the Art of Debate

debate students and teacherFor the first time, Northwest Middle School offered students a chance to hone their argument skills in a debate class during second semester. Educator Becky Stewart led students through speaking drills, sparring activities, and topical research to prepare students for competition. The 26 students rose to the challenge and spent several weeks preparing their affirmative and negative cases for the resolution, “In the United Students, mandatory service ought to be compulsory.” This was the first-time students had been exposed to Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Congratulations to students Maximo Alcantar, Isbella Brown, Katherin Galeas, and Pierce Serrato who participated in the Utah State Middle School Debate Tournament in April at Alta High School in Sandy. More than 250 middle school students participated in the tournament. Although these four students did not place, each one expressed how much they learned and grew from this experience. In fact, these students are now interested in taking debate in high school!

Annually, the tournament awards the Harry B. Davis Spirit of Utah Debate Award which honors long-time coach and community member Harry Davis who passed away in 2013. This award recognizes students whose attitude transcends trophies and accolades; a student who characterizes the very traits of humility, integrity, leadership, respect, and service that Harry Davis embodied as a friend of Utah Debate. Northwest student Katherin Galeas is the 2017 recipient of this prestigious award! Debate Coach Becky Stewart describes Katherin as “a resilient young woman with a caring heart and a vivacious personality.” Stewart goes on to explain, “Katherin has demonstrated her belief in education and the importance of work ethic. Katherin has risen to the challenge of debate class and has willingly tried everything asked of her with a can-do spirit. Katherin’s upbeat attitude lifts those around her.”

Congratulations to Katherin and to each one of these young, brave debators!

Author: Rebecca Stewart, Northwest Middle School

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