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Debate team continues their success

Kayleigh Padar

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The Debate team won third place runner up in the Illinois Congressional Debate Association’s state tournament on Feb 25.

“Our team is a very close knit group, and we all share a passion for public speaking and work well together. My favorite part of debate is watching the team grow and mapping everyone’s individual successes. I also love adopting the persona of a representative in the US Congress while debating current events,” junior Kelly Miller said.

The competition was team based, which meant the four best debaters from each school were able to compete. Hersey’s four debaters were Mady Cohodes, Shannon Steines, Kelly Miller, and Ethan Bowers. They are all juniors, and have been on the team since they were freshmen. “They’ve been very competitive for three years. They’ve been going up against the best competitors in the state for three years and it’s really paid off,” debate coach Thomas Smith said.

A number of factors went into the debate team’s success. “Beyond just those four students, we have an additional ten students who also did the research, and came to about four hours of practice every week. They did practice speeches and asked questions. Those students [the competitors] in particular do a large portion of the research and put in a lot of time practicing,” Smith said.

The debate team’s season will continue on in the coming months, most notably when they compete in the IHSA Varsity State competition in Springfield on March 16-18.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
Debate team continues their success