Six Blair debate team members are headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to compete in the 43rd annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament, one of the largest and most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the nation. From February 17 to 20, Blair’s speakers and debaters will test their oratory skills in a variety of categories against students from all over the country, an opportunity that debate team coach, English and theatre teacher Micki Kaplan McMillan, is excited for the team to experience.
“Our students will interact with excellent debaters and have the chance to see how many students nationwide are involved in—and serious about—speech and debate,” Ms. McMillan said. “We’ve polished our skills throughout the season, and I am looking forward to seeing our students compete.”
The Blair team will participate in four categories: Varsity Public Forum (team captain Alecia Mund ’17 and team president Emily Choi ’17); JV Lincoln Douglas (Irena Panchenkova ’19 and Priscilla Sharma ’20); Informative Speaking (Glenn Bechtler ’18); and Original Oratory (Kendrick Ng-Yow ’19). Students have prepared by conducting research, participating in drills and sharpening their oratory skills during after-school meetings, as well as by competing in a number of regional tournaments over the winter months.
Debate team members will also take the opportunity to tour Harvard University and see the sights during their weekend in Boston. “This trip and participation in the Harvard National Forensics Tournament will be a great way to finish our season,” Ms. McMillan said. “We’ve improved throughout the fall and winter, and this challenging tournament will allow us to test our progress and determine areas to work on next year.”