morning members of the CHS Debate team boarded a bus for the traditional
kickoff to the season.
traditionally hosts a novice-only competition to help ease first year
students into this difficult activity,” said coach Chris Lowery. Varsity
team members are able to assist for the first two rounds before turning the
new competitors loose for the second half of the tournament.
Chesterton had an
extremely large entry as over fifty members of the team attended the
The largest event
at the competition, Lincoln-Douglas, was also the event in which the team
enjoyed the most success.
came in first vs. twenty-seven other competitors. She was closely joined by
teammate Andrea Hardesty in third place. Both ladies were undefeated in the
competition and the tie was broken on the speaker points that each had
accumulated in their rounds. Students debated a topic about the desirability
and fairness of a compulsory program of national service in the United
Chesterton also won
the Congressional Debate division. Sanjana Raj swept the judges’ ballots to
take home the title of tournament champion. Mikayla Herko was able to score
enough marks with the judges to take home seventh place overall. Students
argued for and against legislation that would ban fracking, provide paid
family leave, and fund mental health programs in schools.
The team had two of
the top five performances in Public Forum. Fourteen teams competed in this
division with the pair of Nick Hanson and Jenna Aguilar finishing third as
well as the team of Charlie Skube and Delano Davison coming in fifth.
Competitors discussed whether the installation of a missile defense system
would be in South Korea’s best interest.
Chesterton had four
teams finish in the top eight in Policy Debate. The top pair for Chesterton
were Karina Martinez and Gianna Galente (4th), who were followed by Miles
Janowiak and Justine Kizer (5th), Dillon Kendall and Shae Hisaw (7th), and
Josh Drew and Juan Ponce (8th). Teams in this division will spend the entire
year debating reforms to US Education policy.
Other debaters that
made their debut included Savannah Costello in Congress; Allison Soblotne,
Hattie Hoham, Hunter Stewart, Zach Bell, Cristi Pala, and Ian Quinn in
Lincoln-Douglas, Ethan Dibble and Ryan Donovan in policy, and Alex Szmutko
and Luke Vetroczky in public forum debate. Along with a large contingent of
varsity members helping Jackson Fleming observed in preparation for making
his debut later this season. This season marks the fiftieth year for the
Speech and Debate Program at Chesterton High School.
The debate team is
coached by CHS staff members Chris Lowery, Josh Coots, and Dakota McCoy.
They are assisted by community members Kaley Brown and Mike Anderson. The
team has won the last four state titles in Debate as well as last year’s
state title in Speech.