Debaters achieve perfect records, win two events

Twelve debaters competing in Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas and Novice Lincoln Douglas represented Manchester Essex at the Little Lexington Tournament at Lexington High School.

The tournament took place on Nov. 23 and hosted hundreds of students from across the region.

In the Public Forum event, which consists of two partner teams debating a current events related topic, juniors Charlie Davis and Jenny Cochand and junior Oscar Heanue and senior Hannah Riordan had perfect records of five wins and zero losses.

“I was very happy with how Jenny and I performed at the tournament. It was the highest I had ever placed at a local tournament, and I had never made it to a final round before, so it was a great experience to debate against a lot of competition and achieve success,” Davis said.

Davis and Cochand made it to the final round in Public Forum, coming in second in the pool. Riordan and Heanue earned third place in the pool. Cochand also received a speaker award.

Debate team members Emmett Strack and Connor Senay, both juniors, also competed in Public Forum with a record of two wins and three losses.

“The public forum pool had some great competition. It was fun to compete against such strong teams,” Strack said.

In the Lincoln Douglas event, senior Nick Albertazzi won his division and received a speaker award as well.

“Although there were only a number of debaters in the LD pool, the kids were really competitive which just made for a good tournament,” Albertazzi said.

Freshmen Kevin Albertazzi and Will Cole and junior Joe Alibali competed in Novice LD. Albertazzi ended the tournament in seventh place in his event.

“I was really proud of the whole team since we were at the top of two divisions and took home multiple awards for Manchester Essex,” Cochand said.

With the holidays spanning a few weekends in December, the debate season slows down briefly.

“I was glad to get some of my points early in the quarter because December doesn’t have a lot of tournaments, and January is a tough month to compete because of midterms,” debate judge senior Meghan Conway said.


Manchester Essex hosts annual debate tournament

Every year the high school holds a debate tournament called the Tim Averill Invitational. Debaters from around the country come to compete in hopes of winning a bid to the Tournament of Champions later in the season. Although they do not typically compete, students from Manchester Essex help out in various ways running the tournament.


Debate class practices Public Forum

The debate team’s Public Forum class paired up to work on the September and October topic. Each month has a resolution that is broken down into a PRO and CON side. However, due to the limited amount of tournaments at the beginning of the year, September and October are combined. Practicing debates is a key part of class because students travelling to tournaments need experience with cases, partners, and opponents.


Debate Team Travels to Yale

The debate team kicked off their school year with the first tournament of this season at Yale University. Traveling to New Haven, Connecticut, the team participated in Congress, Lincoln Douglas, and Public Forum Debate.


Debate team creates news source to update students on current events

worldbuzzgiff88  Debate teacher Daniel Jewett and his students have created a website called World Buzz, where they summarize articles about current events in order to stay informed about what is going on in the world.

  “I have no doubt that the best way to improve students as debaters and thinkers is to have them more engaged with what’s going on in the world and the more we do that the more successful we’ll be,” Jewett said.

  Freshman Bella Mastendino, along with the rest of the debate team, has taken weekly quizzes on the information written on the website.

  “It makes me more informed on current events, but I think that it’s hard to find time to read everything and really pay attention to it,” she said. Dozens of articles are posted weekly, and students are responsible for knowing all of the information posted.

  The debate team has attempted to expand and test debaters’ knowledge of current events in the past, but according to Jewett, this has been difficult with the vast amount of information available from many different sources online.

  “The idea is to create one source in which students summarize the news and one in which they then have a common reading and learning experience that allows us to assess them,” he said.

  Sophomore Nick Albertazzi, who has written articles for World Buzz, said the website has definitely made him more aware of what is going on in the world currently.

  When everyone looks to the same place for information, the debate team can create a widespread base of knowledge that will help them in their future competitions, Jewett said.

  The information that the students summarize in articles comes mainly from major newspapers, but during fourth quarter they hope to diversify their sources by having students be responsible for specific sources or areas of the news.


Debate students end quarter with an in-school tournament

Between March 26th and April 2nd, debate students were required to complete in the second annual March Madness tournament. This competition happens during class, through the week of March Madness basketball competitions and counts into students grades.


Teachers introduce elective classes to Underclassmen

On Tuesday March 26th , students gathered in the dining hall to listen to teachers talk about classes available to take next year. Students have been choosing elective courses on ASPEN. There were two assembles; one for eighth graders and freshman; and one for sophomores and juniors.



Four debaters qualify for national tournaments

By Hannah Riordan

Throughout February and March, four members of the Debate team qualified for national tournaments. Senior Jacob Martz and junior Fiona Davis qualified in Congressional Debate for the National Catholic Forensics League (NCFL) tournament.

    In Lincoln Debate, sophomore William Kiley qualified for the NCFL tournament, while sophomore Nick Albertazzi qualified for both the NCFL tournament and the National Forensics League (NFL) tournament.

   Albertazzi qualified and attended the NCFL tournament as a freshman during 2012.

   Senior Colin Babikian is the first alternate to attend the NFL tournament; he and Albertazzi finished the qualifying tournament with the same record and a coin was tossed to see who would attend.

   Debate coach Dan Jewett said that the team has increased the number of students achieving solid performances at each tournament this year.

   “Our expectations for next year are to maintain this solid performance of most of our debaters and start to have some individual breakout success on the national circuit,” Jewett said.

   Kiley noted support from his coaches Jennifer Coleman and Jewett as a major contributor to his success.

   “I’m very grateful of the support that Mr. Jewett has given me over the years. He has been a big supporter of my attendance of national tournaments, which have no doubt helped prepare me to qualify,” he said.

   Coach James Wallimann teaches Congress, the event in which Martz and Davis qualified.

   “Both Fiona and Jacob have a focus and work ethic that is seldom seen in student their age,” Wallimann said.

   Along with Jewett, Wallimann said that the qualification of four students shows that the team is on the right trajectory in terms of becoming competitive on a national level.


MERHS hosts the Tim Averill Invitational Debate Tournament

With students arriving from over 35 schools, and from as far as California, over 650 students participated in the Tim Averill Invitational Debate Tournament on October 27th at Manchester Essex Regional High School.


Manchester Essex Debate Team presents spoken word poetry

On Friday October 19, 2012, The Manchester Essex Congress team presented spoken word poetry to the class. The students have been working on 1-2 minute poems with meaning for a few days in class. Congress teacher James Wallimann had the students do this to get more comfortable with public speaking. In debate, having confidence and speaking clearly is really important so this was a great activity to take the students out of their comfort zone and prepare them for congress, which is part of debate.