Five Qualify for Debate National Championships
During the past two weeks Manchester Essex qualified five students for the 2012 national debate and speech championships. Continuing its long history of qualifying, Manchester Essex will once again be represented at both the National Forensic League (NFL) and the Catholic Forensic League (CFL) championships this year.
At the NFL qualifying tournament, Jared La Fontaine and Jacob Martz qualified to represent New England at the national championships. La Fontaine qualified in Dramatic Performance and Martz qualified in Congressional debate. Both walked away with “wooden plane tickets” named for the lacquered plaque given to qualifiers. The Public Forum team of Alden Burnham and Matt Corwin were named 1st alternates. The NFL national championships will be in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 10-16, 2012.
At the CFL qualifying tournament the following weekend, La Fontaine and Martz once again qualified in their respective events. This time three of their teammates qualified to join them at nationals. Sophomore Fiona Davis will join Martz in Congressional debate. Freshman Nick Albertazzi and Junior Colin Babikian qualified, making them the first MERHS debaters in three years to qualify in Lincoln-Douglas debate. The Public Forum team of Matt Corwin and Chloe Schwartz were named as alternates. Social Studies teacher Jen Coleman said “It is impressive that we qualified someone from each of the four grades. While we are having success now, it shows that the team has an especially bright future.” The National Catholic Forensic League championships will be held this year in Baltimore, Maryland on May 25-27, 2012.
The equal representation of the grades and events qualifying to Nationals demonstrates the renewed health and depth of Manchester Essex’s ranks. The new flexible classroom structure and strong mentoring from upperclassmen have yielded positive results.
These two tournaments were made possible by the willingness of teachers and parents to dedicate their time to the academic advancement of young people. High school teachers Jen Coleman, Sarah Deluca, Lauren DuBois, Daniel Jewett, and Jessie Tran all chaperoned and judged. Joining them were parents Sue Anderson, Henri Bichet, Cindy Conway, Sarah Creighton, Brian Davis, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Eric Deffer, Ellen Dente, Steve Geary, Jamie Holley, Lars Janner, John Kiley, Julie La Fontaine, Tim Malarkey, Stephanie Morgan, Julie Riordan, Bruce Warren
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