December 21, 2023

Local Students Shine in County Debate Tournament

In a showcase of wit and eloquence, the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD)’s annual county debate league tournament unfolded earlier this month, hosting a riveting showdown among high school students from Adrian Public Schools, Blissfield Community Schools, Hudson Area Schools, and Lenawee Christian School.

Each year, the LISD sponsors a debate league during the fall semester. This year, the scrimmages and tournament were held at the Adrian First Church of the Nazarene. The goal of competitive debate is to help students develop strong speaking skills and the ability to think logically, reasonably, and critically when presenting an argument.

In this year’s varsity final round, Blissfield’s Addison Martinez and Jonah Hiatt, with support from teammates Payten Dew and June Miller, triumphed, showcasing remarkable skills in a tight contest against the affirmative team, Pearl Barbee and Tyler Condon from Adrian.

Meanwhile, rising stars Kayli Butler and Annabelle Czeiszperger from Hudson, arguing for the affirmative case, secured top honors in the novice division, edging out the duo of Parker Bell and Landon Chadek from Lenawee Christian.

Acknowledgment was also bestowed upon the league's standout speakers for the season, recognizing five exceptional individuals in each division. These speakers exemplify the league's dedication to honing articulate communication and critical thinking among students. Varsity top speakers included Pearl Barbee (Adrian), Maddie Bough (Hudson), Payten Dew (Blissfield), Jonah Hiatt (Blissfield), and Noah Roberts (Hudson). Novie top speakers included Kayli Butler (Hudson), Annabelle Czeiszperger (Hudson), Ava Feick (Lenawee Christian), MJ Loar (Blissfield), and Sam Lutz (Lenawee Christian).

This year’s debate topics centered on navigating the complexities of economic inequality. The official policy resolution, determined by schools nationwide, read “The United States federal government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.” Students engaged fervently in debating various policy proposals under this umbrella.

"Debate empowers students to articulate their thoughts effectively, fostering essential skills crucial for their future endeavors," said Mark Haag, LISD Superintendent, emphasizing the commitment of local school districts to nurturing articulate, analytical, and informed leaders of tomorrow. “We congratulate the students and coaches on their hard work and success in this year’s debate season.”