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Debate Team earns trophies, individual awards

As of Nov. 11, the Debate Team has participated in their third tournament for the year. Previously, they had a September tournament and an October tournament. They will have another tournament on December 9, followed by a January tournament and a February tournament. So far, the team has won eight trophies, a couple of speaking awards, and Presiding Officer awards.

One of the clubs offered at Grayslake North is the Debate Team, a club all about debates. A lot of students from many different schools show up and they get sorted out to different chambers, as they debate the bills for the tournament. They may argue in favor of a bill or against a bill.

“Lots and lots of schools show up, and so they get sorted into different rooms. So all of these kids will be in completely different chambers, and then each chamber is like a pretend Congress,” said Debate Team coach Stephanie Liverant.

In a tournament, people receive awards and trophies based on their individual speaking, as well as placing first, second, or third in their chambers. To add on, the presiding officers win gavels.

“They can get the Best Speaker, which is amazing, first, second, and third, depends on the quality of their speaking skills and their analysis. They can get SPO, which is the Presiding Officer,” Liverant said.

When practicing for the tournaments, the students do research and practice their speeches, body language, and even their speaking skills. They must avoid fillers while speaking. Practice helps them become familiar with the issue. They meet up every Wednesday after school in the HUB and practice until 5:00 p.m.

“When we practice, pretty much, we do research, so we figure out facts that can help us support our ideas, and then we do drills, things like organization of your speeches, and avoiding fillers, and using body language. So you practice by becoming familiar with the issues and then also by working on your speaking skills,” said Debate Team coach Dustin Zubert.

Students and teachers in the Debate Team have reported enjoying being a part of it, claiming they benefit from it while researching their topics.

“Debate is beneficial in so many ways. In researching about our economy, foreign affairs, and civil policy, you learn valuable information about our country that’s applicable in real life. You gain research and speaking skills that are extremely helpful in English classes, and it gives you confidence in yourself and your speaking skills,” said junior co-captain Siena Pietraszak.

The team is run by Dustin Zubert and Stephanie Liverant, along with co-captains, team
leaders, and up-and-coming freshmen. Their co-captains are Cayman Diep and Siena Pietraszak. Their team leaders are Catie Beachum and Adrianna Cura. Up-and-coming freshmen include Matthew Bergst and Piper Nunez.

“I’ve had a great season so far this year. I won first place at the September tournament and earned my highest speech score average yet at the October tournament,” Pietraszak said.

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It'll say Hector here, for now. I am a freshman this year, making me a new member of the Newspaper Club. I plan on joining the Pen & Paper Club, and I look forward to writing all sorts of articles, whether it'd be how someone's first week of school was or what the students think about the school year. I like journalism, and I think it's fun to get an insight on something.

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