Skip to Content

DPAC Debaters

PS 161 News, October 2nd, 2016

On Saturday, October 1st, PS/MS 161 hosted the first NYC Urban Debate League tournament of the year.  The tournament was a Manhattan middle school invitational and welcomed more than 200 students from 15 schools. We had an awesome season opener!    Students debated abolishing the Electoral College, condemning Big Pharmaceutical Companies and adopting a New York City school dress code. Our team took home 1st place overall and there were strong performances by all of our students.  Way to go to our team and coach Tyler Beattie!


The team of 8th graders Justin Cordero, Nelson Sanchez and Dashaun Conde went undefeated and earned 2nd place team overall. Justin and Dashaun also earned top speaker awards.

The team of 8th graders Jamaly Collado and Melissa Jimenez and 7th grader Nyomi Russo had a winning record and earned 4th place team. Melissa and Jamaly earned top speaker awards.

The team of 8th graders Kevin Fabian and Yunior Crisostomo and 7th grader Isaiah Santana had a winning record and earned 9th place team.

Congrats to 6th grader Ilani Santana for being the youngest-ever 161 debater to compete in the Advanced Division.

Congrats also to 8th graders Jose Burgos and Troy Henry and 7th graders Sean Correa, Jeniyah Martinez, Kiana Colon, Avant Anderson, Alan Bisono and Rosdely Ciprian for strong work.


6th grader Matthew Nunez competed “iron man” — debate lingo for a single speaker taking all three positions on a team.  Matthew was undefeated and earned 1st place top speaker and 2nd place team (as a team of 1). That’s a 161 first!

The team of 6th graders Jean Saldarriaga, Julie Vasquez and Javier Strungys went undefeated and earned 1st place team!  Jean was runner up top speaker, and Julie also earned a speaker award.

The team of 6th graders Jeremy Merejo, Jaden Lamarre and Eliel Ortega had a winning record and earned 4th place team.  Jaden also earned a top speaker award.

The team of 7th graders Oliver Alfaro, Miracle Battle and Donovan Vega had a winning record and earned 6th place team.  Miracle also earned a top speaker award.


to Keith, Dave and Colin!

to Mr. Denson for volunteering at the tournament and Mr. Polo for stopping by!

to Ms. Price for making the tournament possible!

to parents and family of Dashaun, Justin, Melissa, Jeniyah and Kiana for coming out to support!


October 15 @ PS 161 (Harlem/Bronx Invitational)

November 5 @ TBD location (city-wide tournament)

December 3 @ TBD location

About The New York City Urban Debate League

Our mission is that every school should have a debate team and every student should have the opportunity to the best debate education opportunities. One of the most critical problems in education today is the academic and civic achievement gaps. Our solution is to provide the best college, career, civic, communication and community opportunities through year round academic debate. Each month we work with thousands of students and hundreds of schools. We support debate practices every day, debate centers every week, tournaments every weekend, workshops every month, debate camps all summer, and year round support for any student and teacher. We are one of the the city’s most award winning curricular and extracurricular programs. We have received awards from the White House, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Presidential Commission on the Arts and Humanities, National Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Social Index of Top 100 Nonprofits, BoardSource, Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator, Teach for America, and by the First Lady as “one of the top arts and humanities based programs in the country.” Why Debate? Debate teaches every academic skill and every academic subject. A Great Debater means a person who has the skills and confidence to lead, to speak up, to argue, to question, to read and write to right the wrongs, to know about the world around you, and to change the world around you.

The New York City Urban Debate League
25 Broadway, 12th Floor