Maspeth High School Debate Team Wins Debate Championships

Queens Gazette

On August 27, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley visitedMaspeth High School to support the accomplishments of the team’s new, successful Speech & Debate Team. This past school year, Maspeth’s Victoria Panata and Arielle Gallegos won the 2015 Citi Foundation HS Championships in Public Forumand went on to compete in the prestigious National DebateCoaches Association (NDCA) National Championships held inLas Vegas, Nevada. Debating and competing almost every weekend in both local and national tournaments has transformed the students competitively, intellectually, and professionally. Senior Arielle Gallegos said, “Debate helped me to become very confident and skilled with public speaking.” Senior Rocky Sanabria said, “Competing in debate tournaments helped me to understand popular issues and current events on a much more nuanced and academic level.” Jordy Portugal, Maspeth’s most recent Debate Team Captain, graduated high school with an admission and full scholarship to Columbia University; he attributes much of his acceptance to his history in debate. Debate is one of the most effective extracurricular activities students can participate in. “As an English teacher, I have seen students’ reading, writing, and analytical skills transformed after they’ve joined debate. Their understanding of argumentation and textual analysis becomes incredibly professional and academic. This is all developed through the rigorous and challenging process of writing their own cases, researching complex current events and philosophies, and, of course, intensively debating at tournaments,” said Debate Coach Miss Su. Maspeth High School is proud to represent Queens through its high-achieving Speech & Debate Team.

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
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