JAG Debaters Rack Up More Victories at Stanford Invitational
New Roads debaters Kaden Kessel and Frank Gerolmo brought home trophies from the Stanford Invitational Tournament February 10-12. 2,700 students from 268 schools from 25 states and 5 countries competed; 133 teams were in the parliamentary division. A 4-2 record was required to advance.
Frank and Kaden advanced to elimination rounds with a 5-1 record, defeating, among others, the current national champions on the topic of China’s family size regulations. They credit New Roads teacher Bill Purdy’s lessons on Confucianism for the philosophical approach that clinched this important round. They won their trophy for making it to the double octo-finals, where they drew the difficult proposition side for the abolition of pro-football. Kaden was our top speaker, 25th out of 266. Sean Grey was 34th.
Nolan Windham and Ben Wasson were 3 and 3, knocked out by the ultimate tournament champion, advocating that Democrats should have insisted on DACA extension before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. Sean Grey and Kiran Baez also were 3-3, edged out by one of the top four finishers. Despite this tough competition, New Roads had an over-all winning record. Ella Rose made it to the quarterfinals of original oratory.
With just twenty minutes of preparation for each debate, our teams were assigned the proposition side or the opposition to resolutions including requiring open source publication of government funded research, prioritizing marketable skills over family ties for immigration, modernizing the nuclear arsenal, raising the eligibility age for social security, and stopping military aid to Pakistan.
Thanks to team advisor Mark Windham and assistant coach Meera Keskar, a USC debater, for accompanying our varsity debaters to the tournament. Though our high school program is only in its third year, each of our varsity competitors at Stanford has earned a national ranking from previous tournaments.
Our middle school debate program continues to thrive as well. At the recent Westside Neighborhood School Tournament, the Jags won 14 out of 16 rounds, taking home awards for both the greatest number of total wins and the highest percentage of wins.
New Roads School is a college preparatory K-12 private independent school in Santa Monica, CA, serving over 650 school age children from the greater Los Angeles area. New Roads School provides an inspired educational program from which an authentically diverse student population, mirroring the rich diversity of Los Angeles, develops a personal dedication to learning, a respect for independent thinking, and an expanding curiosity about the world and its people.