Big Island Students Qualify for National Speech and Debate Tournament

Parker School qualified five students for the National Speech and Debate Tournament during the three-day Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament held at Kamehameha and Punahou Schools on O’ahu April 6-8, 2017.  This sets a new school record for the number of students to qualify for nationals during a single season.

Five Parker School students qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Alabama during the recent Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament April 6-8, 2017.

Parker junior Kirk Hubbard, IV and senior Susie Krall placed first in Varsity Policy Debate, followed by Parker sophomores Zoe Vann and Anna Gaglione earning second place. By placing first and second, both Parker debate teams instantly qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Alabama in June and are the only two teams to represent Hawai’i at the national level. Parker freshman Hunter Kalahiki-Arnbrister also qualified for the national tournament after placing second in Program Oral Interpretation.

Other highlights include freshman Jordan Vedelli and junior Zach Mader taking first place in Junior Varsity Policy Debate, with freshmen Tyler Thomas and Hiroki Soler placing second.  In addition, senior Alex Coley placed fourth in Championship Lincoln Douglas, sophomore Colin Klimt fourth in Student Congress, sophomore Malia Dills fourth in International Extemporaneous Speaking and junior Kirk Hubbard IV placed fifth in Impromptu Speaking. In the program’s eleventh year, the debate team sent 45 students to compete in the state tournament.

Hawai’i Island schools had a strong presence at this year’s Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament having won half of the six major debate categories. Parker earned top honors in both the Varsity Policy Debate and Junior Varsity Policy Debate, while Hilo High School’s newly founded debate team won Beginning Public Forum.

“Coach Roland Laliberte and the Hilo High School debaters did an amazing job in their first year at states,” says Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster and debate coach. “Having had regular inter-squad matches with Hilo’s debate team this season, our entire team was excited for their success.”

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