Debating with passion

A profile of the HEHS debate team

Joslyn Garcia, Staff Writer

Inside the depth of the world history room, the debate team has managed to maintain a well-rounded group of individuals that are potential trophy holders.

“The team this year has been an easy turn out,” says Simisola Adedunni, a member for the debate team for two years now. “I think every year there are people who expect it to be less than what it is.”

The debate team is run by two social studies teachers, Matthew Dowd and Renee Johansson. They have been able to run the program for a few years now, mastering the art of debate, with Barathkumar Baskaran as the president of the club.

“The best practice in three years!” Dowd says about a recent meeting, as they practice and prepare themselves for upcoming debate meets that section off into rookies and pros.

Recent debates have been about topics such as why people should and should not stay in America from Mexico. It started as a simple conversation, to multiple people raising their hand, waiting to be called on to share their opinion based on their research about the topic.

Once the bill conversation began to feel heated and was aimed towards the individuals against specific opinions, they were ordered to share that energy at the actual debate meets.

“This is what you guys need,” said Johansson. “This energy and this passion… you all should feel passionate about it. The more you want it, the closer it will get to you. This is good you guys. This is really good.”

Words of encouragement are often what the debaters need.

“I gave a speech on my bill the other day, and Dowd really appreciated my work and pushed me up to varsity,’ said Mike Hailu, now a varsity member of the debate team.

“I think the team this year is very strong minded,” Adedunni added. “Everyone has his or her differences and similarities, likes and dislikes. But once it comes to debating, all of that doesn’t matter to them. It’s all in that moment.”

With only a few students on the debate team, each member has been managing to save time for the bills and to be passionate during the meets and dedicate themselves towards the team.