A Recap of the 2017-2018 Debate Season


Isabella Sorial, Staff Writer

It’s been a swell year for the Debate Team. Lots of exciting events and awards made this season particularly special. Because the State Championship was this past Saturday, March 24th, I thought it would be fitting, as co-captain of the team, to take a look back on the journey the six qualifying students took getting there.

In September 2017, the team started the year with more than 30 new members and lots of returners. Captains Augustus Doricko (senior) and Isabella Sorial (junior) – disclosure: that’s me – along with Coach Jeremy White, spent the summer planning for the upcoming season. The first meeting took place on Monday, September 11th and the room was abuzz with fresh, invigorating energy.

Later in September 2017, with the help of Doricko, Mayor David Martin visited the Debate Team and gave us some insight into how his personal life led him to a career in public service.

For more details, read “David Martin: How He Became Mayor” Here

In October 2017, Freshman Alexander Zajac became the first Stamford High School Debate Team member to qualify for the State Championships in the first Connecticut Debate Association (CDA) Tournament of the year. He received the Fourth Place Speaker Award in the Novice Division at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE).

In November 2017, Senior Augustus Doricko received the First Place Speaker Award in the Varsity Division at Westhill.  Read more about Doricko’s journey with the team in “Stamford High’s New Debate Legend” here.

Later in November, the team’s Snap! Raise fundraiser ended. Thanks to the support of the team’s families and friends, the team managed to raise over $5000 in just six weeks.

In January 2018, the Stamford High Debate Team hosted their first CDA Tournament in almost 10 years! This proved to be yet another wonderful demonstration of support from the team’s community. We thank the many student volunteers and parents who helped us organize this special event.

In March 2018, the team recruited more than 40 incoming freshmen at the Stamford High PTO’s Freshman Orientation hosted by the Leadership Academy.

Later in March, Doricko and Sophomore Aron Ravin participated in the Final Round at the CDA Tournament, an honor bestowed upon the top two Varsity Teams. The two received the Second Place Team Award, and Doricko again received the First Place Speaker Award.

Freshman Rakshita Ramakrishna received the Third Place Speaker Award in the Novice Division. Her and her partner, freshman Alba Alizoti, placed as the Fourth Place Team at Darien High School.

At the end of March, culminating fascinating season, the six qualifying students headed off to Joel Barlow High School to participate in the CDA State Championships. Those were, in order of qualification, Zajac and his partner John Falger in the Novice Division, Doricko and Ravin in the Varsity Division, and Ramakrishna and Alizoti in Novice.

Here, the Debate Team poses for a group photo after a successful debate in the CDA State Championships.

Doricko and Ravin received the award for Third Place Team in the State, and Doricko was awarded Second Speaker.

Of course, the completion of the CDA Season doesn’t mean Debate is over for the year. The team has many events in store for the rest of the year, including a banquet and a special orientation for the eighth graders they’ve recruited for next year. Here’s to another successful season!