Highlights of the 2018-2019 Debate Season

Isabella Sorial, Editor-in-Chief

Editors Note: The author of this article is a member of the debate team.


This past year was a wonderful year for our Debate Team. For the first time in a very long time, the team managed to win at least one award every month of the season (from October to May) and the team participated in many debates outside of our normal Connecticut Debate Association Circuit. We even formed bonds with the other debate teams in our city.

In August, our team had our best recruitment session to date. At the Freshman Orientation, we had 89 new members sign up to join our team. Captains Samantha Heller, Aron Ravin, and Isabella Sorial (disclaimer: that’s me) were very excited to begin the new year.

The first meeting took place on Thursday, September 13th and the room was packed with freshmen eager to begin their high school journey with us. In September we also had a team barbecue at Scalzi Park to celebrate our new members.

We attended the Novice Scrimmage at Greenwich High School and we had two teams win both of their rounds. They were: Emmy Sigtryggsson and Selma Fuseni, along with Edward Zelikman and Thomas Connolly.

In October, Ravin and Heller won the Varsity Final Round at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE). This means that they were the top varsity team at the tournament. Heller was awarded the fourth speaker and Ravin was fifth. Alba Alizoti was the third speaker in Novice

In November, we received our first-ever team hoodies. We wore them for our annual team picture. On the front, they say “I disagree with everyone” which is a reference to a quote hanging on our coach, Jeremy White,’s back wall.

Isabella Sorial and Daniel Sorial (who attends AITE) were the only team to win all of their rounds at the Vassar Parliamentary Invitational in New York. They ended the tournament as Quarterfinalists.
Isabella was fourth Speaker and Daniel was fifth Speaker
We hosted a Connecticut Debate Association Tournament here at Stamford High with the help of our team’s community.

In December, Isabella and Ravin won the Varsity Final Round at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan.

In January, Ravin was the top speaker at Wilton High School.

In February, we held our first City-wide exhibition debate at Rogers International School for the Stamford Board of Education. Alizoti, Heller, Isabella, and Ravin participated in debates about school start time and special learning programs.
Isabella was seventh speaker at the Dalton Parliamentary Invitational in New York.

In March, Krishma Gewali and Selin Osman won all of their rounds at the Ivy League Parliamentary Championship at Columbia. They ended as Novice Semifinalists. Gewali was the top novice speaker and Osman was third novice speaker.

We were the top speakers at our first-ever City Championship at Westhill. Ravin was the top Speaker in the City. Alex Zajac was top novice Speaker. Gewali was second novice speaker.

We had three teams compete in the Connecticut State Championships. They were: Heller and Ravin, along with Isabella and Daniel in Varsity, plus Alizoti and Rakshita Ramakrishna in Novice.

In April, Ravin and Alexa Boccuzzi (who attends Westhill) won all of their rounds at Yale’s Osterweis Tournament and finished as Semifinalists. Ravin was fourth speaker and Boccuzzi was tenth speaker.
Isabella and Daniel were Semifinalists at the Trinity Parliamentary Invitational in New York.

In May, we participated in the Reagan Great Communicator Qualifier debates. In the Northeastern Qualifier, Ravin was a Semifinalist. In the Online Qualifier, Ravin was the Champion. For winning, he gets a scholarship of at least $1500 (but up to $10,000), an all-expense paid trip to California to compete in the National Championship, $500 for our debate team, and $4500 for an internship program in D.C.

On May 24th, we ended the year with our Team Banquet at Pellicci’s. We also got permission to create a Debate Trophy case in the main office hallway right next to White’s room.

As this is my final year on the team, I am immensely proud to have been part of this fantastic group of people. I never could’ve imagined that one group of people would have as much of an impact on me as they did. If you choose to join the team or are already on it, I hope that debate will be as wonderful an experience for you as it was for me. I am so incredibly proud of my team and I wish them the best of luck.