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A Virtual Victory: Hotchkiss Wins Parliamentary Debate Tournament

On May 17, the Hotchkiss Speech and Debate Team hosted the first online Parliamentary Debate Tournament for the Debate Association of New England Independent Schools. Over Zoom, students from eight schools gathered from around the world for three rounds of debate. The Hotchkiss team clinched the overall title, winning 9-3 and scoring 2,128 points.

Senior co-captains David Vega ‘20 and Alex McLane ’20 had an excellent day, said Instructor in Classics David Conti P'18, '22, who ran the tournament from Hotchkiss. McLane won the Top Advanced Speaker Award and Vega was the Third Place Advanced Speaker. Together they won the Third Place Advanced Pair Award. Beatrice Conti ’22 came in Fourth Place in the Advanced Division. Conti and Stella Ren ’22 were the Fourth Place Advanced Pair.

In the Novice Division, Rahul Kalavagunta ’22 won the First Place Speaker Award with 275 points, his partner Alex Cherenkov ’21 was the Third Place Novice Speaker, and Jason Shan ’23 was Fifth Place Novice Speaker.

Kalavagunta and Cherenkov won the Top Advanced Pair Award and the other Hotchkiss Novice team, Shan and Amelie Zhang ’23, won the Third Place Novice Pair Award.

This finishes a very successful season for the Speech and Debate Team. In six Parliamentary Debate Tournaments, the team won four and came in second twice. The team hosted the 2019 International Independent School Public Speaking Championship and had two students qualify for the World Independent Debate and Public Speaking Championship. 

"Most importantly, the team worked hard throughout the year, welcomed new debaters at every practice, and continued, while we were away from campus for the spring term, to meet and debate whenever they could," said Conti.

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