Sunday, September 27, 2020

Carroll's Junior Debate Club Reaches Top 5 in Nation

On June 19-21, the Southlake Junior Debate Club competed at the 2013 National Junior Forensics League, National Speech & Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.  Attending the tournament were close to 700 students from 93 schools spanning 27 states, more than 1126 entries across 14 speech and debate events.  This is the largest most recognized Tournament of the year and the first time we attended representing 12 students from the Southlake Carroll ISD middle schools.  The students worked hard preparing for the competition, earning unprecedented success from a club that is only 2 years old.  Here is the link…

2013 National SJDC Team:  (12 students) Emma Lin, Sam Bonham, Jacqueline Prokopeas, Sunny Daggubati, Priyanka Reddy, Adhi Subramanian, Collete Chang, Alex Federick, Kunal Rai, Akash Hemanth, Samuel Ortiz and Ronak Pabley.

Public Forum Debate

Topic:  The benefits of American drone strikes against foreign targets outweigh the harms. (94 teams, we took 2nd and 12th place).

This year 94 teams attended to compete in Public Forum.  In PFD you debate with a partner, we entered 6 teams.  The teams of Emma Lin/Sam Bonham and Jacqueline Prokopeas/Sunny Daggubati both made it to the Octafinals with a score of 4-1.  Emma Lin/Sam Bonham moved to the Finals round and took 2nd place to become Runner-up National Public Forum Debate Champions!  This is Southlake’s Junior Debate Club first NJFL 2nd place national championship in public forum debate!  

Congressional Debate(89 students, we took 5th and 11th place).

Each student is put in a particular chamber and assigned a docket.  Students research legislation assigned to their own docket and present a Bill to Congress.  We entered 6 students in Congress and 5 made it to the Finals round:  Emma Lin, Kunal Rai, Jacqueline Prokopeas, Sam Bonham, Samuel Ortiz. Emma Lin moved on to take 5th place in Congress. 

Extemporaneous Speaking(78 students, we made semifinals, top 12).

Students speak persuasively or informatively about current events and politics.  The student/speaker chooses a question out of 3 offered, then prepares for 30 minutes a 7 minute speech on the topic. We entered 6 students and 4 made it to Quarterfinals:  Sunny Daggubati, Akash Hemanth, Adhi Subramanian and Priyanka Reddy.  Akash Hemanth moved on to Semifinals and took 12th place.

National School of Debate Excellence

As a result of the collective success of our students, the Southlake Junior Debate Club was named a Top 5, National School of Debate Excellence in 2013.  It is highly prestigious and winning it places our program in the top tier as one of the most competitive teams in the nation.  It is also worth noting that SJDC was the only school recognized as a National school of Debate Excellence in Texas other then HuaXia Chinese School to receive this award.  We beat schools that always make the list and have a large middle school debate program.  I mention this because we are a after school club that meets for only 2hrs a week.

We have big plans for the club and we will be adding more classes in the Fall for incoming 7th and 8th grade students in Carroll ISD.  If you are interested in joining the debate club in the Fall, please email Ellena Prokopease at or call her at 817-902-3804.  Registration is now open for incoming 7th and 8th grade students of Carroll ISD.

We are developing strong debaters that will make the High School Debate Team even stronger and bigger in size. Organizers say they are proud of students for taking on the challenge and for developing a club that is now a Top 5 School in the Nation for Debate.