Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dragon Debate Senior Earns Distinguished Award

BerkeleyDragon senior Emma Lin earned a runnerup finish in the Ronald Reagan Foundation Great Communicator Series District held this month.

By finishing in the top two, Lin advances to represent the Greater Texas Region at the national competition in California in July. This is an all-expense paid trip by the foundation with the chance of winning $10,000.

Lin also placed second recently at the annual Harvard Debate Tournament in Congressional Debate, held Feb. 18-20 in Boston. She won both the preliminary and semifinal round Leadership Award, which is awarded to the most respected competitor as chosen by peers.

During that same weekend, senior Austin Meek and Sam Bonham competed in the UC Berkeley Debate tournament, attending both the prestigious round robin beforehand and finishing as Octofinalists in the regular tournament.

On Jan. 26-29, seniors Jackie Prokopeas and Alex Federick placed second at the annual Emory University Barkley Forum for high schools. They were invited to attend the round robin beforehand, one of four individual round robin invites this year.


Dragons Shine at UIL Academic State Meet

The following CSHS students placed at the UIL Academic State Meet at UT Austin May 23-26:

Mafaaz Tanzeem Class 6A state champion Persuasive Speaking

Dru Patel – 2nd place Persuasive Speaking
Evan Clary – 6th place Current Issues
Nora Graham – 6th place Feature Writing
Julianne Yu – 5th place News Writing
Current Issues 3rd Place Team (comprised of Billy Wade, Cal Naughton, Aneeqah Naeem and Evan Clary) 

The following students also advanced to state but did not place among the top six:
P Reppeto – Social Studies
Peter Harris – Social Studies
Kelsey Gordon, alternate to state – Editorial Writing
Sahaj Singh, alternate to state – Informative Speaking 

The UIL Academic events were coached by:
Persuasive Speaking & Informative Speaking, David Brown
Current Issues, Caitlin Frank
Feature Writing, News Writing, and Editorial Writing, Natalie Brown
Social Studies, Rebecca Colvin


Carroll Senior Named Debate Champion

April2015_Debate (2)Spring is the peak of the high school debate competition season. Students crisscross the country, visiting top universities hosting various debate contests. The most difficult and significant high school speech and debate event is the Tournament of Champions hosted by the University of Kentucky.

At this year’s Tournament of Champions, held April 25-27, Carroll senior Azhar Hussain was named 2015 TOC Congressional Debate Champion. April2015_Debate (1)Carroll students Emma Lin and Zain Aziz also worked long hours in advance of and during the weekend competition. Southlake Debate will conclude its season at the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Finals in June.

The Tournament of Champions is a high school debate championship tournament held annually at the University of Kentucky alongside Kentucky Derby events at the end of April. It is the most prestigious tournament on the “national circuit,” representing the most competitively successful debaters from the nation’s most prestigious individual debate tournaments. Founded in 1972 by Dr. JW Patterson, the Tournament of Champions has emerged as the premier championship for high school debaters who frequently compete nationally in Policy, Lincoln–Douglas, Public Forum, and Congressional debate.  The Tournament of Champions represents a wide swath of the high school academic community, from public schools to private schools, including students from across the country, from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida.

Students qualify to compete at the TOC by earning “bid” legs based on their performance during the regular competitive season at national and regional tournaments.  The TOC’s Advisory Committees decide which of the nation’s debate tournaments will serve as qualifying tournaments, seeking to strike a balance between the geographic diversity provided by regional tournaments and large tournaments that host a truly national draw.


Carroll Debate Team Gears Up for Busy Spring

Debate_ElPaso2015 (2)Competition on the debate circuit has kept the Carroll Dragon Debate team busy this semester. Fresh off their big win at Harvard in February, the team traveled to El Paso’s Franklin High School for another tournament. 188 schools participated in the competition that was held March 4-7.

In the Student Congress Senate, Carroll ISD’s Priyanka Reddy, came in 7th place. Reddy was one of 96 entries in this category. In the Student Congress House competition, which included 133 entries, Azhar Hussain came in 9th place and students Emma Lin and Mafaaz Tanzeem both reached the Semifinals. Debate_ElPaso2015 (1)In the International Extemporaneous Speaking category including 102 entries, Azhar also received 4th place and classmates Zain Aziz and Mafaaz Tanzeem both made it to the Quarterfinals.

The team is looking ahead to the Tournament of Champions in April. Click here for more information about the event. The National Qualifiers competition is scheduled for mid-April. Azhar Hussein has qualified for Nationals in June and remains one of the top ranked Congressional Debaters in the country. For more raking information visit:

The Dragon Debate team is sponsored by Mr. Jason Sykes. Keep up with the Dragon Debate team through the Debate Boosters website.


Debate Places High at St. Marks

Several members of the Dragon Debate Team placed at last weekend’s St. Mark’s School of Texas Heart of Texas Invitational. Carroll finished fourth in overall sweepstakes. Carroll Senior High School Debate Director, Mr. Jason Sykes said students gave an outstanding performance.

Results are listed below:

Congressional Debate

  •                 1st Place: Azhar Hussain
  •                 2nd Place: Emma Lin
  •                 3rd Place: Zain Aziz
  •                 Semifinalists: Sunny Daggubati, Joseph DePumpo, Aneeqah Naeem, Priyanka Reddy, Hampton Sella

International Extemporaneous Speaking

  •                 Quarterfinalists: Zain Aziz, Emma Lin

Public Forum Debate

  •                 Semifinalists: Sam Bonham & Jacqueline Prokopeas
  •                 Quarterfinalists: Alex Federick & Adhi Subramanian

The St. Mark’s tournament is one of the largest and most prominent in the nation, hosting 107 schools from across the country.

For more information about Dragon Debate visit the booster’s website:


Forbes Receives National Coaching Award

04.07.14 Meeting (24)

Carroll Superintendent Dr. David Faltys honors Diane Forbes and the Debate team’s accomplishments at a recent Board meeting.

RIPON, Wis.The National Speech & Debate Association is proud to announce Carroll Senior High School Debate Coach Diane Forbes as its newest diamond coach. Forbes received a Fourth Diamond Award after earning 10,299 points on 3/24/14.  

A diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity. The Association provides diamond awards based on coach points received. Coaches receive one-­‐tenth the points earned by their students and one-­‐tenth of the points earned as a student member of the Association.

After a minimum of five years as a National Speech & Debate Association member, a coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond; he or she receives a second diamond for 3,000 points, a third for 6,000 points, and so on. Five years must pass between each diamond award.

On June 19, 2014, Forbes will receive special recognition at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Overland Park, Kansas. Each year, the tournament draws more than 5,000 students, coaches, and parents from across the nation. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has placed the tournament on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities since the origination of the list.

This will be Forbes’ final year teaching after announcing her retirement following 28 years and nine in Carroll ISD. She was also recently inducted into the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame.

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-­‐quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 130,000 students and coaches every year. For nearly 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.4 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit


Dragons Take Top Prizes at State Debate Tournament

The 41st Annual Texas Forensic Association State Tournament was held March 7-9 at Cypress Woods High School in Houston.

Carroll had 13 students who qualified for the meet that included over 2200 students competing from over 200 Texas high schools.

Senior, Daniella Cohen, won the State Championship after debating more than 15 hours in Congressional Debate on numerous pieces of legislation, which had been written by participating schools. Junior, Azhar Hussain also made it to the final round and placed 11th in the state in Congressional Debate. Senior, Nyle Hussain placed 4th in the state in the Senate of Congressional Debate. Junior, Azhar Hussain placed 2nd in the state in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking after presenting a 7 minute speech on economic and military relationships between China and Japan.

Students named All State by advancing to the elimination rounds were Senior, Kevin O’Brien, Junior Priyanka Suri, and Senior, Will Cook. Freshman, Emma Lin, advanced to the semi-final round in Congressional Debate (top 32). The team finished in 5th place sweepstakes and also received the Lanny Naeglin Award for having the most number of state qualifications over the last 5 years. Other students who qualified and aided in our quest for the state championship were:  Seniors, Michael Formella, Davis Samuel, Djorn Patel, Ali Prasla; Junior, Zain Aziz and Sophomore, Aneequah Naeem.

Carroll Coach, Diane Forbes, was inducted into the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame for her contributions to furthering the art of speech and debate in Texas public high schools and committment to success of her students.

Carroll Debate Team Hosts Guest Speaker

Rafael Cruz Debate Speaker

Pictured L-R: Rafael Cruz, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

The Dragon Forensics Team and Dragon Debate Booster Club invite students, parents and members of the community to an upcoming event focusing on the importance of debate in a student’s academic career.

“Building Leaders: How Debate Benefits Carroll Students” is scheduled for Friday, March 28 in the Carroll Senior High School Auditorium. The two-hour program begins at 6 p.m. and features guest speaker Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Mr. Cruz will talk about how students can benefit from participating in debate and how debate impacted his son’s journey from being a Cuban immigrant to becoming a U.S. Senator. The discussion will be non-political and non-partisan. Guests will also learn more about debate and the activities it encompasses. Award-winning Carroll debate students will also present short demonstrations.

Organizers are hopeful the event will reach current and aspiring debate team members and their parents to consider debate as an extracurricular activity. The Dragon Forensics team competes at the local, state, and national levels against public and private schools; Carroll ISD has programs for 7-12 grade students. Debate offers students a wide range of speaking opportunities, including policy, congressional and Lincoln-Douglas debate, extemporaneous speaking, humorous and dramatic interpretation, and original oratory.

The Dragon Debate Booster Club is also actively looking for sponsors and student internship opportunities. Email Ellena Prokopeas at for more information.

Get a Jump Start in Junior Debate

The newly formed Southlake Junior Debate Club for middle school students is excited to announce summer camp opportunities for seventh and eighth grade students. Last spring, the group welcomed sixteen last month as part of it’s inaugural membership.

Organizers have planned a summer camp training session July 17-20. Students planning to join the club for the next school year may want to consider attending the 4-day camp. The camp will be held from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. each day at Christ Our King Church located at 2221 E. Southlake Boulevard. The camp is run by Kyle Morris, a National Champion Junior Debate Coach who will cover the groundwork needed to be successful in debate. Summer camps are not required to join the club however, it is a good way to learn more about junior debate.

For more information or to register for the class, contact Southlake Junior Debate Coordinator Ellena Prokopeas at or call 817-421-5731. The camp fee is $200. Check payments should be mailed to: Southlake Junior Debate Club  2129 Kimball Hill Court, Southlake TX  76092.