Debate coach Angie Lytle meets with Lola Mihajlova, Kailee Powell, Ndey Newlands, Carmen Morales.
Debate coach Angie Lytle meets with Lola Mihajlova, Kailee Powell, Ndey Newlands, Carmen Morales.
photo Joseph Landy

Debate Club Prepares to Compete Against NYC High Schools

Pace’s debate club is back and is hoping to compete in state high school competitions to gain more recognition throughout New York City.

Many underclassmen last school year wanted to join the debate club, but it was only available to upperclassmen. However this year, it’s open to all grades.

The club revived by new U.S history teacher, Mr. Doliber. Mr. Doliber started this club once again after Ms. McBride left.

Currently, the club has 10-15 students that show up consistently.

Mr. Doliber said, “There seemed to be a solid crew last year with a great deal of interest, so it felt like a natural fit for myself.”

The club has many new additions this year: a visiting debate mentor from citywide debate competitions against other high schools.

Senior Joseph Gregorio said, “This year, there is an actual debate club; we have coaches that come in, teaching us how to debate.”

The current league that Pace is part of is the New York City Catholic Forensic league (NYCFL). The high schools that participate are those from public, private, and catholic schools throughout the state.

It is a weekly tournament where you have to qualify to advance to state or nationals. The debate club not only has months to qualify our school as a top contender, but rather a whole year.

Last year, the debaters only competed amongst themselves. The debaters had topics to pick and research. It was only by the end of their prep week that they would start to debate, either partaking in an affirmative or oppositional stance. They were judged by teachers and students by their clarity of speech and organization.

Students felt as if their opportunities were limited, as if they couldn’t achieve something bigger than just competing amongst their peers.

Senior Stasa Stanojevic said, “Debate club started late, so we weren’t thinking about competition. Instead, it was to have fun going head to head with each other.”

The program the club is in can provide Pace students with the opportunity to become great debaters; providing them with better ways to formulate their own thoughts and different techniques to argue and support their own arguments.

Angie Lytle, head mentor and coach said, “Pace kids are so bright and have such important things to say that they shouldn’t just be confined to just these tournaments. I think they are going to do amazing once we get them there”.

Mr. Doliber also has positive feedback from the club and students. He said, “I want the debate club to put Pace High School on the map. I want to go all the way to state championships. We have a whole lot of talent in our club, and I look forward to our future competitions and skirmishes at other schools”.

The debate club needs many more students and support from our community. They have many competitions these upcoming weeks and are hoping for students to come support them in this long and difficult journey they’d have to endure.

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