This article was originally published in the summer 2012 Harker Quarterly.
Harker debaters finished up the spring on a high note, with strong performances at the Tournament of Champions, held in Kentucky in late April. Several students finished in the top 16 or better in multiple contests at the tournament. Harker also broke the record for most public forum teams from one school, with a total of 10 teams qualifying for the event.
Meanwhile, middle school students brought home a slew of firsts and seconds from the 2012 Glendale Middle School Warm-Up Speech and Debate Competition tournament hosted by Glendale Community College in late April. This is the first year the event has been held, and there were more than 100 entries, with Harker appearing in the final round of every debate event. Harker students usually participate in high school-level tournaments and were very excited to attend one of the few middle school tournaments of the year.
A group of 20 Harker middle school students attended the local Spring Forensics Tournament at Santa Clara University, held in early April. Many of them were competing for their very first time in the event, which predominantly consisted of high school students. The Harker contestants held their own, winning first place in humorous interpretation and finishing in the final and top 16 in several events.
In mid-April, upper school debaters earned several first place and top eight finishes at the National Debate Coaches Championship Tournament, in addition to receiving several awards for their speaking abilities.
The previous month, at the California Coast National Forensics League (NFL) Qualifier, Harker upper school students took third place in overall sweepstakes and second place in debate sweepstakes. Several students qualified for the NFL national tournament in Indiana in June. Harker’s freshman duo interpretation team very nearly qualified for nationals.