The Harker School’s forensics program has been traveling across the country this school year, with students advancing to the finals from California to New York.
During the last weekend in October, the team traveled to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Meadows School Tournament, and to Stockton to compete at the University of the Pacific.
Six Harker students went to Vegas to compete in the Lincoln-Douglas debate, a one-on-one debate that places an emphasize on adopting a certain set of values, rather than focusing on solely on harm/benefit like in policy debate. One of the students in attendance, Chaitanya Malladi, grade 12, finished the preliminary round of the tournament with a 4-2 record, and advanced to the double octafinals (top 32) as the 22nd overall seed. There, says Greg Achten, upper school debate teacher, “he lost a close split decision to a student from Harvard Westlake.”
Over in Stockton, six upper school students and 13 middle school students competed in the Jon Schamber High School Forensics Invitational at the University of the Pacific. They competed in a wide variety of events, from Public Forum, Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu, Original Oratory and Humorous Interpretation. Divya Rajasekharan, grade 7, advanced to the semifinals in novice Humorous Interpretation. “This was a big step forward because we’ve been working hard to improve in middle school interpretation of literature events and this is some of the first fruit of that effort,” said Jonathan Peele, director of congressional debates and individual events. Steven Wang, grade 9, took third place in novice Extemporaneous Speaking while Matthew Huang, also grade 9, advanced to the semifinals in Impromptu Speaking.