The Bellingham United Debate Club includes students from Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum high schools. This year, the students walked away from many tournaments with trophies in hand. One of their top accomplishments includes two teams working together to earn fourth place in policy debate at the state debate tournament at the University of Puget Sound.
The debate club is divided into teams of students who work together during tournaments. The club includes Bellingham High School freshmen Kendall Barnes, Kieran Dang and Hunter Renz. The seniors of the group are Bellingham student Will Woods and Squalicum student Samantha Sandoz. Sehome High School freshmen Haley Reed and Katie Clarke participate along with sophomores Caroline Chen and Bryce Henshaw.
The club participates in forensics tournaments throughout Washington and Oregon competing in policy and public forum debate. During the 2014-15 school year, students traveled to tournaments at Kamiak High School, Sedro-Woolley High School, Snohomish High School, University High School, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound and University of Oregon.
The United Debate Club hosted an open house on April 16. Students shared the significance that debate has had in their lives. The students said they learned more than argumentation and a variety of debate forms, they also grew as public speakers and researchers, which will prepare them for college academics.
Open policy debate team Woods and Sandoz took first place at Sedro-Woolley, third place at Snohomish High School, second place at Pacific Lutheran University and first place at University of Puget Sound. At the University of Puget Sound, Woods was individually recognized as a first place speaker and Sandoz received fifth place. The duo were semi-finalist at both University High School and University of Oregon. They earned quarterfinalist status at the state debate tournament.
The teams of Wood and Sandoz, and Henshaw and Reed, placed fourth in policy debate at the state debate tournament.
Competing in novice policy debate, Clarke and Renz earned first place at Kamiak High School and second place at University High School. Individually Renz was recognized as a first place speaker and Clarke earned fourth place at University High School. Clarke received special recognition this year as a novice impromptu speaker, taking third place at Kamiak High School and first place at the University of Puget Sound.
At the University of Puget Sound, Henshaw and Reed were quarterfinalists in open policy debate, while Chen and Barnes were quarterfinalists in open public forum debate.
Competition season is over for the current school year but the debate team is looking for prospective students to join. Interested students can contact debate coach Laura Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org.