Hackley Debate Program Has Impressive Performances in November Tournaments

November was a busy month for the Hackley debate program! Students participated in the NYDL tournament on Nov. 4, the Scarsdale Invitational tournament on Nov. 11 and the first HSPDP tournament of the season on Nov. 18, where Hackley had a collective outstanding performance, securing the top spot for the most wins in the tournament, including the only two undefeated teams.

Held at Applied Technology High School in Paramus, New Jersey, the High School Public Debate Program tournament had an impressive contingent of 22 Upper School debaters from Hackley. A hearty congratulations to all the debaters, seniors Phoebe Abrahms, Harper Kelsey, Sam Sanders, Grant Berhalter, Robbie Gutheil, Jad Benslimane and Spencer Ormsby; juniors Vivek Malik, Angela Croce and Nina Zeltser; and freshmen Lila Salemi, Nico Kim, Lilly Rosenthal, Layan Sow, Shreyas Kuniyil, Zach Weinreich, Jonah Gaetz, Teddy Wang, Max Michael, Zack Reinmann, Theo Anderson and Sebastian Jimenez.

The only two undefeated teams at the tournament were both from Hackley. Phoebe Abrahms, Angela Croce and Nina Zeltser clinched first place overall, while Vivek Malik, Shreyas Kuniyil and Zach Weinreich took second. Additionally, the teams of Harper Kelsey, Sam Sanders and Grant Berhalter, as well as Jad Benslimane, Spencer Ormsby and Robbie Gutheil, earned fourth and sixth places, respectively.

The tournament also saw Hackley debaters win several individual speaker awards. Special accolades go to Jonah Gaetz, who was the third-best speaker and Hackley’s top speaker; Angela Croce, who ranked as the fifth speaker; and Harper Kelsey, who came in sixth. Both Sam Sanders and Nico Kim made it into the top 20 speakers, with Layan Sow recognized as Hackley's top novice speaker.

The strong turnout and achievement at this tournament is a promising sign of what’s to come in the rest of this debate season. The next HSPDP tournament is on Dec. 9 at Hackley. 

Earlier in the month, on Nov. 11, the Scarsdale Invitational tournament was another significant event. Four novice teams from Hackley took this opportunity to delve into Public Forum debate. Participants included freshmen Isabella Zeltser, Sophie Kim, Ava Cronin, Pierce Roc-Sennet, Owen Spencer, Matthew Calderon, Theo Anderson and Gabriel Fossner. This experience was invaluable for these novices, setting the stage for future success in our Public Forum program.

In the Middle School, several fifth and sixth graders are trying out debate for the first time. Recently, on Nov. 4, three teams from Hackley, including two novice groups and one varsity team, participated in the NYDL tournament held at the Nightingale School. The event featured fifth graders Ethan A., Will A., Michael C. and Leroy G., along with sixth graders Nate M. and Ryan L.