Jesse Bartsoff (standing left) and Emily Dawson demonstrated the official parliamentary gesture that signals the speaker on the floor to stop and allow the opposition to ask a question. (Left to right

Jesse Bartsoff (standing left) and Emily Dawson demonstrated the official parliamentary gesture that signals the speaker on the floor to stop and allow the opposition to ask a question. (Left to right

Trail debaters among B.C.’s best

Trail's highschool debaters have placed high in the ranks in the latest competitions.

Jesse Bartsoff and Emily Dawson are seasoned debaters who are committed to sharing the art of an argument with rules.

The Grade 12 students have been debate team leaders at J.L. Crowe Secondary School for four years and in that time have developed confidence and poise during public speaking competitions and sharpened their research skills for composition of essays.

The twosome mentor a handful of up-and-comers who will take the lead in future debates after the two graduate in six months.

“We are fortunate to have students willing to fill the leadership role to teach the younger students,” said Marilyn Lunde, Crowe teacher librarian and regional coordinator for the Debate and Speech Association of B.C. “I wasn’t familiar with the British Parliamentary format, but the students were, so they jumped right in and made it work.”

Bartsoff is fresh off an 11th place finish with first-time partner Rachel Aiken after the duo competed in a 72-team tournament at the University of British Columbia (UBC) last month.

Aiken is a Grade 10 student with a history of debating on a team from Rossland Secondary School (RSS).

“It is interesting because Rachel is two years younger but strong competition when we debated each other in the past,” said Bartsoff. “We knew each others strengths and weaknesses from previous competitions so UBC was fun and a good learning experience.”

Overall, 144 senior students took part in the senior category with Bartsoff placing 19 individually, and Aiken, after debating women’s rights, placing 25 in a group of 180 junior competitors.

Last week, the Crowe team honed its skills during lunch hour to prepare for a local gathering of debaters hosted by LV Rogers Secondary School in Nelson on Saturday.

The high school troupe and the RSS debate team participated in the third annual tournament that included impromptu-style debates and later in the day, a public speaking competition with topics based on song titles such as Elvis Presley’s “Don’t be Cruel” and Nirvana’s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The novice topic, for students between Grade 5-8, “Be it resolved that Humpty Dumpty got what he deserved,” seemed simplistic but grew into the idea of going places one shouldn’t and in-depth discussion about the fragility of taking risks, explained Lunde.

Payton Reed and Hannah Klemmensen from Rossland were first as a team, followed by Jessica Smithies and Caitlin Kalendonk of Kinnaird Elementary and third place for Eliza Dawson and Keegan Fry from Crowe.

Individually, Reed and Klemmensen took first and second place followed by Fry in third.

The junior team of Crowe’s Rachel Aiken and Maggie Chan placed first after debating the topic of a bill to include a high school etiquette course in the curriculum and Aven Cosbey and Bronwyn Moore from RSS placed a close second.

Dawson and Bartsoff placed first in the senior division, with Dawson placing first individually and Bartsoff, third.

Ella Meyer, a Crowe debater,  took first in the senior division of the public speaking contest, with Zorn Rose and Tia Huttemann of LVR placing second and third respectively.

The next opportunity for the 12-member debate team to lock horns with local competition is at an inaugural invitational debate tournament at RSS Jan. 18.

Judges are needed for the debates and a full training session will run the morning of the event.

“Please consider helping out,” said Aaron Cosbey, parent sponsor of the RSS team. “Debate is such a great experience for these students but it can’t happen without you.”

For information, call 362-7388 or email acosbey@gmail.com or nkuhn@sd20.bc.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Early steals opened the door for Team Nichol in a victory over Team Small on Thursday at Kootenay Savings Super League curling. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Super League Curling: van Yzerloo-Fines match goes down to wire

Kootenay Savings Super League goes every Thursday night at the Trail Curling Club

Glacier Gymnastics head coach Sandra Long says she doesn’t understand why her sport is currently shut down while others are allowed to operate. Photo: Tyler Harper
‘It is bewildering’: Nelson sports leaders call out provincial shut down

Indoor group classes for activities such as gymnastics and dance are on hold

Quaid Anderson
Former Nitehawk makes himself at home with BCHL Bucks

Former Nitehawk Quaid Anderson is glad to return home to Cranbrook and chance to play in BCHL

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Photo:  Black Press Media
Greater Trail RCMP urge locals to stay off the roads

By noon there were four commercial tractor trailers stuck on hills in the Trail area

Seven Deers carved Shinning Raven Woman out of Labradorite harvested from the Canadian Shield. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Sculpture by Indigenous artist to be erected in Grand Forks

Civic leaders have rallied behind the project by Grand Forks’ David Seven Deers

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Most Read