New Trier debate team brings home two state championships


New Trier High School's Debate Team won two championship titles at the IHSA Varsity Debate Championships March 17-18 at University of Illinois-Springfield. Schools from across the state converged on the campus to compete.

New Trier debaters competed in all four styles of debate: Congressional, Lincoln-Douglas, Policy and Public Forum.

Senior Ben Schwabe advanced to elimination rounds after earning a seventh place individual speaker award in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Because of this performance, Schwabe was named to the IHSA All-State Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team for 2017. Once he qualified for elimination debates, Schwabe won three debates in a row to put himself in the final round. There, he debated the negative side of the resolution, "Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing." Schwabe was crowned state champion on a 5-0 decision over a debater from Schaumburg.

In policy debate, senior duo Celia Buckman and Connor Warshauer debated the topic, "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People's Republic of China." Buckman and Warshauer advanced over their fellow Trevians Roland Kim and Jack Scullion on their way to the semifinals. They later defeated Niles West on a 3-0 decision, earning a spot in the final round. New Trier's seniors debated on the negative side of the topic against Glenbrook North High School and were declared state champions on a 5-0 decision.

Several New Trier students also earned other accolades over the weekend. Warshauer, Scullion and Buckman were all named to the IHSA All-State Policy Debate team, earning the 10th place, ninth place and fifth place preliminary speaker awards. Scullion and Kim finished as quarterfinalists in Policy Debate. Caroline Martin, a senior Lincoln-Douglas debater, finished in the sweet sixteen of the tournament. Seniors Georgia Caras, Amber Malik, Cormac Simon and Aria Snedegar all made the semifinal round in Congressional Debate.

The two state championships were a great way for the team to kick off its spring break. Upon returning, students will prepare for the upcoming national championships hosted by the National Debate Coaches Association and the University of Kentucky's Tournament of Champions committee.