Big Island Debaters Shine at Neighbor Island Tournament

January 16, 2018
Parker School hosted the Speech and Debate Qualifying Neighbor Island Tournament (NIT) on January 12 and 13. Twelve of the top teams in the state attended, and for the first time ever, three Big Island schools participated: Hilo High, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, and Parker School.  

This was an exciting event, with over 200 students from all over the state participating, and with Hawai’i Preparatory Academy competing for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Parker School students Kirk Hubbard and Anna Gaglione, both of whom represented Hawaii at the national level this past summer, placed first in Varsity Policy Debate. Parker’s other two national qualifiers, Hunter Kalahiki-Arnbrister and Zoe Vann, placed second in Dramatic Interpretation and third in Championship Lincoln-Douglas Debate, respectively.

Other noteworthy wins include Parker’s sweep of Junior Varsity Debate where Emma Laliberte and Shione Mochizuki placed first, Hana-Lei Ji and Jamie Sato placed second, Katie Carey and Riley Herendeen placed third, and Reece Herendeen and Taiga Okada placed fourth. With the top three teams qualifying for the state championship, this is the first time in eleven years that any school has qualified three teams in one category.

In Beginning Public Forum Debate Parker School’s Tyler Thomas and Hiroki Soler placed first.

In total, 3 speech competitors and 11 debaters from the Big Island qualified for the Hawaii Speech and Debate State Championships which will be held on Oahu in April.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Julia Burke Foundation, Parker School’s next debate outing involves 12 debaters traveling to Stanford in early February to compete against mainland teams.