Speech and Debate Wins Big at Neighbor Island Tournament

January 23, 2019

Parker School hosted the Speech and Debate Qualifying Neighbor Island Tournament (NIT) on January 19 and 20 and took home the tournament’s top sweepstakes trophy for the first time ever. 

This annual tournament hosted by Parker School included Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Hilo High School and Parker School along with eight O’ahu schools competing in six debate and 10 speech events over two days.  Parker School had several strong finishes and a standout performance in speech to take the sweepstakes trophy which is awarded based on all speech and debate events combined.

Strong finishes in debate include: first place in Varsity Policy Debate by junior Katie Carey and senior Emily Fetsch; first and second places in JV Policy Debate by sophomores Noelani Sulla and Zoe Spikerman and freshman Ellie Carey and sophomore Eloise Robertson; and a first-place finish by senior Zoe Vann in Championship Lincoln Douglas Debate. 

Additional notable performances include a second-place finish in Advanced Public Forum Debate by senior Anna Gaglione and junior Grace Bollinger; a first and second place finish in Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate by junior Braydon Byron and sophomore Mele Rickards, and second place in Program Oral Interpretation by junior Hunter Kalahiki- Arnbrister.

Arguably the tournament’s biggest win for Parker came from speech greenhorns, senior Erica Yost and junior Stacee Firestone, who placed first in Duo Interpretation. “This is their first year competing in speech, however, they have been involved in drama since middle school. Their first-place finish gave us the unexpected points needed to beat Kamehameha Schools,” said Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster and debate coach.  Kamehameha had won the trophy the previous ten years in a row.

This win is just the most recent trophy captured by Parker’s speech and debate team as they continue their unprecedented season, having won four O’ahu tournaments and already qualifying 20 students to the state tournament in April.

Next, the team will travel to Spokane, Washington for the Thomas Foley Memorial Tournament, thanks to a grant from the Julia Burke Foundation.