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High School Debate Championships


Members of the top team at the Championship tournament from St. Basil’s

On Wednesday, December 4, Michael Power-St. Joseph’s CHS hosted the fifth annual TCDSB High School Debate Championship. Twelve schools from across the board participated in a series of animated debates on the following resolution, Be it resolved that (BIRT): Private schools are overrated. Debaters prepared speeches for one round on this topic and then debated an improvised resolution for the final round, in this case, BIRT: Questions are more important than answers. This year saw St. Basil’s take top prize at the tournament with one of its two teams placing first overall. Other teams that finished in the top four spots included Loretto Abbey, MPSJ and Bishop Allen. The top debater from St. Basil’s was Nena Lazar followed by Tanya DiPerri (St. Basil’s) and Maksym Woychyshyn and Emilia Lynch from MPSJ all tied for second place. Mr. Enrico Cumbo, social science teacher at Michael Power-St. Joe’s and one of the tournament organizers said, “Running this tournament during the school day is a great way to promote critical thinking and debating in our school and in our board. Normally, these tournaments take place on Saturdays in empty schools. This time debaters enjoyed delivering speeches to classrooms full of students”.


Congratulations to everyone at the competition including first time participants from St. Mary’s Academy who hope to return next year. For those interested in learning more about debating or the Ontario Pro-Con Debate Forum contact Mr. Cumbo at MPSJ or Mike Da Costa at Brebeuf College who can provide support materials or organize a workshop at your school.


embers of the top team at the Championship tournament from St. Basil’s, Mr. Cumbo from Michael Power-St. Joseph CHS and Mr. Bell