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  • Writer's pictureOscar Amos

Parker's Debate Team Travels to the The Madison Invitational in Rexburg, Idaho

On Wednesday November 29th, Parker School’s debate team boarded their delayed plane at 11:00 pm, embarking on their almost 12-hour journey to the small town of Rexburg, Idaho. This lengthy journey entailed two flights, separated by a five-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. The group of twelve (nine returning debaters and three chaperones) were in Rexburg for three days and traveled for two. 

On the first (full) day, the team woke up to a fresh thick blanket of snow, which, to people living in Hawaii, is a luxury. They made the most of the weather by taking their adventures to Beaver Dick park, starting snowball fights, enjoying the views of the river and park and even sledding. After a couple of hours in the snow, the team prepared for a long day at Madison High School. 

The first day of the tournament was for speech, in which Parker School entered five students: Laynie Henderson ‘25 (Impromptu), Noah Nikolai ‘25 (Impromptu), Gibson McIntosh ‘25 (Impromptu), Izzy Russo ‘24 (Spartner), and Georgia Kasameyer ‘26 (Spartner). After an extraordinary performance from the entire speech team, Gibson ‘25 excitingly advanced to finals, eventually taking a deserved second place. She was ranked no lower than second in all three of her preliminary rounds.

With an early (but not record breaking) 7:00 am wake up call, the entire team prepared for a full day of debate spanning from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Parker’s entries for debate consisted of nice students: Sophia Scholz ‘26 (Novice Lincoln-Douglas), Gibson Mcintosh ‘25 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Oscar Amos ‘26 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Nora Goldsmith ‘26 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Ava Harris ‘26 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Laynie Henderson ‘25 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Noah Nikolai ‘25 (Varsity Lincoln-Douglas), Izzy Russo ‘24 (Varsity Public Forum), and Georgia Kasameyer ‘26 (Varsity Public Forum). 

The Lincoln-Douglas students debated the topic: “The United States ought to prohibit the extraction of fossil fuels from federal public lands and waters.” The Public Forum team debated the topic: “The United States federal government should forgive all federal student loan debt.” 

The team endured four preliminary rounds over ten hours. Parker’s very own Sophia ‘26 and Gibson ‘25 both broke into the gold/silver rounds. After putting up a fight, the two avenged the team and took home silver. 

Last but most definitely not least, the team took home the coveted Speech and Debate Olympics Monster Trophy. After becoming the reigning champions of ping pong, spike ball, and corn hole, the team became the 2023 Speech and Debate Olympic champions with great contributions from Noah ‘25 and Nora ‘26.

On their way home, the team made one last stop at Beaver Dick park, where they took in all aspects of the powdery snow before returning to the opposing climates of Hawai’i. Congratulations to all competitors for their commendable efforts this past weekend, it was a tough break! Next weekend, the speech team will make their way to Punahou Schools on Oahu to compete in the non-qual with six student entries. 

Our next full-team tournament will be the Neighbor Island Tournament hosted at Parker School, kicking off the state-qualifying debate season. Best of luck to the team, and congratulations again to those who competed this past weekend!

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Melinda Mizuno
Melinda Mizuno
Dec 11, 2023

Sounds like a great adventure and that the team represented itself and Parker School very well. Ho'omaika'i!

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