From left to right: Isaac Jedlicka, Sara Tabin, Katie Kelley, Will Griffith and Jack Lambert are some of Park City High School s varsity debaters that have
From left to right: Isaac Jedlicka, Sara Tabin, Katie Kelley, Will Griffith and Jack Lambert are some of Park City High School s varsity debaters that have qualified for the state tournament. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kelley.

As the end of their season nears, Park City High School's debaters are hopeful and looking to a bright future. On Tuesday, February 25th the PCHS debate team attended region debate at Morgan High School, exceeding their own expectations as they qualified 14 students for state, including nine novice debaters.

Despite their past as a small, struggling club, the debate team has expanded this year under the guidance of hardworking coaches Allison Moore, Mathew Nagel, and Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson, and their push for a more prominent debate class. Ellsworth-Nielson attributes the accomplishments the team has made to parents willing to give up their weekends to hear dozens of speeches miles from home, and to the school administration for supporting and promoting the debate team and class.

Says Ellsworth-Nielson, "We have doubled in size, in debaters attending tournaments, and in debaters headed to state. It has been a great year of growth for Park City. If we continue to develop a debate program that is fun to be part of, that students can be committed to and can hone their speaking skills in, then trophies and placing at top tournaments is inevitable."

The expansion of the debate team is a source of special pride to the team's varsity debaters who have spent the year mentoring new members. Remarked PCHS debate team captain Katie Kelley, "I'm really happy with how (regions) went. We've gained a lot of new members this year and I think we're headed in a great direction.


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As Ellsworth-Nielson put it, "There is a tide in the debate program at PCHS, and the tide is rising."

State Qualifiers:

Isaac Jedlicka, senior, third in Congress

Jack Lambert, senior, second in Congress

Will Griffith, senior finalist in Congress

Sara Tabin, junior, third in Impromptu

Jordan Blake, finalist in Impromptu

Siri Reilly, freshman, finalist in Impromptu

Katie Kelley, junior, second in Lincoln Douglas

Will Doyle, sophomore, second in foreign Extemp

Emma Louden, sophomore, first in Oratory

Isabella Canada, freshman, third in Oratory

Steven Pasinsky/ Gavin Schenk, freshmen, finalists in Public Forum

Alex Whitty/ Vincent Jedlicka, freshmen, finalists in Public Forum