1st Place Finish for Debate & Public Speaking SocietyOn Sunday, October 5th, Stoneleigh-Burnham hosted our annual public speaking tournament in which eleven schools and forty-seven students competed in three rounds of speaking opportunities, including Interpretive Reading, Impromptu Speaking, and either After-Dinner or Persuasive Speaking. The tournament was attended by Phillips Academy Andover, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, The Hotchkiss School, Kingswood-Oxford School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Roxbury Latin School, The Winsor School, and Stoneleigh-Burnham.

The five speakers from the Stoneleigh-Burnham Debate & Public Speaking Society were tremendously successful throughout the tournament. Rose Watson ’16 placed 1st out of 47 in Interpretive Reading. Co-President Charlotte Minsky ’16 placed 1st out of 47 in Impromptu Reading. Claire Lane ’16 placed 1st in After-Dinner Speaking. Society Co-President Clara Swartzentruber ’16 and team member Sherica Hamilton ’15 contributed strong showings as well. The team’s efforts led to a 1st Place overall for Stoneleigh-Burnham School. Hotchkiss earned 2nd Place and Roxbury Latin earned 3rd.

The tournament was one of only seven DANEIS (Debating Association of New England Independent Schools) qualifiers for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships, which will occur this year during April in Hong Kong. The first place individual competitor from this competition automatically qualified to compete at the championships. The first place individual at our tournament earned 266 points, and our own Claire Lane was only one point shy, ending the tournament with 265 points. Head Coach Dr. Paul Bassett said, “These students left absolutely nothing in their tanks at the end of the day. They gave everything they had. I am so proud of their success and the hard-work that led to it.”

Congratulations to our Debate & Public Speaking Society. Their next tournament will take them to Phillips Andover Academy on Sunday, November 2nd, when they will participate in a Parliamentary Extemporaneous style competition.