Dayton HS debate team earns 5 medals at Student Congress competition

Dayton Debaters placing at the West Hardin Congress include (bottom left to right) Eric Silva, Angelica Rodriquez, and Austin Shumaker; (top row) Juan Coreas and Devon Conyers.

The Dayton Debate Team competed at the West Hardin Student Congress Meet recently.  Congressional Debate is a mock legislative assembly competition where students draft bills (proposed laws) and resolutions (position statements), which they and their peers later debate and vote to pass into law and then take action on by voting for or against the legislation.

At the meet, students were divided into legislative chambers and competed against each other.  All students were ranked by performance but were divided into two divisions, varsity for experience debaters and novice for first year debaters.

Final individual awards were determined by the results from both divisions based on rankings from each chamber.

Five Dayton Debaters earned medals. Devon Conyers competed in the varsity division and placed second in his chamber. 

In the novice division, Senior Austin Shumaker and sophomore Eric Silva placed fourth in their respective chambers.  Freshman Angelica Rodriguez took third place in her chamber.  Sophomore Juan Coreas earned an impressive first-place medal in his first ever debate tournament.

Despite the success, Dayton Debate Coach James Kingsmill, who starts his fifth year at Dayton, expressed cautious optimism about the school year. 

“We have a lot of eager first-year debaters but our varsity level is on the thin side. This is definitely a rebuilding year but I think the new ones we have will lay a solid foundation.  The challenges of remote learning make it difficult too. I hope some of the new debate students return and join the ranks of the debate team,” he said.  

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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