At its core, debate encourages a robust clash between a multitude of well-articulated arguments, ideas, and beliefs. It teaches students to think critically, formulate their own views, challenge their beliefs, research, and engage in an an on-going dialogue of issues.
At Casady, students participate in policy debate, also called cross-examination debate. In this form of debate, students research and argue one topic all year long about whether the government should enact a certain policy or not. This year, the topic is whether the federal government should increase its funding or regulation of elementary and high schools.
The growing interest in debate excites the head of Casady's debate program, Mr. Tommy Snider, because it means the program could expand to include other forms of debate as well. This is Mr. Snider's third year helming the program at Casady.
"The beautiful thing about debate is that there is no cookie-cutter definition of success and greatness. Students have the opportunity to define what it means to be successful and great on their own terms," Mr. Snider said.
In October, Casady and Heritage Hall co-hosted on their campuses the JW Patterson Invitational Debate Tournament which attracts 200 people from schools in multiple states. It is the only nationally recognized debate tournament in Oklahoma and the only tournament to be given a bid status by the high school Tournament of Champions committee.
Casady's debate teams travel often so the debaters can gain experience and build their skills. The debate team travels roughly once or twice a month to tournaments, typically in Dallas, but the team has several larger tournaments it looks forward to at the University of Texas at Austin, University of California at Berkeley, and Arizona State University.
Debate isn't just active in the Upper Division, Casady's Middle Division has a popular debate club that meets weekly. Some of the club meetings have included up to 50 students. Mr. Snider is eager to develop the Middle Division program and looks forward to having high-caliber, skilled debaters who are ready to compete when they enter Upper Division.
Debate at Westmoore JAG Invitational The Casady Debate Team competed in the Westmoore JAG Invitational against 20 schools from across the State of Oklahoma. Casady's varsity team of Armaan Aggarawal and Kunal Patel finished with 3-0 record, Malavika Rajaram and Cooper Lindstrom finished with a 2-1 record, Graeme Jones and Jack Christ finished with a 1-2 record, Andy Throgmorton and Jordan Westlake finished with a 1-2 record.
Finally, the novice team of Cole Wolfe and Zain Malik finished second place in the novice division, and the team of Alex Barreto and Colton Braum missed elimination rounds by one round. Congratulations on a successful tournament!