FAQ 2: Why should I sign up for the Debate 3 Honors class?

Amy Levine, Class of 2007: “Debate has most definitely helped prepare me for college. I will be able to speak confidently in my college interviews, be able to write better entrance essays, and now I know how to research for college papers that will be assigned. I signed up for debate because I wanted to learn how to be confident while speaking in front of a large crowd, while at the same time improving my writing and speaking skills. I also wanted to make friends for life through the debate program, and I have! The away tournaments are the best part because you get to spend an entire bus ride up with people you like being around. I have learned a lot about current events that come in handy for my history class. I also feel and sound more knowledgeable about topics that most people know nothing about so it is always fun to see the face of someone who is so shocked to see such an intellectual teenager.”

Zachary Jacobson, Class of 2019: “People should join the Wellington Debate Team for so many different reasons. There’s so many things you can do, and so many things you can branch off and do – it’s too much to describe. On the Wellington Speech and Debate Team, the kids are always looking out for each other, critiquing each other on their performances and evidence/arguments. The Wellington Speech and Debate Team has shown me I’m more than just a voice in a room, that I’m actually someone who can voice their opinion. The Wellington Speech and Debate Team shines that light for me, and I know it can for you as well.”

Alex Brunner, Class of 2009: “Debate really is one of the best electives you can take in high school. It’s a little bit of everything mixed together. It has politics, poetry, scripts, and more all throw in. It is a great place to make friends. Debate has helped me immensely in school and in my life. I think the most important aspect of debate is to just have fun. The most fun thing about debate is its versatility. There are so many different events that you can always have a fresh experience. At Wellington, “debate” isn’t about two uptight stiffs in suits arguing about politics; there are many different events, including interpretation events that resemble acting. Debate is a great experience whether you’re “into” politics are not. I’ve learned not only how to be a better speaker, but also to be more social. I’ve met many new friends from debate. Debate has also helped me in school projects. Most of my friends seem to struggle with public speaking, or researching for projects, but for me it’s a breeze.”

Kristina Davis, Class of 2019: “Students should join debate not only because it is all around a great extra curricular activity to be involved in, but because debate truly affects your life in ways you never truly realize until you sit back and reflect. Debate was not only a way for me to learn to be confident in my voice, but it allowed me – the shy girl who would have never been caught dead speaking in front of people had I not taken debate – to express myself and my passions in a unique format. The future is ours and, whether we want to believe it or not, we are the voice of the future and sitting silently and hoping someone else will speak up instead is not a productive way to go about our future. Debate taught me to be a leader and to stand up for what I believe to be right, as well as to stand up and speak for those who can’t. The environment in the Wellington Debate classroom allows for different points of views and ideas to be strewn about, and this introduction of ideas and views which differ from our own allows us to become more informed and educated individuals which is dire when talking about problems going around in the world around us. Coach Gaba is also an incredible instructor and his feedback, advice, and support inside of debate topics and outside of debate topics has allowed for his classroom to be a safe space for his students. I can honestly say debate has impacted my life in far more ways than scholarly. Debate has taught me how to present myself in a respectable and professional manner for job interviews. Debate has taught me to be both a leader and a team player in the workplace, as the ability to be both is often times crucial in the job setting. Debate has taught me how to think critically and on my feet, which will be crucial for my future endeavors in the veterinary field. Debate has taught me to care about the world around me and to become active in organizations and movements I support. But most importantly, debate has allowed me to create what I believe to be a much improved version of myself, and I am forever thankful to Coach Gaba, Wellington Debate, and my classmates for sculpting me into the person I am today.”

Samuel Johnson, Class of 2022: “You should join the Wellington Speech and Debate team because it is going to be a great class where you learn and have fun at the same time.  You will make new experiences and constantly get better at public speaking. The best part really is the fun that you will have at tournaments, after school functions, and even in the classroom.”

Brittany Cos, Class of 2006: “Because of my participation with debate, I’m never afraid to speak publicly, I will always speak my mind, I have gained a great deal of knowledge with hanging out with the eccentric debaters at tournaments, and I feel overly confident. At first, when I signed up for the class, I thought of it as merely a time to “debate” (or to argue), but it has grown into so much more. It has allowed me the opportunity to truly express myself, to gain the fellowship of others, and to have a blast in the meantime.

Amanda DeStefano, Class of 2009: “I signed up for debate because I wanted to be more aware of how to present myself when doing public speaking activities. Debate helps when you have to make presentations in class. Since most people hate presenting it can help increase your ability to perform and not be so nervous. But it’s more than that; the people you get to meet and all of the friends you make in the program and tournaments are wonderful. In addition, debate has prepared me more for college because, through the class and tournaments, I have learned about what is actually going on in the world instead of being isolated from the news.”

Harrison Winton, Class of 2022: “You should join debate because the class has so much to offer. Whether it be tournaments or leadership skills, or even the making of long lasting friendships. Everyday offers something new and exciting in that class and you should not miss out on this wonderful opportunity. Debate isn’t just writing speeches and competing in tournaments, it’s about the skills you will develop as a debater and what you will do with them in your future. Sure, it might seem scary or even intimidating as a freshman, but once you learn to overcome those feelings, you won’t think twice about it. Joining the Red Dawn Debaters is like having a home away from home.”

William Fetzko, Class of 2009: “Debate is a wonderful program, not only in terms of academics, but it’s very beneficial to your high school career, due to the fact that it’s a great way to make friends and it’s something you can really enjoy. I love public speaking, and arguing, making people eat their words, and making people laugh.”

Caitlyn Gross, Class of 2006: “I singed up for debate because I thought it would be a good thing to have on a college application. But debate ended up being the most beneficial experience of my high school years. Debate not only allowed me to grow as a person and student, it allowed me to become who I am. I have crossed path with some of the most amazing people I believe I will ever meet from competitors to judges and coaches. These people simply make it fun. I’ve learned how to manipulate people to my advantage be it to will or accomplish something I need to win in a debate round. Not only that, but debate has helped me learn how to research properly and write rather quickly and to the point. Seeing as I’m going to college soon, this was rather important, and I’m really not that afraid for what lies ahead.”

Mikayla Joseph, Class of 2018: “You should join Wellington Speech & Debate Team because you learn so much from other students who are passionate and ready to work. It’s also and opportunity to meet people with different view points, but are open to your ideas. Debate at Wellington High school is a very welcoming group of students, and you can find valuable friendships within it.”

Raquel Kraushar, Class of 2008: “Incoming freshmen: If you love to act, debate is great, because you can compete in it and win awards! I signed up for debate, initially just because it will look good on a college resume. But I continued debate because it’s just a great extra-curricular activity in which to be involved! I met my best friend through debate, but besides that, the most fun thing would probably be that you can argue politics with someone else who can argue about politics. I’ve learned that public speaking isn’t always that hard. I’d always be that person that contemplated if I should go in the middle for projects or go second to last. But now speaking in front of people comes naturally to me, and that’s going to help me, well, forever! And not only is debate one of the greatest things a college can look for, but public speaking or being able to meet new people is something that debate will fully prepare you for. Since I’m probably going out-of-state, I’m definitely going to have to easily be able to approach people.”

Jenalyn Spies, Class of 2022: “Joining debate is overall a stellar idea to those looking to grow and flourish both as students and in the real world. By participating in debate one will learn the value of hard work, and in return being rewarded for hard work. Debate teaches time management, self awareness and responsibility, while building a relationship with each and every member on the team. Joining debate is similar to joining a family; everyone is supportive of each other and always rooting for others to do their very best. It is an exciting opportunity to help teach students about politics, real world issues, government, foreign policies and so much more. Debate helps to prepare for college and overall provide a more educated generation. By joining debate one would be setting themself up for a successful future while having fun at the same time. It allows students freedom to express their opinions in respectful ways and teach the true value of friendly peer argumentation. “

Daniel Mandell, Class of 2001: “I spend Saturday mornings trying to teach middle school kids the debate skills I learned in Wellyworld Debate at the New York City Urban Debate League Manhattan Debate Center. I can tell you the same thing I tell them: the things I am telling them about how to respond to an argument, using evidence, etc. are the exact same things I spend my time doing as an expensive New York City lawyer. And when I went to college, I had no trouble researching, writing, or speaking. The things you learn in debate set you up for life.”

Angelica Sabol, Class of 2018: “You should join debate because it offers a rewarding experience that can enhance the high school experience. It offers you valuable tools that you will be able to use for the rest of your life and enhances your knowledge about the world.”

Zach Hindin, Class of 2006: “If you have any inkling of a thought that you might be interested in Debate, take it! What’s the worst that could happen? Debate teaches you how to break down, analyze, and formulate solid responses to an argument. Depending on what event you do, a debater can also learn about the nature of the American political system, begin to understand the principles that guide our global community, study philosophical theories and ideas that have shaped the way humans have thought for centuries, or even about drama and theater. And debate has absolutely prepared me for college. The skills needed to perform well and achieve merit at a debate tournament are the same ones needed to ace the hardest classes. Organization skills, as well as analytical and critical thinking are all refined and developed through participation in debate. Moreover, participating in debate can open a lot of doors for the high school student. Beyond colleges and universities looking favorably on an experience in debate, there are a number of scholarships that are available through the debate community to help a student pay for school. In my case, debate helped me spend the summer of my junior year in Washington, D.C., studying Foreign Policy at Georgetown University and working with a slew of lobby groups that put me in face-to-face dialogue with our nation’s top leaders, including Bill and Hilary Clinton, Senator Barak Obama, former presidential candidates Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Palm Beach County Rep. Mark Foley, and a number of leaders from the Pentagon, FBI, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and embassies from around the world.”