Salem Academy Debate Ends Year on a High Note

Salem Academy Debate 2022-2023

Over the last two weekends, Salem Academy Debate wrapped up the year with multiple triumphs. Four Academy debaters won bids to the Coolidge Cup, a national tournament in Vermont. Students who qualify are invited to compete over the Independence Day holiday. The Coolidge Foundation provides travel money and covers all costs for the tournament where students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships. Destiny Hale A ’23 has debated at the Coolidge Cup for the last two years. This year, she will have company. On April 22, Paige Milligan A ’24, Cailin Schaub A ’25, and Azaio Udoh A ’25 won three rounds each in the online qualifier which included teams from 23 states, thereby winning an invitation to the Coolidge Cup.

On April 29 at Franklin Academy in Wake Forest, N.C., Clara Bryant-Prosterman A ’25 won the third-place speaker award in the varsity division which also meant she qualified for the Coolidge Cup tournament. First-time debaters, Kayleigh Evans A ’26 and Fanni Illes A ’24 won the second-place team award in the novice division, and Fanni won the first-place speaker award.


Award winners from Coolidge Debate in Wake Forest, N.C.: Kaleigh Evans A ‘26, Clara Bryant-Prosterman A ‘25, Fanni Illes A ‘24

This year’s debate program was the largest since the return of the Salem Debate in 2018. Notably, all 22 debaters competed at an event off campus. Salem fielded entries in six competitions this year. Every Salem team won at least one round of a debate, and multiple teams were undefeated in competitions.

At this week's end-of-year celebration, Ms. Lawrence commended debate students for their hard work and success. Special recognition was paid to Kaitlyn Gyamfi A ’23 and Destiny Hale A ’23, both of whom have participated in debate for four years. They served as lead debaters this year and were instrumental in the success of the program. Rising senior Paige Milligan will serve as a lead debater for 2023-2024.

Salem Debate is looking forward to next year when Ms. Humphrey and Ms. Lawrence will combine their efforts to coach the Debate and Youth and Government teams. Salem will also resume participating in Model U.N. after a one-year hiatus caused by scheduling conflicts. Congratulations to all of this year’s debaters!

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