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Lakeland Debate Students, Alum Host Debate Classic

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. — Lakeland student debaters, teachers and staff played host to more than 400 students from 55 schools from six states at the Westchester Classic Debate this weekend.

According to Lakeland debate coach Stefan Bauschard, over a 32-hour period between Friday and Sunday afternoon, students participated in 622 individual debates lasting anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, delivered approximately 1,500 speeches and participated in more than 1,200 cross-examinations. Of those 400 students, 170 stayed with families in the Lakeland School District.

Thomas Johnson from Maryland won the varsity policy division, Brooklyn Tech from New York won the novice policy division, River Hill from Maryland won the middle school policy division and Bronx Science won the public forum and Lincoln-Douglas divisions.

Because students from Lakeland were hosts of the debate, they did not participate, though they helped make the entire debate a success, including former Lakeland debaters. Lakeland debate team alumni Matt Malia (2003), Ben Faber (2007) and Jack Chong (2009) were the final round judges for varsity policy.

Bauschard thanked the cafeteria staff who fed all 500 people on three occasions and the custodial staff who helped set up and keep the building clean, as well as Charlene Nigro, a Lakeland High School teacher who helped judge four public forum debates Friday evening. Sheryl Kaczmarek from Newburgh Free Academy tabulated the Lincoln-Douglas and policy divisions and Charles Sloat from Iona Prep tabulated speech.

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