Laker Debate Team Starts Strong


Chloe Simmons

WAYLAND, MICHIGAN- On Wednesday, September 25, the Laker Debate Team attended a workshop at Wayland High School. Though only a few members of the LMC team gained an award, the debate workshop was considered a success by the team. 

Leah Brucal and Harry Lewis both received an award for being a Presiding Officer. A Presiding Officer is a student that takes charge of the debate as the leader by recognizing members to speak or move. 

The workshop consisted of two sessions led by Teacher Lawrence Williams from Wayland High School, and Teacher Douglas Tackmann from Ionia High School. The first session worked to teach effective speech writing. Williams pointed out the importance of connecting an issue to one’s speech by including a personal anecdote or by stating the reason they have their specific view. There was also an emphasis on the importance of knowing one’s audience. 

The second session was given by Douglas Tackmann who spoke about Robert’s Rules of Order. When Tackmann was asked how he feels debate benefits students in their academic and work lives, he felt that it is a core aspect of forming future leaders.

“Debaters run the world so to begin this, they have to run their school. No matter what school it is.  In order to be the leaders of the school, debaters have to excel in all phases of the academic world. This carries over to their work lives. This all begins with confidence to stand in front of your peers and take charge of the world around you.”

After the workshop, the students began their first debate of the year.  All the teams were separated into two chambers where the students debated for and against the elimination of standardized tests requirements, the ending of legacy admission to colleges, and elimination of advertising prescription drugs. In both chambers, LMC debate students got to stand up and speak on these issues. 

The next debate will be on October 23th at Ionia High School. With practices every week for the next four months, the Laker Debate Team is on their way to becoming one of the most successful teams at Lake Michigan Catholic High School.