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Portillo, Kirwan learn debate skills as freshman

Freshman+Kimberly+Portillo+practices+debating+during+a+practice+round.
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Portillo, Kirwan learn debate skills as freshman

Freshman Kimberly Portillo practices debating during a practice round.

Freshman Kimberly Portillo practices debating during a practice round.

Freshman Kimberly Portillo practices debating during a practice round.

Freshman Kimberly Portillo practices debating during a practice round.

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Freshmen Kimberly Portillo and Kate Kirwan participated in the debate tournament held at Broadway High School on Nov. 29, to qualify for the Tournament Of Champions. Portillo and Kirwan are enjoying their first year of debate; practicing many rounds and getting tips on how to improve, pays off as they participate in tournaments.

I am very proud of what the freshmen are doing this year.”

— Aaron Cosner

“Wednesday’s we do debate practice for rounds with our leaders, I’m mostly with Ganna…she watches us debate and gives us tips on how we can prove something better or how we should change something and change it into this,” Portillo said.

Portillo and Kirwan have enjoyed the debate tournaments they’ve attended and plan to go to more. At the tournaments, they’re given a topic to debate with someone who is also on their level.

“Every month we get a new topic. Our topic right now is something about privacy and we have a whole month to prepare our cases for that certain topic. If you’re in [Lincoln Douglas], it’s what I do, I have to write two different topics on both of the sides. When you go to the tournament, you don’t know which one you get, so both of them have to be pretty good,” Portillo said.

 Freshman Kate Kirwan practices before a debate tournament.

Taking debate as a freshman is also a bonus if you’re interested in forensics for the future. You also learn new writing skills that help with other skills and not just  debate.

“[In the future, I want to join forensics because] with public speaking you feel more confident with what you’re saying. You’re more prepared so it makes you seem like you know what you’re talking about, which you obviously do. You can speak out your opinion confidently instead of just saying what your opinion is but like being very nervous or just not sure about it once you’re doing it,” Portillo said.

The Debate Teacher, Aaron Cosner, leads the after school practices with help from the student leaders. Cosner is impressed with the freshmen this year doing lots and lots of research and practice rounds.

“I am very proud of what the freshmen are doing this year,” Cosner said. “It’s a hardworking group. They’re fun to teach, fun to coach, and I’m really excited to see how many of them stay with debate next year.”

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Portillo, Kirwan learn debate skills as freshman