May 05 2011 by PD Staff
On Saturday, April 8, the Lakewood High School debate team of Alexander Fan, Alli Nilles, and Will Crimmins arrived in New York City for the Bickel & Brewer International Public Policy Forum debate finals. After beating the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria, in a 3-0 win in an electronic debate via email, the trio were informed that they would be moving on to the “elite eight” quarterfinals round in New York University.
After a much anticipated wait, the team flew to New York for the competition. The elite eight teams earned all-expense-paid trips to IPPF Finals Weekend in New York City for three students and two coaches. The debates were broadcasted live on the Internet for anyone to view. The stakes were high: the winning team would claim a $10,000 grand prize and the “Bickel & Brewer Cup.” In addition, the runner up would receive $3,500, and the two semifinal schools each $1,000 at a special banquet and awards ceremony.
The debate commenced with the introduction of the judges. Judging the quarter, semi, and final rounds were Will Baker (Director of Debate at NYU), William A. Brewer III (Partner at Bickel & Brewer law firm), David Huston (Director of Debate at Colleyville Heritage High School), John Sexton (President of NYU), Marchall Smith (Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 3m Co.), Alfred Snider (Director of Forensics, University of Vermont), Robin Sparkman (Editor in Chief of The American Lawyer) Melissa Maxcy Wade (Director of Forensics, Emory University), Howard Wolfson (Deputy Mayor of New York City), and Scott Wunn (Executive Director of the National Forensics League). With a star-studded judge panel, the pressure was higher than ever before for the LHS debaters.
In their first quarterfinal debate, Fan, Nilles, and Crimmins fell short, losing to the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy in a close debate. At the end of all of the rounds, Plano Senior High School was announced the winner and received the 1st place prize of $10,000. Notre Dame High School placed second, winning $3,500, followed by the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy and Nixa High School, which each received $1,000.
After their final IPPF debate, the LHS seniors all agreed that the complete experience
was terrific. “I was greatly honored and humbled to have made it this far in world debate, and am proud to have represented Lakewood High School on such a large stage,” said Nilles.
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