Debate team kicks off 2011 with success

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The debate team has had a semester of success – several members appeared on Channel 7, two won a trip to New York City and the whole team beat all other debaters in the latest league tournament.

Fremont’s debate team dominated the Bay Area Urban Debate League’s tournament on Feb. 12 on their home turf.

The debaters won the overall team competition known as the “Sweepstakes” after a trio of two-member teams from Media Academy took first, second and third place and individual debaters took the top six spots in the varsity competition.

Senior Cesar Sanchez and sophomore Diego Garcia won first place; juniors Kim and Gloria “Jack” Mejia took second place; and junior Jazmin Garcia and senior Juan Carlos Ramos captured third place.

Kim Mejia and Jack Mejia won first and second individual speakers respectively.

Additionally, the Garcias, who are siblings, were chosen to compete for BAUDL in the National Urban Debate tournament in New York City in April. They will travel to the tournament with all expenses paid by BAUDL.  Haider also will get to go with them.

To go to New York, the Garcias had to write a letter telling why they deserved to go to New York.

“I feel excited and proud of myself because they just chose me and my brother from Fremont,” Jazmin Garcia said  

Ten days before the big championship win, the debaters made a trip to Channel 7.

They were special guests in the audience for “7 Live” with other members of the Bay Area League Urban Debate League on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2.

 Debaters Cesar Sanchez and Juan Ramos, both Media Academy seniors, were the only two debaters able to talk during the show.  They were with the rest of the debaters Jazmin Garcia, Jack Mejia, Kim Mejia and Diego Garcia.

The show was live. Sanchez and Ramos were not able to make a mistake because people around the bay area were watching the show.

“It was a good experience, especially because I was on T.V. and I like how we were represented our school and our debate league,” Sanchez said.  

The team is coached by Laima Haider, a first-year history teacher at Media Academy, and Catherine Kuhn, a Skyline High School teacher who helped launch the debate team three years ago when she was a science teacher at Fremont’s Paul Robeson Academy.

Haider took the responsibility to take students to the Channel 7 studio.