The Asbury Park High School Debate team competed in the largest policy debate tournament in the NYC Urban Debate League and won several awards recently.
Two of the Policy Debaters received top speaker awards in the tournament, Jasmin Carter (20), and Meliza Garcia (12). In addition, the debate team of Shamir Evans and Jasmin Carter broke with a record of 2-0 and placed 14th. Two debate teams won with a 3-0 record; Esther Paul and Abigail Contreras placed 8th in the tournament. Finally, Decie Vasquez and Melitza Garcia placed 4th in the largest NYCU debate tournament of the year. The competition was held Nov. 17 at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.
The Asbury Park High School Debate Team was launched nine years ago as part of a continuing debate mentoring program with Monmouth University, made possible by a grant from the TD Bank Foundation and actively supported by the Asbury Park school district. The team is co-coached by Asbury Park English teacher Christine DeMarsico and Monmouth University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Joseph Patten.
The partnership between Monmouth University and Asbury Park High School has successfully maintained a rigorous debate platform where the debaters learn civics, political science, history, and philosophy while teaching them the important skills of critical thinking, listening, research, reading, and writing. Both students, the Monmouth Debaters and the Asbury Park Debaters, sharpen their debate skills but more importantly learn the value of teamwork, ethics, and education.
“Debate is a platform where those who cannot access their voices are heard and embraced because debate is a sport aimed at learning, inclusion, equity, and independent thought,” APHS Debate Captain Icelyn Griffith said.
The APHS/ MU partnership is such a valuable part of the Asbury Park community that former APHS Debate Captain, Mayahna Murphy, and MU Debate Captain, Kaitlyn Allsopp, are determined to start an annual Debate Scholarship beginning in 2019.
The 2018-2019 APHS Great Debaters are Iceyln Griffith, Captain, Decie Vasquez, Lucero Ruiz, Christlie Lavarin, Jasmin Carter, Jaione Britt-Murray, Oliva Nelson, En’Niah Preston, Meliza Garcia, Karen Carrasco, Esther Paul, Abigail Contreras,Ka’ron Spriggs, Jean Enelus, Jennifer Cruz Hernandez, Tatiana Laurore, Sencia Marcellus, Donte Moore, Josh Handy, Shamir Evans and Regina Michel. MU Debate Coaches are Gregory Harpe, Kaityln Allsopp, and Mike Manning. The team is also assisted by Mayahna Murphy, and Gaby Garcia. The APHS Debate team will next compete on Dec. 15 in Brooklyn.