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District 65 students showed well in the Chicago Middle School Debate League tournament held earlier this month. Haven, Nichols, King Lab and Bessie Rhodes students were among 143 debaters from 12 middle schools. They were accompanied by their coaches, Nichols teachers Elaine Punell and Lisa Montgomery, Haven teacher Jasmine Qadar, King Lab library media assistant Robert Romano, and Bessie Rhodes parent Greg Clarke.

District 65 Superintendent Dr. Hardy Murphy expressed his appreciation to the school coaches and congratulated the debaters.

In the Junior Varsity Division (second-year debaters, or advanced first-year debaters) King Lab had the third- place team. However, because Alex Joh-Jung debated without a partner and the rules require two-person teams, he did not receive an award.

The school also posted an eighth-place finish with the team of Lara Kosar and Emma Stein. In the individual speakers JV Division, Owen Meyer (King Lab) finished third, Asher White (King Lab) finished fifth, Madeline Patke (Bessie Rhodes) finished eighth, Lara Kosar (King Lab) 11th, and Alex Joh-Jung (King Lab) 14th.

In the Novice (first-year) Division, the King Lab team of Mia Gates and Elena Demant placed fourth. Nichols teams placed 11th – Danny Frank-Siegel and Austin Suvari; 13th – Andrea Garcia and Tomer Markovich; and 14th – Callie Bergeron and Alice Lele. In addition, several placed in the top 15 for Novice Division speakers: Adam Marquardt (Haven), fifth; Callie Bergeron (Nichols), sixth; Tess Kihm (Haven), eighth; Mia Gates (King Lab), 11th; Mollie Hartenstein (Bessie Rhodes), 12th, and Caitlyn Connor (Nichols), 14th.

Topics of debate included the economy, military trade-offs and rail car solutions to address environmental concerns.