The Evanston Township High School (ETHS) Speech and Debate team had some great success in December and January.

Before winter break, students competed in Des Moines and Minneapolis, with outstanding results.

Senior Jasper Davidoff finished in third place at the Dowling Paradigm in Iowa, which qualifies him to the Tournament of Champions in April.

Juniors Max Layden and Nolan Clarke reached elimination rounds in Policy debate at Dowling.

Three Lincoln-Douglas debaters made elimination rounds at the Blake Holiday Debates in Minneapolis: Elliot Davis (round of 64), Joshua Ahn (round of 32), and Elizabeth Sperti (round of 16).

Seniors Nina Kaushikkar and Gigi Wade reached the semifinals of Public Forum debate at Blake.

The team is hard at work preparing to host the school’s annual winter invitational, the Superb Owl. More than 30 schools from four states will attend for three days of competition, Feb. 2-4. This year the tournament has been recognized by the National Tournament of Champions committee as one of the best competitions in the nation; the committee will award bids in both Public Forum debate and Policy debate to finalists at the Superb Owl.

The week before, nine ETHS students will compete at Emory University’s Barkley Forum for Speech and Debate. Because Evanston is not a member school of the Barkley Forum, the school must apply for each student to enter the tournament. Gabi Senno (Original Oratory), Elizabeth Sperti and Chirasree Mandal (Lincoln-Douglas debate), Nina Kaushikkar, Gigi Wade, Jade Johnson, and Yolanda Odufuwa (Public Forum debate), and Adam Marquardt and Owen Janssen (Policy debate) will compete against the best teams in the nation in Jan. 26-28.

And on Presidents’ Day weekend, 32 ETHS students will travel to Boston for the Harvard Invitational. There, they will compete against students from more than 400 schools, 42 states, and four nations at the largest invitational tournament in the country. Harvard will be the last chance for these students to get valuable ballots and experience before the district and state tournaments in March.