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No debate about North Dallas team's success
January 18, 2013By gary pina of North Dallas High School Booster Club
Debate coach Jo Rohde recalls a time when North Dallas High School had a very prestigious debate team.
“The school started with one back in 1926, and it was a very prestigious and gifted team that left a very nice legacy,” Rohde said. “But over the years, interest has faltered.”
Until last year.
“This is the second year we have had an organized debate team in quite some time,” she said.
This year, North Dallas has five teams — four novice and one junior varsity team. And they are doing quite well.
The first half of the year is done but the second half starts with the UIL District Championships Jan. 18-19 in January.
“We are rebuilding the legacy that so many former Bulldogs have been a piece of. It is nice to be a part of it,” Rohde said.
Rohde took a few minutes to answer some questions.
Q. How many teams compete in debate in the Dallas area?
A. There are 17 high schools in DISD that compete, and countless others that are included as well.
Q. Basketball players practice on the basketball court, so how do debate students practice?
A. We spend months researching the topic for the year, going to debate camps all over the state (University of North Texas and Baylor), writing arguments and answers to arguments. We practice writing speeches and practicing those speeches.
Q. Your thoughts on this year’s team?
A. This year’s team is amazing, the students are more motivated and knowledgeable because my two veteran students have really stepped up and taught the novice teams what took them a year to learn.
Q. What success has the team had this year?
A. We have had many successes already this year! Two of my students (Lidia Enriquez and Ariel Guerrero) were chosen to represent the entire National Urban Debate Alliance at the Youth Leadership Forum in New Orleans over the summer, where President Barack Obama was the keynote speaker.
At our first tournament, two of our teams went undefeated. Our second tournament was sponsored by the George W. Bush Foundation, and Denisse Arzola was awarded a Top Speaker medal and a $250 scholarship. The third tournament led to one of our novice teams (Jose Ramirez and Raviola Wenno) going undefeated, giving them an overall award of fourth highest ranked team out of 66. Jose also won seventh place as Top Speaker out of 112 students.
In the fourth tournament, Jose received fourth place Top Speaker out of 100 students.
Q. Can you give us the names of the students, and their role on the team?
A. Lidia Enriquez and Ariel Guerrero — junior varsity and team captains
Jose Ramirez and Raviola Wenno — novice
Denisse Arzola and Miranda Munoz — novice
Brandon Hill and Rosaline Son — novice
Marquionna Battle and Dominique Deloney — novice
Q. How did you get the students involved at ND?
A. A few of them I recruited, the others were involved in middle school or just had an interest.
Q. Any final comments?
A. We have half the season still to go, with UIL District Championships in January and our City Championships in April. We have a lot of research and planning still to do!
Revised Second Semester DUDA Calendar
Sat January 19 UIL CX Debate – Berkner High School
Fri February 1 - High School Tournament #4 & Middle School Tournament #4
Sat February 2 Adamson High School (old building)
Fri February 22 Greater Dallas Tournament Adamson High School (old building)
Middle School, Novice, JV Schedule TBD
Fri February 22 North Texas Longhorn NFL District Qualifying Tournament
Sat February 23
Fri March 1 - Varsity City Championships Southern Methodist University
Sat March 2 Schedule TBD
March 11 – 12 UIL State Debate Tournament 1A, 2A, & 3A
March 15 – 16 UIL State Debate Tournament 4A & 5A
March 21 UIL Spring Meet Speech Events – Districts 9-5A, 11-4A; and 12-4A
March 26 UIL Spring Meet Speech Events – District 11-3A
Fri April 5 – Lone Star NFL District Qualifying Tournament
Sat April 6
Fri April 12 - JV, Novice, Middle School City Championships
Sat April 13 Adamson High School (old building)