Parker’s Speech and Debate Team keeps growing in exciting ways.  At the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League (SDIVSL) Congress/Lincoln-Douglas/Policy Debate Tournament over the weekend, five students competed.  Sanjana Kumar, Class of 2024, competed for the first time in novice Congress while Alec Sheres, Class of 2022, participated for the second time in varsity Congress. 

Both of them had to debate four different bills/resolutions.  Lucas Bernicker, Class of 2022, competed in novice Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate while Sophia Epley, Class of 2021; and Apaara Chawla, Class of 2023, participated in varsity LD.  The three of them had to debate the ethics of lethal autonomous weapons.

All the kids did well against really tough competition.  Sophia and Lucas both earned medals for going 3-1 in their four rounds of LD.  Alec and Sanjana both made it to the finals with Alec finishing third among a highly-decorated field of varsity Congress competitors, while Sanjana finished fifth in novice Congress. 


In a very exciting development, Parker won its first school award in SDIVSL competition. In most years, there are three cycles of league tournaments with each cycle consisting of (A) a Parli/Public Forum tournament, (B) a Lincoln-Douglas/Congress/Policy tournament and (C) an individual speech events tournament.  This year there were only two cycles due to the pandemic but in regular years there are three cycles. 

After each cycle, the league awards schools “sweepstakes” awards for points accrued by each school’s students who are finalists in IE (speech) events and who go 3-1 or 4-0 in debate events. Parker was awarded the second place sweepstakes award for novice performances for this second cycle of three tournaments, finishing second behind powerhouse Carlsbad High School.