Pine-Richland Debate Team Wins First Place at International Competition


When it comes to presenting a solid, fact-based, and reasoned argument on a complex topic, Pine-Richland students can now claim the title of the best on the planet.

A team of six members Pine-earth-rich High school students emerged from a group of 120 entrants from around the world to claim first place in the 21st Annual International Public Policy Forum sponsored by New York University and The Brewer Foundationwhich awarded scholarships to the winning teams.

Pine-Richland won the competition Grand prize of $10,000. The school’s debate team will receive $5,000 and the rest will be shared among team members.

The Pine-Richland team is coached by a high school teacher Jeff Byko and the team members are Miles Brown, Callie Stoltz, Andrew Ni, Amish Sethi, Tadg Manna and Matthew Farmar.

“This championship is a tremendous accomplishment for these six students,” said Byko. “From writing their arguments at the start to eventual oral debates, they worked constantly not only to understand their subject – the hegemony of the American dollar is not at the top of most people’s lists of interests – but to master it.

“Their results showed that they had it better than everyone else,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier for them and more proud of them.”

Sethi, who is a senior, said participating in the competition was a memorable experience.

“After working nine months together in a deep dive on the global economy, we are thrilled to see our hard work paying off on the international stage,” he said. “While it was certainly a lot of hard work, the memories we made along the way are unforgettable.”

the the runner-up team was Potomac Oak from Rockville, Maryland, which received a prize of $3,500.

The only other Pennsylvania school to make the Elite Eight was North Allegheny, which was eliminated in the quarterfinals competition.

The other five teams were: Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge, Connecticut; the Bergen County Debating Club, Fort Lee, NJ; The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; Extraordinary Education Center, Toronto, Canada; and Ministry of Education, Singapore.

The 2021-22 competition kicked off in October with 120 teams submitting essays to qualify for the qualifying round.

The subject of this year’s competition was titled Resolved: Overall, US dollar hegemony is detrimental to the global economy. »

The judges narrowed the field to the 64 teams who then competed in a single-elimination written debate contest.

Between November and March, the field was reduced to 32, then 16, and finally at the The “Elite Eight” teams that took part in the final on April 30 at the Harold Pratt House in New York.

At New York, Pine-Richland overtook Singapore in the quarter-finals, then Amity Regional High School in the semi-finals before facing Potomac Oak for the final.

“These student debaters impressed the judges with their strong advocacy skills – ultimately winning the title of IPPF World Champion,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and co-founder of the ‘IPPF. “Over the course of seven months, students demonstrated superior skills in written scholarship and oral advocacy in a rigorous test of their academic abilities,” Brewer said. “The results obtained here hold out the promise of a bright future. Congratulations to the team for excelling in a debate on a complex issue of public policy.

The competitions were judged by a jury composed of Brewer, NYU President Emeritus John SextonNYU Stern School of Business Dean Raghu Sundaram, Above the Law Senior Editor Kathryn Rubino and Miha Andric, international debate coach and communication teacher based in Slovenia.

“I have enormous confidence in these students — and the power they have to positively impact the world around them,” Sexton said. “They are destined for great things.”

The annual competition is open to public and private high schools worldwide and is free.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .


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