Middle school teams finish first, second

Haldane Middle School received top honors at a debate competition at Bard College held on March 1 at the school’s campus in Annandale.

The eighth-annual event for middle and high school students, organized by the Bard Debate Union and the Center for Civic Engagement, included more than 80 students from Haldane and the Manitou School in Cold Spring as well as Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Woodstock and Arlington. Fifteen middle school and six high school students from Haldane took part.

The Manitou School team

The students tackled three topics: whether the United Nations should be abolished; whether social media use is positive or negative for society; and whether the U.S. should have a junk-food tax. Bard students worked with participants on arguments and delivery.

The Haldane eighth-grade team of Rowen Kuzminski, Sophie Sabin and Celia Drury went undefeated and were named the top middle-school team, with all three members recognized as among the top 10 debaters and Rowen named the top debater at the competition.

The eighth-grade team of Sam Bates, Owen Edelson and Matt Rodino was the second-best middle school team. The other Haldane eighth-grade team was Roy Smith, Amanda Johanson and Francesca, and Roy was recognized as one of the top 10 debaters.

Sophie Sabin, Celia Drury and Rowen Kuzminski from Haldane were named the top middle-school debate team. (Bard photo)

At the middle-school level, the sixth-grade team of Dahlia Beck, Keira Shanahan and Josie Foley-Hedlund placed in the top five among middle-school teams, and Josie and Keira were recognized as two of the top 10 debaters.

The seventh-grade team was Liliana Cappello, Will Denehy and Will Busselle, and Liliana was recognized as one of the top debaters.

Overall, Haldane’s middle-school teams finished 11-4, claimed four of the top five debate team spots, and had seven debaters finish in the top 10.

At the high school level, Haldane fielded two teams: Sophia Kottman, Patrick Reinhardt and Tess Bayly and Zack Shannon, Damian Vladimiroff and Caleb Schmidt. Kottman and Shannon were selected as two of the top 10 high school debaters.

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