EMHS Debate Team Finishes 5th in Global Competition

East Mountain High School students, Emma Hotz ’18, Jessie Linder ’17, and Gina Sanchez ’18, spent the weekend of April 1-3 competing in the final rounds of the International Public Policy Forum. Their performance resulted in a final ranking of 5th place in the world.

Founded in 2001 by the law firm of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) is the only contest that gives high school students around the globe the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. Now jointly administered by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, this program is available to all public and private high schools for free.

The competition began in October, and the students had to submit a 2,800 word essay on the topic: GMOs are essential to global food security. After hundreds of essays were submitted from 29 countries around the globe, EMHS qualified to the top 64 of all schools.

In the subsequent rounds, schools volley papers back and forth via e-mail. A panel of three judges review the essays in the order they were presented (affirmative constructive, negative constructive, affirmative rebuttal, negative rebuttal) and select the advancing teams. In the Round of 64, EMHS defeated Shenzhen Academy of International Education from Shenzhen, China. In the Round of 32, EMHS defeated Gimnazija Bezigrad High School from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Both wins were unanimous decisions for EMHS. In the Round of 16, EMHS defeated Davidson Academy of Reno, Nevada.

The EMHS team earned an all-expense paid trip to New York City to debate the remaining eight teams in person.

Gina Sanchez said, “Competing against the best teams in the world was an amazing experience. And getting to visit New York City was something I’ll never forget.” Coach Trey Smith adds, “These students have been writing and researching at a level usually reserved for Master’s level theses. I am incredibly proud of these three students, and they put forth an amazing performance in New York.”

This was the third time East Mountain High School qualified to the Elite Eight in this global competition.

To read more about the competition, visit this link: http://www.ippfdebate.com/