CT State Policy Finals, MS

Four Westfield teams that qualified for the quarterfinals by winning at the regionals competed at the final rounds of the State Middle School Policy Debate Competition: Jaden and Oliver; Kay-Lin and Isabelle; Indira and Noah and Marlah and Ariel.   Marlah and Ariel won the quarterfinals and went on to win the semis and the finals!!  

This makes a clean sweep for Westfield this year winning both the State High School and the State Middle School Policy Debate Competitions!!

Many congratulations to Marlah and Ariel and to all our quarterfinalists!!  

GCI HS MUN

We have just returned from the United Nations with 12 Westfielders who attended the International Global Classrooms Model United Nations Conference:  Indira, Piper, Sean, Aidan, Seamus, Oliver, Ben Mione, Ben Manus, Kay-Lin, Jeren, Ariel and Patrick.   It was an amazing three days with our students wrestling with topics such as how do we feed 9 billion people; the protection of journalists and humanitarian workers in conflict zones; achieving 2030 poverty reduction goals; the civil, political and socio-economic rights of refugees; the Eurozone crisis and its effect on the global economy and countering money laundering and strengthening judicial cooperation to improve international cooperation.  Over 2000 students from all over the world participated including countries such as Spain, Sweden, Japan, Seoul, Mexico, Germany, the Middle East and South Africa.  

Patrick and Jeren won an Honorable Mention Award for the best diplomatic performance in their committee which dealt with Improving the policy environment for intellectual property rights! This is especially noteworthy because this conference decided to limit the number of awards to 4% of attendees.  

This decision was based on the desire to stress that all the participants are winners.  As one of the diplomats who addressed the delegates at the United Nations stated:  "I attended about 12 Model United Nations conferences when I was a student and I never won an award.  I have absolutely no doubt that a number of you, both those who win awards today and those who don't, will one day be working in this very room."

Having just witnessed over 2000 teenagers from around the world gathered together to try to tackle some of the thorniest global problems, I am more convinced than ever that the path forward toward solving these problems rests in empowering our youth to find their voices so they can effect change.

Congratulations to all our delegates - you did a fabulous job and were a joy to travel with!!

CT State Policy, MS

Eighteen middle schoolers competed at the Connecticut State Middle School Policy Debate Competition.  Thanks to our Legacy contingent of Westfield, we rode in style in a great bus. This allowed us to prepare all the way down as we enjoyed each other's company.  And, of course, as is our tradition, we all went out to Main Street Sweet Shop after the competition to celebrate with ice-cream!!

The following students competed:  Gianna, Anish, Laverne, Raven,Tyler, Abhi,  Nicholas, Janai, Indira, Mayen, Oliver, Marlah, Jaden, Kay-Lin, Isabelle, Travis, Noah and Ariel.  They each worked so hard for weeks preparing.  And they did amazingly well at the competition!  We are proud of each and every one of them!!  Congratulations on a job well done!

Six teams qualified to move on to the final rounds and 4 of them were ours!!!  They are:

  1. Kay-Lin and Isabelle
  2. Oliver and Jaden
  3. Marlah and Ariel
  4. Indira and Noah

Deerfield

We won Deerfield!!! 

Eight students competed at Deerfield for the final private school league competition of the year (Tyler, Zan, Ben Small, Patrick, Ben Mione, Aidan, Jeren and Emily).

In their final debate in their Senior Year, Jeren and Emily were the First Place Varsity team.  Emily got First Place Varsity Speaker beating out schools like Exeter, Choate, Deerfield, Hopkins, Loomis and Andover!!  Patrick and Ben Small got 3rd Place Varsity Team!!   This was so exciting.

Jeren and Emily, by virtue of being the top team, did the Exhibition Debate.  They were, quite simply, phenomenal!!  They also won the Exhibition Debate against Exeter!

CTMSDL

Nine middle schoolers competed in the final Connecticut Middle School Debate League competition (Deidre, Oliver, Ben Basset, Lucia V., Indira, Annika, Ariel, Grace and A.J.)  

Out of 168 debaters, A.J., Ariel and Grace were undefeated and took 3rd Place at the middle school competition Saturday! This is an especially amazing feat because it was A.J.'s first debate competition!  The team of Deidre, Oliver and Ben B. took 12th place.

Deidre was the highest speaker from Westfield taking 8th Place with Ariel right behind her at 9th.  A.J. took 18th place.  

Of 9 rounds between our 3 teams, we won 7!  And all 3 teams placed within the top third of the field.

Yale Osterweis

5 teams, Piper and Lily, Avery and Aidan, Jeren and Emily, Ben Mione and Maxwell and Patrick and Ben Small entered the Yale Osterweis competition.

Westfield did incredibly well: We swept the Novice division!!

We had a Novice Final of Westfield v. Westfield!!  Ben Small and Patrick won the Novice Division after a great Final rounds against their teammates Maxwell and Ben Mione!  Aidan and Avery made it to the Semi-Finals!  So, out of the 4 semi-finals Novice teams, 3 were Westfield!

On the Varsity side, Jeren and Emily made it to the semi-finals getting 3rd place Varsity team.

For Speaker Awards it was equally incredible:

For Novice Westfield won 6 out of the top 9 Novice Speakers in the Tournament:

  • 1st Place = Ben Small
  • 2nd Place = Patrick Henderson
  • 5th Place = Maxwell
  • 6th Place = Ben Mione
  • 7th Place = Aidan
  • 9th Place = Piper Gibson

For Varsity Speakers, we had 2 Varsity debaters and they took First and Second Speakers!

  • 1st Place = Jeren
  • 2nd Place = Emily

It is sometimes difficult to remember because Westfield is so very blessed.  These results are remarkable.  The vast majority of schools won nothing today.  And the most important part is not the trophies we brought home - but the skills they evidence.  And the fact that every time we go to one of these competitions, I think our school has the most fun and is the most supportive of each other!

Congratulations to all our debaters!

CT State Policy, HS

Westfield brought 8 debaters to the State Policy High School Competition:  Liam, Aidan, Piper, Eric, Ben Mione, Patrick, Jeren and Emily.

Emily and Jeren were undefeated through 3 rounds and are headed to the State Quarterfinals!!

Other Highlights:

  1. All of our teams won at least one of their two rounds.   
  2. Congrats to Liam on a job very well done at his first-ever debate competition!!
  3. Emily's cross-ex in the octafinals was a thing of beauty.  Within 7 minutes of the start of the round, she got her opponent to concede his entire case!!  I have only seen that happen one other time. Emily was incredibly professional but absolutely devastating in her questioning.  It was incredible to watch! 

Our debaters in action!

CDA

This was the final regular season Connecticut Debate Association High School Tournament and, thus, the last one to qualify for States.  Six of our debaters attended the CDA Debate Tournament:  Jeren, Emily, Jordan, Piper, Patrick and Ben Mione. 

Patrick and Piper won the Novice CDA Tournament!!  They were First Place team!  Patrick won Second Place Novice Speaker, Ben Mione won Third Place Novice Speaker and Piper won Fifth! Piper's First Place team win allowed her to qualify for States (Patrick and Ben were already qualified from previous tournaments.) 

Other highlights:

  1. Jeren and Emily were undefeated yesterday.  In fact, Westfielders debated a total of 9 rounds and won 8 of them!!
  2. Jordan, in his second-ever debate competition won 2 of his 3 rounds.  He and Ben were the 7th place team!

Amazingly, Westfield has 7 students who have qualified to compete in the State CDA High School Debate Competition on April 2nd:  Emily, Jeren, Patrick, Ben Small, Ben Mione, Maxwell and Piper.

KO MUN MS

Congratulations to our successful Model UN winners:  Marlah and Indira won Best Delegates at KO - this is the highest award in MUN!!  Deidre won an Honorable Mention!

Intelligence Squared

Thirty-six Westfield students and parents headed to Yale to watch an Intelligence Squared debate on whether Free Speech is Threatened on Campus.  Westfield students had debated this issue in class.  Many thanks to Mr. Jones from Legacy for providing a wonderful bus for us to travel to this event together!

Thirty-six Westfield students and parents headed to Yale to watch an Intelligence Squared debate on whether Free Speech is Threatened on Campus.  Westfield students had debated this issue in class.  Many thanks to Mr. Jones from Legacy for providing a wonderful bus for us to travel to this event together!
“From Socrates to the First Amendment, progressive democracy has relied upon civility, respect and understanding in public discourse. Debate is the cornerstone of American progress, the vehicle for new ideas and the platform for the synthesis of two opposing points of view. At the intersection of wisdom and creativity, debate stimulates our intellectual evolution, emotional advancement and drives social progress.

Debates embody our democratic ideas as a society, proving both sides of an argument offer intellectually respectable points of view. Too often we are isolated in “echo chambers,” funnels through which our opinions are reinforced by biased media outlets, personalized technology and like-minded associations. Debate challenges our own lack of objectivity, where our minds have been contaminated by conviction.”
— Intelligence Squared

UPENN

What a wonderful weekend!  Twelve Westfielders traveled to the University of Pennsylvania for one of the two National High School Parliamentary Debate Competitions held annually on the East Coast: Tyler, Ben Manus, Ariel, Oliver Shulman, Piper Gibson, Seamus Connor, Ben Mione, Maxwell Shulman, Patrick, Ben Small, Jeren and Emily.  We had a very full weekend packed with debating.

Emily and Jeren ended up winning the whole shebang after 5 rounds and 4 outrounds they took First Place!!  The final round was against none other than Ms. Posner's daughter Eliza and her partner.  It was a great final with all 4 debaters on the top of their games.

Amazingly, 4 of the top 8 overall speakers were Westfield!  Emily took 2nd place, Jeren was 5th, Patrick was 6th and Ben Mione was 7th!

And 3 of the top 9 teams were Westfield!  The team of Maxwell and Ben Mione were Quarter-Finalists taking 5th Place team and the team of Patrick and Ben Small were Octa-Finalists taking 9th Place team!

All of our debaters won at least 2 of their rounds.  For Ariel and Tyler, it was their first big away tournament.  They were wonderful additions to the team and to the van ride which is always a fun and unique experience!

TEDx

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Westfield Academy was selected as an official viewing party of TEDxPlaceDesNations which was organized by the United Nations in Geneva on the topic of "Transforming Lives”. TEDx brought together 11 diverse and distinguished speakers from around the world, all with powerful and inspiring stories to tell: innovators, public health and energy specialists, human rights defenders and humanitarians, all of whom have made a real difference in people’s lives around the world.  The speakers were: Ranyee Chiang, Cookstove Technologist; Ger Duany, Refugee Ally; Scott Foster, Energy Activator; Thabitha Khumalo, Democracy Advocate; Beeban Kidron, iRights Campaigner; Dennis Liotta, Drug Discoverer; Şafak Pavey, Inclusion Champion; Didier Pittet, Hand-washing Provocateur; Coline Rapneau, Sexual Violence Adversary; Leonardo Sakamoto, 21st Century Abolitionist; and Rohini Swaminathan, Satellite Humanitarian.

CTMSDL

9 Westfield middle schoolers competed at the Connecticut Middle School Debate League competition:  Lucia V., Lucia P., Ciara, Anish, Abhi, Grace, Annika, Noah and Ariel.

  • Anish, Abhi and Grace took Third Place team!!  They were undefeated!!
  • Ariel took Second Overall Speaker!!
  • Anish took Seventh Overall Speaker!!

Other important highlights:

  • Annika, Noah and Ariel took 10th Team Overall!  
  • Annika took 14th Overall Speaker!
  • For Ciara, Annika, Grace and Ariel it was their first ever debate competition and they all did incredibly well!!
  • Grace and Ariel have only been debating for a few weeks!!!

These kids did an amazing job. It was a very complicated resolution especially for middle schoolers(!):  This House believes that the United States should curtail free speech rights in order to combat terrorism.  They should each be very proud!

  • Grace and Ariel have only been debating for a few weeks!!!

These kids did an amazing job. It was a very complicated resolution especially for middle schoolers(!):  This House believes that the United States should curtail free speech rights in order to combat terrorism.  They should each be very proud!

 

BUAMUN Boston

Kay-Lin, Indira and Marlah participated in the Boston Middle School MUN Conference last week. Many congratulations to Marlah for winning Outstanding Delegate in her Historical Crisis Committee which dealt with WWI!!  Marlah was Newton D. Baker, the U.S. Secretary of War.

Kay-Lin represented Canada in UNEP addressing the issues of Energy Waste and Disposal and Resource Efficiency. Kay-Lin was one of the lead sponsors on a passing resolution!

Indira participated in a Joint Crisis Committee. dealing with the situation in Kashmir.  Indira was the Indian Minister of Defense, Manohar Parrikar.  Indira received positive feedback on her position paper as did Marlah.

All the girls said they had a great experience and would like to return next year.

YALE MUN

Oliver, Anson, Aidan, Seamus,  Dante, Rowan, Ben Manus, Kelin, Piper Indira, Patrick, Jeren, Ben Mione and Maxwell. They participated in committees addressing and trying to solve problems ranging from Protecting Minorities and Immigrant Populations from Targeted Attacks and Xenophobia to Conflict and Food Security in Africa to Improving Access to Education for Women Globally to the Question of Yemen to an Alternative History of Ancient Rome. These 14 hearty souls braved a big snowstorm. Despite the fact that a number of committee sessions had to be cancelled which affected the flow of the committees, our students showed grace and flexibility. They were led by the intrepid Michael Henderson who stepped up when it became clear at the relatively last minute that, despite my best efforts, it was not possible for me to attend. I am very grateful to him for doing an incredible job and to each of our students who are always delightful co-travelers at these events but, from the reports I received, stepped up tremendously in my absence.

 

Congratulations to Dante and Rowan for doing their first Model United Conference!

 

LOOMIS Debate

Jeren, Emily, Kelin and Eric competed in Advanced and Ben Small, Patrick, Piper, Ben Manus, Ben Mione, Maxwell, Tyler, Aidan, Catherine, Indira, Anish and Zan competed in Novice.

 

First Place Novice Four-Person Team: Patrick, Ben Small, Ben Mione and Maxwell

Third Place Novice Two-Person Team: Ben Small and Patrick

Third Place Advanced Speaker: Emily Bruggeman

1) Emily was the top Advanced Speaker for our school with Jeren second.

2) Patrick and Maxwell tied for the Top Novice Speaker for our school followed by Ben Small then Ben Manus.

3) Ben Small and Patrick were undefeated.

4) It was Kelin and Zan's first debate competition ever!  Way to go!

5) It was Tyler and Indira's first competition in this league.

 

CHOATE Debate

12 Westfield debaters attended the Choate Debate Competition:  Seamus, Piper, Ben Small, Patrick, Maxwell, Ben Mione, Lily, Avery, Oliver, Aidan, Emily and Jeren.

Lily, Avery, Oliver and Aidan won 3rd Place 4-person Novice Team!!

Some other highlights:

1) Ben Mione got the highest number of speaker points in Advanced for Westfield.

2) Aidan got the highest number of speaker points in Novice for Westfield with Lily close behind.

CDA

Ben Manus, Ben Mione, Maxwell, Jordan and Aidan competed in the Novice Division at CDA

Ben Mione and Maxwell were the First-Place Novice Team!!!

Maxwell took 3rd Place Novice Speaker!!!

More Highlights:

  • Jordan participated in his first-ever debate competition and won a round and got a second in the room.  Way to go Jordan!

  • Ben Mione took 9th Novice Speaker and Ben Manus took 14th.

  • Aidan got a First in the room.

  • Ben Manus got a First in the room twice.

  • Maxwell and Ben Mione took First and Second in all 3 rounds, with Maxwell taking First twice and Ben once.

  • Ben Mione received this comment: "Spoke very eloquently; thought quickly during cross-ex and presented confidently and used evidence to support!"

CDA

Nine Westfield students debated at the Connecticut Debate Association (CDA) tournament at Warde High School in Fairfield. In a group of about 200 debaters Emily and Jeren made the Exhibition Round! After 3 rounds of debates the top 2 Varsity teams are announced. These teams immediately go up on stage to debate in an Exhibition Round in front of all the participants. Emily and Jeren were incredible! What made it even more special was that on the opposing team was our own Mrs. Posner's daughter, Eliza, who is also an incredible debater. 

Emily Bruggeman won Second Place Varsity Speaker! Jeren and Emily won Second Place Varsity Team! Patrick and Ben Small won Sixth Place in the Novice Division. This was Elyece's first ever debate competition and Dante's first high school debate competition. They not only won a round, they took two Firsts and a Second in the rooms!