Westfield has Advanced to the 2019 ‘SWEET 16’ Round!

Westfield has advanced to the “Sweet 16’ round of the 2019 International Public Policy Form!

March 4, 2019 – Hundreds of debate teams from around the world entered the 2018-19 International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, but only 16 remain – including Westfield Academy from West Hartford, Connecticut.

Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only competition that gives high school students from around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize.

The Westfield Academy team is the only team from Connecticut to advance this round. A team from Westfield Academy was the 2016-2017 IPPF World Champion.

This year, teams submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: U.S. abdication of international leadership creates dangerous global instability.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay. “These students demonstrated the ability to analyze and debate a very complex and timely international policy challenge,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and a founder of the IPPF. “The remaining 16 teams emerged from a very competitive field and will compete for the chance to debate this issue on a global stage in New York City.”

In November, the top 64 teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email for the next six weeks. A panel of judges reviewed the essays in the order they were presented and selected the winning teams. In the “Round of 64,” Westfield Academy advanced over Potomac Debate Academy from Potomac, Maryland. In the “Top 32” round, Westfield Academy advanced over The Davidson Academy of Nevada from Reno, Nevada.

The “Sweet 16” round is now underway. Westfield Academy is competing against Hunter College High School from New York, New York. The top 16 teams represent schools from 10 U.S. states and one team from India. On March 25, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. If Westfield advances this round, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on April 27, 2019, at the Harold Pratt House.

The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. Judges will include Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors Partner William A. Brewer III, New York University President Emeritus John Sexton and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass. The winning team will take home the “Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.

The “Sweet 16” teams are:

  • Peak to Peak Charter School from Lafayette, Colorado

  • McKinney Boyd High School from McKinney, Texas

  • Klein High School from Klein, Texas

  • New Hope Academy: Torrance from Torrance, California

  • Notre Dame High School from Sherman Oaks, California

  • Jasper High School (Team A) from Plano, Texas

  • Hunter College High School from New York, New York

  • Westfield Academy from West Hartford, Connecticut

  • Hamilton High School from Chandler, Arizona

  • Jasper High School (Team B) from Plano, Texas

  • University School from Chagrin Falls, Ohio

  • Oxford High School from Oxford, Mississippi

  • Livingston High School from Livingston, New Jersey

  • Delhi Public School from New Delhi, India

  • Hathaway Brown School (Team B) from Shaker Heights, Ohio

  • Alpharetta High School from Alpharetta, Georgia

Visit the IPPF at www.ippfdebate.com, www.facebook.com/ippfdebate, or on Twitter at @IPPF1.