News About Kinkaid
Kinkaid MS Debate: National Champions!!!
The Kinkaid MS Debate team recently competed at the National Junior Forensics League national championship tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana. This tournament is our culminating event for the year. The students worked hard in preparing for the competition, and I am pleased to inform you of our unprecedented success.
The teams of Sam Richey/Anirudh Suresh and Sita Yerramsetti/Alex Kalai both won their semifinal rounds, thus closing out finals to become national policy debate champions! Sita and Alex defeated the top team from the Capitol Debate cooperative out of D.C., while Sam and Anirudh defeated the top team from The Harker School out of San Jose, CA. This is Kinkaid's first NJFL national championship in policy debate!
Furthermore in policy debate, three of our students won speaker awards: Anirudh Suresh (4th overall), Sita Yerramsetti (9th overall) and Sam Richey (10th overall).
Also worth noting: the team of Sabrina Bajwa/Austin Karkowsky carried the win-loss record necessary for outrounds, but missed advancing by only half a speaker point!
Anvi Nandish carried a 4-1 record to advance to octofinals in LD debate! She had notable wins over some of our in-town rivals at Knox MS and Sidney Lanier MS.
Also worth noting: Vishal Gupta missed advancing to outrounds by half a speaker point, having carried the necessary win-loss record.
Although Sabrina, Austin and Vishal all missed advancing by half a speaker point, their success puts them amongst the most competitive 7th graders at the tournament. As you can imagine, the overwhelming majority of students who advance are 8th graders. I am very proud of their success, and I look forward to hearing about their accomplishments in the years to come.
Kinkaid had 5 students advance to the final round of Congressional Debate. They were: Austin Karkowsky, Anirudh Suresh, Alex Kalai, Zubair Mukhi and Sita Yerramsetti. Additionally, Sita Yerramsetti won 3rd place overall in Congressional Debate.
National School of Debate Excellence
As a result of the collective success of our students, Kinkaid was named a National School of Debate Excellence for the 3rd consecutive year. This is a distinction given to the top 5 debate schools at the tournament. It is highly prestigious and winning it again places our program in the top tier as one of the most competitive teams in the nation.
It is also worth noting that Kinkaid was one of 3 schools from Houston recognized as a National School of Debate Excellence. The other two were Sidney Lanier and The HuaXia Chinese School. I mention this because I think it is important to put our regular season success in a proper context. In my assessment, Houston is the most competitive region for MS debate in the nation. As more schools begin debate at the MS level, the competition will certainly become even more intense in the future. Many of the judges at our tournament commented on how they believed that the MS students they saw in outrounds were as good or better than many of the HS students that they had observed during their time in debate.
Thank you Brigitte Kalai
I want to thank Brigitte Kalai for serving as our team mom this year and attending the NJFL tournament with us. She was critical to making sure that our kids were well fed between rounds--which is absolutely important at a tournament like NJFL where they go from one round to the next with minimal down time. She was also key in helping me manage logistics to get kids where they needed to be on time. There is no question that she was an important part of our success.
I am so proud of our students. As I said my goodbyes to them at the airport on Saturday, all I could think about was how bright their futures are and how I will miss being part of their lives. I want to thank all of them--present and past--for their hard work and dedication. They were the source of joy that I found while teaching at Kinkaid. They will all tell you that I pushed them hard during their time working with me, and there is no debating that. However, they were the ones who created my high expectations and inspired me to give just as much effort.
Best Wishes to All,
Kyle V. Morris