Debaters on Top at State Championship

Garfield took some of the top honors in the WIAA Washington State Debate Championship last week in Spokane.

Competing in the “Policy” division, Senior Sam Schaible and Junior Oliver Rowe-Bardeen placed first overall, and Senior Reuben Wasserman and Junior Paloma Oh took third. Facing debaters from five other schools, they won all four top speaker positions:

  • 1st speaker – Schaible
  • 2nd speaker – Rowe-Bardeen
  • 3rd speaker – Wasserman
  • 4th speaker – Oh

Coach Elizabeth Young, a Garfield language arts teacher, said, “This is the first time we have won the final since 2019-20, so we’re pretty excited. Please congratulate the debaters; they have worked really hard for this!”

The topic for all 2023-24 Policy Debates has been “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.”

Policy Debate is a two-on-two event where an affirmative team proposes a plan and the negative team argues why that plan should not be adopted. The topic for Policy Debate changes annually, so debaters throughout the course of the year will debate the same topic. One member of each team will perform the ‘first’ speeches, the other the ‘second’ speeches, and each debater prepares to take “con” as well as “pro” positions.

Garfield’s Debate team was started in 2014 and is also coached by Jason Young.