Uniondale wins big at American Debate Classic


Uniondale High School recently played host to the second American Debate League Long Island Classic tournament on Saturday, April 6. The event drew participation from debate teams across the greater New York area, spanning elementary, middle school, and high school divisions.

A total of 495 students from 46 schools engaged in rigorous debates throughout the day, tackling topics that ranged from sugary snacks in schools to the National Security Agency's surveillance of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Each team, comprising 2-3 students each, navigated through three intense 1-hour-long debate rounds, showcasing their research, critical thinking, and persuasive skills as they argued both pro and con sides of the issues.

Among the distinguished guests was Assemblywoman Taylor Darling, a proud alumni of Uniondale High School, who addressed and inspired the participating students with her presence and encouraging words of wisdom.

Uniondale Schools displayed exceptional prowess in the competition, securing an incredible total of 33 debate wins across various categories, including Walnut Street Elementary coming away with the award for second best school overall in their division based on wins. Other notable achievements from the day include:

Elementary Level:

1st Place Team: California's Chris Elias and Cordell Jonas II

3rd Place Team: Grand Avenue's Jessica Barnes and Kayci Lara

4th Place Team: Walnut Street's Alyson Franco, Zack Castro, Maeve Gascott

5th Place Team: Grand Avenue's Jemima Venant, Raquel Singh, Lauren Jones Wronge

6th Place Team: California's Gianella Espinoza, Dasheley Espinoza

Speaker Awards:

1st Place Speaker: Zaina Mohammed from Northern Parkway

2nd Place Speaker: Cordell Jonas II from California

4th Place Speaker: Maeve Gascott from Walnut

5th Place Speaker: Chris Elias from California

8th Place Speaker: Martina Antoine from Northern Parkway

9th Place Speaker: Zack Castro from Walnut

10th Place Speaker: Gavin Boykin from Walnut

The Long Island Classic, in collaboration with the Uniondale School District, serves as a qualifying platform for students in grades four through 12. The Uniondale winners will advance to the New York State Championship scheduled for Saturday, May 18 at IS 61 in Queens.