The BAUDL is off the ground and running strongly. If there were any doubts about the durability of debate programs in Oakland’s most deserving schools, they were laid to rest on Saturday. About 50 students competed in the BAUDL Fall Classic, our second tournament of the year, despite the fact that it was homecoming weekend at many of our schools. This demonstrates the dedication and commitment of our students – they chose to spend their Saturday at a rigorous academic competition rather than join many of their peers at the football game. This is the impact that debate makes on the lives of high schoolers, and after only two and half months!
BEST and EXCEL were the gracious hosts of our tournament (special thanks to Karen Todd and Yetunde Reeves, their respective principals), which was held on the McClymonds campus in West Oakland. BAUDL buses transported students from all over the city to be there at 9am, ready to compete in 3 rounds of policy debate. As always, the 4:30pm Awards Assembly was tremendously encouraging for all of us whose energy went in to the day. There have never been more excited tournament champions than Skyline’s Kayla Wheatfall and Zach Seidl, who erupted from their chairs to receive their trophies and a big, long standing ovation from all of their peers. Incredibly, another Skyline student, Mya Whitaker, who was debating for the first time on Saturday, won the Top Individual Speaker Award.
Skyline had quite an impressive weekend. There is no doubt that the other BAUDL schools, including last month’s champions, Oakland High, will be preparing over the next month to take them down when BAUDL meets again on December 13th for the Winter Debates.
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