Skyline High School
On Thursday, March 11 at 7 PM, members of the community will convene in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board Room (1025 2nd Avenue in Downtown Oakland) to watch a highly anticipated event: Part II: The Strength of Debate Series. The event, a collaboration between BAUDL and Standing to Represent our Next Generation (STRONG) is open to the public and features eight talented debaters from Oakland.
Among the eight is Skyline High School’s Kyla Wheatfall — a senior, second year BAUDL debater, and 2008-2009 BAUDL National Qualifier. In typical Kyla form, Wheatfall sat down with BAUDL at the January Oakland Workshop as she rocked a mohawk (see above.) and articulated her thoughtful insight and passion for debate.
Question: How did you get started in debate? What got you hooked?
Kyla Wheatfall: I watched “The Great Debaters” — then our coach (Christopher Scheer) started a debate team and invited me to join. I said “yes!” and was hooked right away.
Q: What keeps you in the activity?
KW: I stayed because I enjoy it — the topic is interesting to learn and it is related to all of us in Oakland. I also found some really good friends from all schools. Last year, I knew a lot of the debaters including [2009 BAUDL Alum, Jessica Winsey].
Q: What has been your fondest BAUDL memory?
KW: Last year, we went to Nationals! It was crazy going to Chicago for academic reasons.
Q: How has debate impacted your life?
KW: You can change people’s mind with debate, become a better speaker, improve your grades, and, most of all, get respect from your teachers and counselors. When you debate your teachers KNOW you.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
KW: I am a senior right now, so I would love to go to a junior college, go to college, and continue with debate. I want to coach and mentor. The activity is incredibly fun and I’d love to work for the activity!
Watch Kyla (sans mohawk, unfortunately) in action along with seven other incredible BAUDL debaters on March 11 at 7 PM at the OUSD Board Room!