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Published May 25th, 2022
OIS debate team takes first in Spring Spar tournament
OIS debate team with coach Terry Eubanks show off their first place trophy. Photo provided

Orinda Intermediate School's debate team took home first place May 14 in the East Bay Debate League's end-of-year online tournament, the Spring Spar.
"The kids were phenomenal Saturday. They speak so eloquently, with great confidence, curiosity, and writing ability," OIS debate coach Terry Eubanks said. "They've done extremely well this year. Our team has won every tournament in 2022. Every year around December, the students start to take it to another level."
Co-founded by OIS in 2007, the East Bay Debate League (EBDL) hosts six tournaments per year, with competing schools including Fallon Middle School in Dublin, Dorris-Eaton in San Ramon, and Head-Royce in Oakland. "Our school's program really evolved in recent years," Eubanks continued. "It used to be just a semester, but it's become a year-long class that the kids are really devoted to. I think [their devotion] is a big reason for our success in recent years."
The EBDL uses a format of parliamentary debate, which features two teams of three debating a resolution. For example, recent motions included "Ecotourism does more good than harm" and "The US should lower the voting age to 16." With 49 teams of three competing, one emerged above the rest: OIS' team of Reese Akel, Claire Casado, and Molly Stout, who placed first. Another Orinda team of Zara San Gabriel, Caitlin Loughran, and Sachi Patwardhan went undefeated as well.
"We put in a lot of work and spent many nights trying to polish our [arguments]," Akel, the team's first speaker, said. All of that dedication proved to be worth it during the award ceremony. "Hearing your name be called for anything feels amazing and you know that all your hard work has paid off," Akel concluded.
In addition to awards for best single team and overall school, OIS speakers took home individual honors. Competing with nearly 150 competitors, Caitlin Chan was awarded third place, Roxie Tarantino finished seventh, and Emma Wang and Kodie Zundel placed 10th and 11th. "My team and I have gotten really close since the beginning of the year and they're one of the biggest reasons I did so well in this tournament." Chan said. "Debate is my favorite class. I met so many new people and made so many new friends. Not only that but we have an amazing teacher in Terry [Eubanks]."

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