On Friday, January 26th the Penn Debate Team headed to Kokomo High School for the 2024 ISSDA State Debate Tournament. The state debate tournament features competition from 25 Indiana Schools and up to 7 rounds of debate for those who will make it to the final stage. At the start of the weekend, the totals were: 

23 Policy Debate Teams

46 Public Forum Teams

64 Lincoln Douglas Debaters

59 Congress Debaters and

27 World Schools Teams

  • In all five events, Penn was able to place in the top two in the entire state. 
  • First individual champion in my coaching career, and we have two. 
  • The final round of the Lincoln Douglas debate (which is the most competitive event) featured Penn vs. Penn- Sarah Rooney vs. Akul Bhambani. Akul won by a 3-2 decision with the judges
  • The policy champions receive a traveling trophy that has existed since 1928. The last time the trophy was in Penn High School was when it was won by Coach Starkweather back in 2013. 
  • The ISSDA Awards one student each year with the Bob Brittain Mental Attitude Award and a $500 scholarship. The ISSDA Board of Directors voted to give this award to Penn Senior Noah Schafer. 
  • This is the First Debate Team Championship in Indiana Speech and Debate History
Gabrielle Ciliberti | PNN
Gabrielle Ciliberti | PNN

Interviews above from Mr (Jeremy) Starkweather and Noah Shafer.

From PNN, this is Gabrielle Ciliberti and Walter Samples.