Education

At North Plainfield High School, Students Are Ready to Debate

f156ed32f0cf1f9991da_Debate_CLub__3.JPG
The North Plainfield High School Debate Club was established three years ago by teacher Kelli Beard. 
f6d733f4b2cca295abaf_Debate_Club__1.JPG
North Plainfield High School junior Raja Ahmed, a member of the Debate Club.
0be3e17bb4426ab73e10_Debate_Club__2.JPG
North Plainfield High School junior Kameron Slaughter, a member of the Debate Club.
f156ed32f0cf1f9991da_Debate_CLub__3.JPG

(Editor’s Note: Alma Garcia, a senior at North Plainfield High School, is an intern for TAPinto North Plainfield.)

"If you can't convince them, confuse them" is the slogan displayed on the North Plainfield High School (NPHS) Debate Club’s T-shirts.

The NPHS Debate Club is an extracurricular activity that exposes students to controversial topics and teaches them how to build, argue and support their claims. The club was inspired by Kelli Beard, NPHS’s world history and AP history teacher, who was on the debate team at her Hillsborough high school and throughout college. She established the club in North Plainfield three years ago and currently serves as its advisor.

Sign Up for E-News

"When I saw that there was nobody leading a debate team when I started working at North Plainfield, I decided to take the reins. Debate is an important academic club; it teaches public speaking, confidence, logic, and how to argue,” Beard said.

Students in grades nine through twelve can join the club, which meets every Wednesday after school. The club’s officers control the debate and currently include senior Cindy Aldana, president; sophomore Andre Eason, vice president; and senior Kyle Funelas secretary; along with  Sebastian Palacios, mentor.

Before each debate, Beard determines which student, usually a junior or senior, will be the chair, serve as moderator and who will hold the gavel, a job that requires the student to decide when the person speaking must end their argument.

"I assist students with paperwork, signing in, handing out play cards,” Beard said, noting that students play an important role in debate.

According to Aldana, a typical Wednesday meeting begins when members of the club walk into the overflow room, which is a mini lunchroom dedicated to seniors, and begin random conversations before the official debate begins. "Stats and research are a main element to support each argument,” said Aldana.

During debate, the members of the club have a little fun by referring to each other's arguments and adding Senator before their last name.

According to a handout that is given to students interested in the club on the first day, a few topics that students debate about are the death penalty, gun control laws, abortion, weapons for school personnel, and microchips in humans. One of the most controversial topics to be covered relates to immigration reform. Officers of the club took on a role of a specific politician, presenting different perspectives on the issues.

Debating at North Plainfield goes farther than just the school. students attend debate conferences several times during the season and fundraise during school. At a recent conference, three out of 12 NPHS students in attendance won an award.

"I've been in debate for only a year, but it's been extremely rewarding,” said Funelas, “Being a part of a group with such talented speakers and debaters has helped me in many ways. I've been able to gain knowledge and speaking skills from debate and I am happy for this experience that debate has given me."

Aldana has been in debate since she her freshman year and it has helped to instill confidence in her and helped her to grow as a person. Aldana has witnessed people grow intellectually as well. "Debate has been my home and seeing it grow continues to leave a warm place in my heart. It will be the hardest to leave when I graduate."

TAPinto North Plainfield, Green Brook and Watchung is free and published daily; sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.tapinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoNPGBW and on Twitter @tapintonpgbw

 


 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

February 14, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Travel Report from the New York Toy Fare - Here is a Great Product for Parents of Children with Infants and Toddlers

February 25, 2018

Some of the fun travel opportunities that TAPintoTravels gets to participate in are exclusive events that the TAPinto community cannot attend.  It gives us the exclusive opportunity to bring new news to our readers that they would otherwise not receive.

Sometimes they are breaking events and other times they are quite small.  Even though some of ...

EarthCam Shares Live Webcam Views of Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge

If you saw our article, you know about the Polar Bear Plunge this Saturday to support the Special Olympics.  If you cannot be there, but want to see the festivities, this press release tells you how you can.

WHAT: February 24 from 9am-1pm ET, thousands of people will make a mad dash into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Seaside Heights, NJ…and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

February 22, 2018

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Parkland Strong and Proud

February 22, 2018

I want to share some thoughts with you.

I have not been posting on social media, although I have been constantly reading your posts so that I can represent you through this sad time. What our community has been saying is inspirational and has helped me cope through these “more than” trying times.

Special thanks to my fellow Parkland, Coral Springs, Broward Commissioners and ...

Obituaries

North Plainfield – Gail A. Kaufman – Cain, 62, passed away peacefully on Saturday ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2ff71a88602c34c5bdd9_157bf5c4-d2e4-4c85-9231-84be219a13ed

Sun, February 25, 4:00 PM

North Plainfield

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the ...

Government

Carousel_image_3d7e35618f05795eb00f_omstbydesignnew_jpeg

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 9, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 16, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_ad6c3c447b5accf3e1a1_3ef0aae34bda175becfa_ptp_save_the_date_-_p1

Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Six Watchung Hills Wrestlers And One from North Plainfield Advance to NJSIAA State Tournament, Hayward Crowned Champion

February 25, 2018

UNION, NJ - For the first time in school history, six Watchung Hills wrestlers punched their tickets to the NJSIAA state championships in Atlantic City next weekend. 

Justin Hayward took first place, Rob Saum took second, Danny Miller, Nick Ciraulo, and Vincent Mattaliano each got third and Jake Stasil came in fourth place in Region 4 on Saturday. Blake Bahna finished in sixth place. The ...

Watchung Hills and North Plainfield Wrestlers Advance to NJSIAA Region 4 Semis Saturday

UNION, NJ - Seven Watchung Hills grapplers qualified to wrestle in the quarter-finals of the NJSIAA Region 4 Tournament on Friday night, and six will move on to the semi-finals Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Blake Bahna, Danny Miller, Nick Ciraulo, Jacob Stasil, Rob Saum, Vince Mattaliano, and Justin Hayward all wrestled Friday night and all but Bahna move ...

Wrestling: 11 Warriors and Three Canucks Advance to Regions, Watchung Hills Wins NJSIAA District 16

MILLBURN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Regional High School wrestling team won its first District title on Saturday and 11 Warriors placed in the top three of their weight classes to advance to regions. North Plainfield came in ninth in District 14 and three wrestlers advance to regions.

”Congratulations to Coach Smith, his staff, and all of our Warrior wrestlers on winning their first ...

Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung Students Compete in County Spelling Bee

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Students from more than 30 schools in Somerset County, including Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung, will compete in the 3rd annual Spelling Bee Spectacular sponsored by the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey.

Participation is limited to those students up to the eighth grade.

The contest, which is a preliminary to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling ...

Wellness at WHRHS: On Stress, Wellness and Integrity at Watchung Hills

WARREN, NJ - A letter was sent to all parents of Watchung Hills Regional High School students (WHRHS) on Jan.19 addressing the school’s efforts to promote student wellness and reduce student stress. The letter also encouraged parents to review the academic integrity guidelines and have conversations with their children about health, wellness, and ethical ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

Sen. Bateman Launches "Socks for Soldiers" Drive

February 25, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman and his colleague Kristin M. Corrado. (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Morris),  have launched a “Socks for Soldiers” drive to collect one of the most requested items by United States troops serving around the world.

“Our heroes at home and abroad need our help to stay warm and comfortable,” said ...

Workshop Examines Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

BEDMINSTER, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership and The Center for Contemporary Art will host a “Business Builders Breakfast” and workshop focused on sexual harassment in the workplace on Tuesday, Feb. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road.

The 90-minute event, “Sexual Harassment & Rules of the Modern ...