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:

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Podcast: The Royal Wedding Through the Eyes of a Brit

May 19, 2018

In our May 18 podcast, Giles Bootheway, a British citizen who teaches at St. Bonaventure University, shares his thoughts on the Royal Wedding with TAPinto Greater Olean Co-editor Richard Lee.

PLAY

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get ...

Charity Golf Tournament to Benefit Parkland Cares and the Jason Taylor Reading Room, May 17 -Travels Charity Spotlight -

PARKLAND, FL - Parkland Cares will hold a Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 17 at Parkland Golf & Country Club, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Jason Taylor Reading Room and Parkland Cares.  The event is presented by Steven Douglas and former NFL player and Hall of Famer Jason Taylor will be in attendance.

Howard Dvorkin, CPA, is chairman of Debt.com and a 30-year ...

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

Bon Jovi’s Opening Band Sent Travels a Message Last Night - Talk About a TEMPT-ation

Travels did not get to see Bon Jovi the second night of the Madison Square Gardens set. However, their opening band was kind enough to send us a statement.  That is a nice consolation!

“This House is not for Sale” tour is special in that Bon Jovi brought on local talent to headline for them in each city.  TEMPT was one of the bands selected and they opened for Bon ...

Belmar Mayor Grants ‘Larry the Lobster’ His Freedom to Kick Off New Jersey Seafood Festival

May 19, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Mayor Brian Magovern wasn’t going to let the rough ocean surf and high winds get in his way yesterday of pardoning “Larry the Lobster” to begin the New Jersey Seafood Festival.

Instead, Magovern moved the May 18 event from the Fifth Avenue beach to the quieter waters of the Shark River Inlet. Accompanied by a small group of borough officials and ...

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

Holy Savior Academy Presents ‘The Sound of Music,’ Eighth Graders Inducted into Thespian Society 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy's Drama Club performed 'Getting to Know: The Sound of Music' on May 3 and May 4. 

Holy Savior Academy's Drama Club just finished its fourth year and has performed six shows. The Drama Club is run under the direction of Susan Loughlin, Daneile Micale and Eva Tripodi. This year’s production, which featured a cast ...

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy 5K and Family Fun Walk

Health & Wellness

Wed, June 6, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Workshop on New Jersey Sales Tax for business ...

Business & Finance Education

Tue, June 12, 7:00 PM

FairBridge Hotel and Conference Center, Somerset

SPHS Class of 1968 50the Reunion

Education

North Plainfield Schools Earn Distinction as Schools of Character

May 20, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - North Plainfield schools have been recognized as New Jersey and National Schools of Character.

Acting Superintendent of Schools Michelle Vella shared the following:

North Plainfield Public Schools have a long history of incorporating Character Education into the daily curriculum, teaching, and ultimately our student practice.  A thoughtful and ...

WHRHS Baseball: Roxbury Baseball Powers Past Watchung Hills

ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury High School baseball team won its 14th game on Friday, rolling over Watchung Hills 9-1 at home.

Offensively, Roxbury did its damage early, scoring twice in the second inning and then five more times in the third to take an early 7-0 lead.

Roxbury’s Will Findlay had two hits and Donovan Brady, Andy Axelson and Brian Dachowski all had base hits. In ...

North Plainfield Middle and Watchung’s Valley View to Compete in Rotary Club’s 91st Annual Track and Field Meet

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -The oldest service club of the three Plainfield's will hold their most important annual community service project on June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.

Long a mainstay in supporting the North Plainfield and Plainfield communities, the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield will offer an afternoon of friendly but determined competition to ...

North Plainfield Middle School Hosts Holocaust and Genocide Open House

NORTH  PLAINFIELD, NJ - All are invited to the 2018 North Plainfield Middle School Holocaust/Genocide Open House on Thursday, May 17 at 6 p.m. Students and staff will be on hand to serve as docents for a unique exhibit.

It is a museum in a school, created by the school, constructed by the school and for everyone in the community. featuring  over 400 posters, memorabilia and artifacts ...

WHRHS Boys Lacrosse: Bridgewater Upsets Watchung Hills in OT for SCT Title

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - So close. The Watchung Hills boys lacrosse team fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, in overtime, as the Panthers won a fourth-straight Somerset County Tournament title on Saturday, 5-4, at the Torpey Athletic Complex.

Watchung Hills took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter with goals from Gavin DeFuria, Connor James, and Joe Rica. 

The last game the ...

North Plainfield Launches Operation Safe School Partnership

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - North Plainfield police will soon be present in the schools on a daily basis, Chief William G. Parenti and Acting Superintendent of Schools Michelle Vella announced on Thursday.

The Operation Safe School Partnership will begin on Monday, May 14.  

“North Plainfield policing has always been about improving our visibility, accessibility and ...

Hillsborough Man Sentenced for Bribing Doctors in $100M Test Referral Scheme

May 18, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – Five individuals including a Hillsborough resident  were sentenced Friday for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough and Kevin ...

WHRHS Boys Lacrosse: Bridgewater Upsets Watchung Hills in OT for SCT Title

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - So close. The Watchung Hills boys lacrosse team fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, in overtime, as the Panthers won a fourth-straight Somerset County Tournament title on Saturday, 5-4, at the Torpey Athletic Complex.

Watchung Hills took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter with goals from Gavin DeFuria, Connor James, and Joe Rica. 

The last game the ...