12th Annual Environmental Debate

By: Contributor Last Updated: March 9, 2020

The fierce but healthy competition will heat up this year as the 12th Annual Environmental Debate turns toward an emerging topic dominating both environmental and economic policies – the use of single use plastics and, particularly, if their use should be prohibited.  The Chesterton team will argue in favor of banning plastics whereas Valparaiso will be defending their continued use.

Each year, the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group sponsors these high school environmental debates in order to provide entertainment, inspiration & motivation to the general public. They strive to build appreciation of the importance of debating environmental issues, to see both sides of an argument, and to recognize the talent of our student teams. The students appreciate the chance to demonstrate their skills and move others to sharpen their own. Those who attend are reliably in awe of the abilities displayed by these award-winning debaters.

Valparaiso
Coach: John Peluso
Grace is a senior debater at Chesterton High School.  This will be her third time representing Chesterton for this event.  She is an active member of Chesterton's Natural Helpers program and is a diploma candidate for the International Baccalaureate program. She plans to attend Michigan in the fall after competing at her third consecutive national tournament in the event of Public Forum.  She intends to study marine engineering; making this year's topic on plastics extremely interesting to her. 

Owen is a senior member of the Speech team at Chesterton High School.  Although this is the first time he will compete at the great chain of lakes debate; he has been in the audience for each of the past three years.  When speech and debate isn't taking up his time, Owen works as a sportscaster for Chesterton's radio station WDSO, Owen hopes to intern at Mayco International regarding material science (plastics) before attending Kettering University in Michigan. He also won the James Cavallo outstanding performer award last season at CHS.

Sophomore Hamza is new to the Debate team this year, but has already made both state teams in his inagural season. Hamza also serves as the WDSO news director and works with the school's science olympiad team.  He is drawn to any events where the important issues of the day are being discussed. 

Chesterton
Coach: Chris Lowery I'm Grayson Collins. I am a sophomore at Valparaiso High School. I do the debate, event,  Congress, which I have been participating in for two years. This year I have tried a lot of new academic extra curricular, like Model UN and Mock Trial. I also have been peer tutoring for two years and enjoy helping out the VHS Life Skills Program. This is my first year doing the environmental debate and I am excited.

I’m Kinzie Gamaleldin, I’m a senior at Valparaiso High School. I’ve been doing speech and debate for 3 years and this is the second year I’ve done the environmental debate. I’m apart of Congressional debate, US Extemporaneous speech, and Impromptu speech. Moreover, I have picked up a lot of interest in sustainability and environmental consciousness in the last few years, so this debate is a really educational way of keeping up with that hobby of mine. I’ve been apart of numerous clubs in high school and this is one of the aspects I enjoy most of debate. Next year, I plan to attend either Cal Poly or Purdue for chemistry with minors in statistics and Latin.

Anna Lavalley is senior at Valparaiso High School. She's been in speech and debate for four years and currently serves as the team's President while competing mainly in Congressional debate. Anna's also involved in Valpo's UNICEF, drama club, and band. She also spends a lot of time at Blackbird cafe in downtown Valpo. Anna plans to study International Studies in college but isn't quite sure where she'll attend university yet. She's always excited for a debate and is especially excited for the environmental debate because she's eager to see different viewpoints on current environmental issues. 

The debate will be followed by a meet-the-debaters party at Greeks Pizza one block east of the debate location at 8 PM.  Admittance is free and the public is welcome.
For more information text or call Walt Breitinger at 219-477-7526.