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SUCCESS ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TEAM EARNS PERFECT SCORE, WINS URBAN DEBATE INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS IN POLICY DEBATE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Laura Wilker, 332-895-2237
[email protected]org

Ann Powell, 646-894-6407
[email protected]org 

SUCCESS ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TEAM EARNS PERFECT SCORE, WINS URBAN DEBATE INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS IN POLICY DEBATE

SA Scholars from Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan Among More Than 60 Teams from 27 Schools in Eight States

New York, NY, November 21, 2022 — As high school students gathered last weekend to engage in policy debate, one Success Academy team earned a perfect score, going 9 for 9 in debate rounds without losing a single judge ballot — and earning them the 2022 Urban Debate Invitational Champions in Policy Debate title. In addition, the Success Academy team had five top speakers and three teams that advanced.


(Left to Right): Khadydiatou Thiam, Zackhery Facey, Aicha Seck, Daouda Ly, Ibrahima Toure, Joanne Opoku, Aminata Bathily, Joseph Leiva, Keziah Williams, Ryan Peters, and Yosairee Orozco. 

Among more than 60 teams representing 27 different schools from eight states, the SA HSLA-Manhattan Debate Team brought six debate partnerships to the tournament in Washington, DC. The students debated whether the United States government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should increase their security commitments to emerging technologies (advancement of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and bioethics). The debaters defended the pros and cons of improving technological initiatives as a way to prevent future technological warfare and maintain national security in the United States and abroad. 

The Success Academy winners were: 

  • Champions: Joseph Leiva (Harlem) & Ryan Peters (Brooklyn)
  • Semifinalists: Aicha Seck (Harlem) & Zackhery Facey (Bronx)
  • Quarterfinalist: Yosairee Orozco (debated individually) (Manhattan)

Success Academy scholars who won individual speaker awards: 

  • 1st Place Speaker: Aicha Seck (Grade 11, Harlem) 
  • 2nd Place Speaker: Ryan Peters (Grade 10, Brooklyn) 
  • 3rd Place Speaker: Zackhery Facey (Grade 11, Bronx) 
  • 4th Place Speaker: Joseph Leiva (Grade 11, Harlem) 
  • 5th Place Speaker: Yosairee Orozco (Grade 9, Manhattan) 

“I am so proud of the debate team’s continued growth and success,” said Aubrey Semple, Success Academy’s Debate Program Manager. “They have worked so hard — and it’s gratifying to see them explore these powerful arguments and discover their voices.”

Success Academy’s debate program allows them to develop as active and engaged citizens both in school and in their own communities, and to test their skills in local, regional, and national tournaments. Students develop and leverage active listening skills, insightful articulation, and in-depth research techniques as they take on topics such as education and immigration reform, voter fraud, global warming, and criminal justice.

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About Success Academy 

Since its founding in 2006, Success Academy has created the highest-performing public school district in New York state, and a national model of access to excellence for children across all demographics. We currently enroll over 20,000 children in 47 elementary, middle, and high schools. The majority of Success Academy scholars are children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods, admitted through a random public lottery. Our distinctive K-12 approach, designed as a holistic 13-year educational trajectory, leads to student outcomes that outpace even those in affluent suburban schools. To date, 100% of SA’s graduates have been accepted to college, many to highly selective institutions. Most are the first in their families to have the opportunity for higher education. We regularly share our curriculum and methods with educators and school leaders across the country. By scaling excellence and reigniting the civic mission of education, Success Academy is leading a movement to reinvent public education.  

For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.

 

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