There’s no argument here – for the second straight year, the Utica Academy for International Studies debate team is the best in the state.
The 33-member team was presented the George Ziegelmuller Award on March 10th in recognition of being judged Michigan’s most successful program across all disciplines: legislative, policy and public forum.
“The hard work and dedication of the team carries on a decades-long tradition of success in debate and forensics in Utica Community Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns. “Students participating in these programs develop skills that employers tell us are essential for graduates: critical thinking, communication and collaboration.”
The George Ziegelmuller Award, given by the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association, is based on total points earned at Varsity and Novice State Debate tournaments this year.
During the 2016-2017 debate season, UAIS participated in both Legislative and Public Forum styles of debate. Throughout the year, students placed near the top of invitational competitions in both forms of debate.
This year, a member of the UAIS team was named champion at each of the three season tournaments for Legislative Debate.
Following the season tournaments, the UAIS team participated in the state finals, where they placed a state runner-up in both novice (Dina Qiryaqoz) and varsity division (Farah Afify) in Legislative Debate, with the team taking four of the top five spots in varsity.
“This is a fantastic achievement by a team that has demonstrated true grit all year long,” said Coach Christopher Kuhlman. “I’m honored to be able to work with such a passionate group of young men and women who recognize the lifelong value of speech communication and rhetoric.”