York School News

Debate Update 2023

Mr. Rob Burkett
As the debate and public speaking season winds down, humanities teacher and debate coach Rob Burkett would like to recognize our world-class debaters and public speakers. 
First off, a huge thank you to our Captains and the more 40 debaters in Senior School and 30 in Middle School. York Debate is thriving because of them and their incredible commitment. 

To begin, I’d like to recognize a Middle School debater and public speaker. On April 6th, 7th-grade student Max B. represented The York School at Sterling Hall School’s Annual Invitational Speech Competition. Max informed and entertained the audience with his speech on ChatGPT and secured first place. Congratulations Max!

In the fall, Julia H., Carly S., and Hayden L. competed at the International Independent School Public Speaking Competition at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, north of Boston. Out of 120 international competitors, Hayden, and Carly placed second in the cross-examination debate. Julia placed 3rd in Impromptu Speaking and secured 14th place overall, missing the cut-off to represent Canada at Worlds by one place!  Both Hayden and Julia went on to represent Ontario at the Canadian Nationals in Winnipeg, where Hayden placed 4th in Impromptu. Well done, Hayden and Julia!

Continuing with Speech at the junior level, Grade 9 students Zach W. and Elizabeth K. qualified to represent Ontario at the Junior Nationals in Vancouver, with Elizabeth placing FIRST in Interpretive Reading. Way to go, Elizabeth and Zach!

Finally, grade 11 and 12 students across the country are invited to qualify to be the one student from Canada to represent our country at the annual English Speaking Union’s Competition in London, England. In a very tight final, I’m thrilled to congratulate Kumkum A. who placed second in Canada.

Believe it or not, we have had an even more successful year in Debate. In my humble opinion, Dylan B. and Stu B. are the best debaters that York has ever seen. Of their many accomplishments this year, the most impressive may be securing first place at the British Parliamentary Nationals, qualifying them to represent Canada at Oxford University last month, where they missed the semi-finals by one point. 

I’m excited to announce that in addition to qualifying for Speech Nationals, Zach W. and Elizabeth K. have qualified to represent Ontario at the Junior Debate Nationals to be held at UTS next month. Stay tuned!

Congratulations to all debaters and public speakers on an incredible year!

About the York School

Canada's first gender-inclusive independent IB World School
The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experientia Docet or Experience Teaches.

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Middle School (Grades 6-8) & Senior School (Grades 9-12) 1320 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2 
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