York School News

York Speech and Debate Team Update 2024

Grace L and Grace P (Co-head Captains of York Speech and Debate)
The 2023-2024 school year has been excellent for speech and debate at York, and we are immensely grateful for everyone who made this possible. The debaters have been enthusiastic and committed.
The 2023-2024 school year has been excellent for speech and debate at York, and we are immensely grateful for everyone who made this possible. The debaters have been enthusiastic and committed. A shoutout to the captains, U of T coaches—Crystal, Eamon, and Moira — and teacher coaches, Mr. Burkett and Ms. MacDonald. Thank you all for your dedication, instruction and support. 

Middle School Debate has been super successful this year with around 30 students participating every Wednesday. They've been learning and growing important skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, and collaboration. Now experts in Canadian Parliamentary, we've begun to introduce British Parliamentary debate to the debaters. We have a very exciting event coming up... the Burkett Bowl! The Burkett Bowl is a York-hosted middle school debate tournament where middle school debaters can test their skills in real rounds in an official tournament format. The tournament will be run by grade 11 captains Hayden and Carly! We're super excited! This first half of the year couldn't have been so successful without the help of our wonderful middle school debate captains: Noa F (‘24), Maya B (‘24), Elizabeth K (‘26), and Zach W (‘26). Shout out to Ms. MacDonald as well for keeping everything running smoothly. Thank you all! 

Our Middle School debaters have been taking the speech world by storm. Max B (‘28)  has qualified for Junior Speech Nationals hosted by the Mulgrave School in Vancouver in May, another great accomplishment for a grade 8 student. Good Luck to Max as he prepares for the intense, intensely rewarding competition he will face in the Pacific Northwest! 

Senior school debate also has much to celebrate. Over the course of this school year, 40 debaters have joined the club. Attendance each week exceeds twenty, as keen debaters compete for the chance to debate in either a British Parliamentary (BP; four-team) or a Canadian Parliamentary (CP; 2-team round). Students have sparred over topics ranging from social media to the Supreme Court, and received feedback and seminars that hone their debate strategy; the coaches and captains—Kumkum A (‘24), Grace PH (‘24), Grace L (‘24)—have played vital roles in judging, feedback, and support. Our senior school debaters have participated enthusiastically at Fulford League debates and attendance at university tournaments, and will be representing York at the highly competitive tournament at Hart House on February 17th-18th. 

Senior School debaters have their fair share of achievements. Two teams—Hayden L (‘25) and Carly S (‘25), Zhen H (‘24) and Grace L (‘24)—have qualified for the Ontario Student Debate Union CP Provincial championships after four rounds of debate in the Toronto Regionals. CP Provincials will take place from February 23rd to February 25th, and the two teams will be competing against the best schools in the province to earn a spot to Nationals in Vancouver.  

York’s Senior School speech competitors are also leaving their mark. Charlotte B (‘26) is heading to senior speech Nationals at St. John's Ravenscourt this weekend, a great accomplishment for a grade 10 student; another incredible speaker, Hayden L (‘27), only missed attending by a single spot. The speech season’s not going to be over any time soon; the team trending International Independent Schools' Public Speaking Competition (IISPSC) in Bermuda in October has already started preparing. We wish all our speakers luck!

About the York 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 English speaking 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 Experience Teaches.

Contact Us

Junior School (Grades JK-5) 1639 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 2W6 
Middle School (Grades 6-8) & Senior School (Grades 9-12) 1320 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2 | Tel: 416.926.1325
Mailing address: 1320 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2
Junior School: 1639attendance@yorkschool.com
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