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2024 8th Grade Championship Debate

2024 8th Grade Championship Debate

Posted May 16, 2024

Two teams of 8th graders challenged each other on the Ellison Hall stage to debate whether the United States should implement a universal basic income (UBI) in the annual 8th Grade Championship Debate. Held on Wednesday, May 15, this event underscores the emphasis The Academy places on developing public speaking skills, as students articulate their ideas confidently, think critically, and engage in formal discourse – all in front of a large audience of faculty, families, and peers. 

8th grade debate

Philippe J. opened the discussion for the proposing team, advocating for the benefits of UBI for the American people and economy. His opponent, Asher W., then took the podium to counter, arguing against the feasibility and success of UBI.

8th grade debate

Students were each given up to 4 minutes to present their arguments and counterarguments, showcasing their research and public speaking skills. Despite compelling arguments from both sides, the proposing team emerged victorious. Medals were awarded to all participants for their hard work as well as to the top debater, Philippe J., and the top public speaker, Hollis L.

8th grade debate


This event highlights the boys' growth and abilities each year, thanks to the guidance of 8th Grade English & Literature Teacher, Mr. Brendan Moore.

"Public speaking a little bit undervalued in the educational system," said Mr. Moore. "We try to counteract that trend at San Antonio Academy with lots of public speaking opportunities up through the grades. In the final weeks of their 8th grade year, they have five speeches that they do over a period of six weeks, and they get lots of extra tips about how to approach the whole business of public speaking."

The top ten 8th grade public speakers are then selected to compete in the Championship Debate.

A big thank you to our judges Mrs. Briseño, Mr. Bradley, and Dr. Wilson, as well as to the parents and families who attended in support of the boys in one of their final public displays of understanding as an Academy Boy.

8th grade debate

Proposing Team: Philippe J., James B., Robert C., Whit W., and Henry U. (alternate)

Opposing Team: Asher W., Sam S., Shuruk A., Hollis L., and Ian G. (alternate)

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