Letter: Be proud of Falmouth High School debate team

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My wife and I have spent many a hot/cold, dry/wet and day/evening on the sidelines and in the bleachers of Falmouth high school athletics. This year, however, our sophomore joined the debate team. We were introduced to a community of students who are learning life skills few adults ever acquire: Presenting, defending and questioning many of the principals that govern our civic, business and moral lives.

Under the coaching of attorneys Michelle Lafond and Karen Wolfe, the Falmouth High School team has in recent years established itself as a force in the state and the nation. Their most recent accomplishments include a second consecutive state title, and individual recognition on a national level. This past week, two Falmouth students won a national tournament of 500 competitors at Harvard University.

Student debaters argue both sides of tough social and economic issues, digging deeply into matters of morality, philosophy, precedent and practical application. Hours of weekly preparation culminate in day-long debate tournaments throughout the state where they persuade, cajole and inform one another as they hone their arguments in as many as four rounds of verbal battle. Residents of Falmouth can be very proud of the students, the coaches and the school system for putting a further mark of excellence on Falmouth’s academic achievements and intellectual pursuits.

Town Councilor Tony Payne