DEBATE-KC in the Presidential Press Cycle

DEBATE-Kansas City students and staff have been great resources for the media in the run up to the 2012 national election. DKC students and staff have shared previews and analysis of the Presidential Debates on radio, television and the Internet. Whether it is Sumner Academy students talking with NBC Action News before the last debate or Director Gabe Cook leading a KCTV 5 morning program over the second debate, DKC affiliates have provided Kansas City media debate expertise.

It should also be noted how significant of a role that debate played in this election. Millions of Americans watched the Presidential debates and poll numbers seemed to suggest that the debates helped shape voter opinions. Debate is both a way learn about the issues and candidates and to decide outcomes. A full list of DKC media appearances is below.

 October 3rd

KMBZ Radio- Gabe Cook

Fox 4 @ 5- Isaac Allen

KCTV -5- UMKC Debate & Gabe Cook

October 16th & 17th 

KCTV-5- Gabe Cook

NBC 41- Gabe Cook

October 22nd

NBC 41- Sumner Academy

DEBATE-KC Holds Largest Middle School Tournament in League History

DEBATE-Kansas City’s (DKC) kicked off the middle school debate season at Northwest with the largest tournament entry in league history. Nearly 300 students filled Northwest Middle School in Kansas City, KS to compete in policy debate and student congress.

DEBATE-KC’s middle school program is already one of the largest in the country and with such an incredible start it could be an historic season. Moreover, if many of these middle school students keep debating, DKC’s high school program will soon receive a boon of experienced debaters. Especially significant was the largest middle school policy debate entry in league history.

In past years the vast majority of middle school debaters focused on student congress, with a few advancing to the more academically rigorous policy debate. At Northwest nearly 60 students competed in policy debate and the potential academic benefits are incredible. A 10 year study of urban in Chicago demonstrated that policy debate significantly increases test scores, high school graduation and college acceptance.

“The growth in middle school policy debate is huge. Every round of policy debate leads to academic benefits, so the sooner a student begins debating in policy, the better,” said DKC’s Director Gabe Cook.

The sheer size of the tournament could have been a logistical nightmare but Northwest proved more than capable of providing a quality tournament experience for all 300 participants. They were able to secure extra food to accommodate the massive size of the tournament, provided over a dozen judges and every resource DKC staff needed.

“Northwest deserved a first place trophy for being such an amazing host,” said DKC Program Coordinator Isaac Allen. “It was there first time ever hosting a debate tournament, and it was our largest middle school tournament ever. That combination could have been trouble but it was the opposite. Countless Northwest staff and head coach Mildred Gray were instrumental to making sure everything went to plan,” said Mr. Allen.

The tournament also marks for a challenge DKC, one that DKC’s Director is happy to have.

“If we continue these amazing participation numbers continue, DKC is going to need more help than ever. We will need more judges and more volunteers to the provide the best tournament experience,” said Mr. Cook. “But this is a happy problem because it means debate is once again growing in Kansas City.”

The tournament competition was intense with Lee A Tolbert Community Academy (LATCA) winning first place in the school sweepstakes award. LATCA had a solid balance of policy debate and student congress winners to propel them to the most overall points. But Arrowhead Middle was close on their tale by winning first place in three out of four regular congress rooms.

A complete list of the tournament winner is provided below:


  1. Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy
  2. Arrowhead Middle School
  3. Foreign Language Academy (FLA)

Top 10 Policy Speakers

  1. FLA, Max Keeney
  2. Barstow, Alex Wang
  3. Barstow, Spencer Walz
  4. Center, Angel Mauro
  5. Lee A. Tolbert, Tariq Nash
  6. Sumner, Taylor Holmes
  7. Center, Johnny Tancredi
  8. Barstow, Eli Pearce
  9. Lee A. Tolbert, Zechariah Stewart
  10. Sumner, Ciarra Hansford

Top 5 Policy Teams

  1. Barstow, Spencer Walz & Eli Pearce
  2. Center, Angel Mauro & Johnny Tancredi
  3. FLA, Max Keeney & Joe Green
  4. Barstow, Jaelan Trapp & Alex Wang
  5. Sumner, Tatityana Hall & Ciarra Hansford

Novice House 1

  1. FLA, Aaron Baker
  2. West, Jazz Brown
  3. FLA, Amira Bryant
  4. West, Yasmin Bruno
  5. Turner, Eli Rowden

Novice House 2

  1. Frontier, Kush Sharma
  2. Hogan Prep, Arya Pratt
  3. Benjamin Banneker, Jamon Peterson
  4. Coronado, Victory Beard
  5. Hogan Prep, Olayemi Sowemino

Novice House 3

  1. FLA, Taylor Corn
  2. Center, Queen Warrior
  3. Center, Deontre Winston
  4. FLA, William Hansen
  5. Central KCK, Reneaux Jackson

Novice House 4

  1. West, Nevaeh Jackson
  2. Center, Christian McDonald
  3. Center, Jayda Chavis
  4. Hickman, Isaiah Como
  5. Arrowhead, Koliya Hicks

Novice House 5

  1. Coronado, Jamie Holst
  2. Arrowhead, Chyenne Mielkus
  3. FLA, Nevaeh Shaw
  4. Arrowhead, Alex Calderon
  5. FLA, Da’Monika Washington

House A

  1. Lee A Tolbert, Ericka Hall
  2. Lee A Tolbert, Arieanna Boyd
  3. Rosedale, Breanna Alexander
  4. Center, Cydney Pane
  5. FLA, Shekhem, Assata

House B

  1. Arrowhead, Colin Barnes
  2. FLA, MaryBeth Eddy
  3. Lee A. Tolbert, Zion Piper
  4. Lee A. Tolbert, Shayana Davis
  5. Rosedale, Todriq Locke

House C

  1. Arrowhead, Suan Sona
  2. Arrowhead, DeAuan McClaine
  3. FLA, Lucy Hansen
  4. FLA, Sam Keeney
  5. Lee A. Tolbert, Josiah Hoskins

House D

  1. Arrowhead, Luke Hogue
  2. Frontier School Innovation, Katelyn Heckeroth
  3. FLA, Emmanuel Nunez
  4. Hickman , Dominic Pellettiere
  5. FLA, Lucy Mulholland