James Edwardsen: New President of Debate Team


Nicole Novak

Debate President James Edwardsen, 12, works with team members to prepare for an upcoming debate.

Isaiah Manning, Staff Writer

All of the kids pack into the debate room and Mr. Ritz snacks on Cheez-Itz. James Edwardsen sits, working diligently on his research for his next debate. James has a huge new responsibility as the new debate team president.

“I love the debate program,” Edwardsen said. “I wanted to be president because I wanted to be involved in my school and community. I am tasked with facilitating tournaments and making sure all pieces are moving correctly.”

The first debate meet took place on Sept. 11. Edwardsen felt good about the current state of the team leading up to that date.

“I’m really excited for this year, and I believe we have a lot of potential,” Edwardsen said. “We have great spirits in the debate program and everyone is poised to have a great year.”

The debate team frequently qualifies for the state meet. Edwardsen wants this tradition to continue with the addition of some new members.

“I believe [the Debate Team] has an excellent chance,” Edwardsen said. “Everyone in the program is so determined and invested in their craft.””

— James Edwardsen

Though the debate team is successful, Edwardsen feels like there is room to improve.

“We always need more members,” Edwardsen said. “Debate is a great [team] and a great place to learn communication and problem-solving skills. The program is very interesting and scholastically inclusive, and is also a great place to eat and catch up with friends.”

Edwardsen competes in the cross-examination debate category with his partner Madeline Torres. Torres also likes the team’s chances of success.

“I feel like this year the team is going to be a lot more successful than last year,” Torres said. “We’ll be going to a lot more tournaments and we’re working really hard on a lot of cases.”

Torres has participated with the team for two years now. She watched the transition from previous presidents to Edwardsen.

“James does well as our president and he’s really good at delegating people and explaining things,” Torres said. “We had a debate camp and James really helped Mr. Ritz with the organization.

Mr. Ritz put together a great group for this year’s debate season. They appreciate the work he’s done for the team.

“Ritz is the best debate teacher we could’ve hoped for and works his hardest to make it a great experience for us all,” Torres said. “We look forward to having a great debate season and continuing to improve.”

James Edwardsen agrees with Torres that Mr. Ritz is a great teacher who has set them up for success.

“Ritz has a history of coaching a successful team,” Edwardsen said. “I have no doubt that our season will be great.”