News Detail

Debate Team Finishes Second in International Competition

Hockaday's Debate team headed to New York in May to compete in the International Public Policy Forum.
The Debate team consisting of Sanika Agarwalla (Class of 2024), Diya Hegde (Class of 2024), Aarnah Kurella (Class of 2024), Evita Nino (Class of 2024), Sidney Murray (Class of 2024), and Ariana Wang (Class of 2024) and coached by Chuck Walts, won runner-up in the 22nd Annual Brewer Foundation/New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) debate competition on Saturday, May 6 – winning a $3,500 prize. The final debate was hosted at The Harold Pratt House in New York City.
Hockaday debater Sanika Agarwalla won the inaugural John E. Sexton Award – recognizing the outstanding speaker during the Finals Debate.
The “Elite Eight” teams taking part in the IPPF Finals emerged from a field of more than 220 teams, representing high schools in 31 U.S. states and 22 countries. The teams debated the topic: “Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an effective model for international cooperation."
“In a competition against many of the most accomplished debaters in the world, the students representing The Hockaday School excelled. They exhibited strong written and oral debate skills,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and founder of the IPPF. “We are proud to recognize their achievements as this year's IPPF Runner-Up. We also salute the inaugural winner of the John E. Sexton Award – Hockaday student Sanika Agarwalla.”
In speaking about the inaugural John E. Sexton Award, Sexton said, “This award is an honor for many reasons, but most importantly because it represents so many students and mentors who shared their love of debate as a gift to me. The inaugural winner, Sanika Agarwalla, demonstrated remarkable poise and confidence. She is an inspiration to me – and represents the promise debate holds for future generations.”
The top eight teams competing in the IPPF Finals represented schools in five U.S. states, Canada and Singapore.
The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. This year's proceedings were judged by a panel comprised of NYU Global Debate Program Director Will Baker, NYU President Emeritus John Sexton, Journalist and Scholar James Traub, Notre Dame High School Director of Debate Christina Phillips, and Dave Huston, debate coach at Japer High School.
Founded in 2001, the IPPF is the only competition that gives high school students from around the globe the opportunity – for free – to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.
© 2023 The Hockaday School. All Rights Reserved