Success for the debate team


Memorial debate students are awarded for their case presentations.

Hannah Teifke, Memorial Staff Writer

In January, the Memorial debate team kicked off their season and competed in their first tournament, which resulted in multiple member achievements.

The team’s performance in the tournament exceeded expectations, considering they have a new coach this year. Even with such a monumental change within the team, first-year debate coach Emily Busey has guided her team throughout the season with meticulous preparation. 

“We start preparing from the first week of school,” Busey said. “We have tournaments all year long that we prepare for, and the topics we debate over change every month, so we’re constantly updating cases and topics.”

As a competitive drama student in high school, Busey would travel to debate tournaments with her school’s team, which taught her a lot about how the tournaments run. 

The life of a debate student alone can be very demanding. Therefore, as a debate coach, Busey not only focuses on leading the team to success, but she also aims to help her students balance their time in and out of debate. 

Junior Ben Lemley not only competes in debate, but he also plays tennis and participates in robotics. Finding time for all three activities takes some adjusting.

“It can be difficult, but I think it’s important to schedule out time,” Lemley said. “If you choose to put in a lot of time and work, then it can be really rewarding.”

With a special focus on time management, Lemley presented his case and placed fourth in the public forum. Since the work done so far built anticipation for the event, Lemley was excited and happy with his result. 

“I primarily do debate because I have work after school,” junior Brandon Lewis said. “Most of the preparation that goes on in debate is in the class, so there’s no required practices after school.”

Lewis is adjusting to the scheduling differences as well. While having a job during his first year in debate, he feels that he and the team started the year off very strong.

According to Busey, this year’s team is small but mighty. With that said, the debate team will hopefully stay strong and continue to succeed throughout the year. 

“To anyone interested in doing debate, do it,” Lemley said. “Our coach is great.”

The debate team, comprised of 30 members, will have many more tournaments throughout the spring semester. Any students wanting to get involved can talk to Busey about joining next school year. 


Contact Hannah Teifke at [email protected]