To provide students with an avenue for academic competition that requires research, writing and oral argument supported by evidence. Furthermore, students will travel to universities and meet and compete with exceptional high school and college students from across the region. The exposure to universities and to competition of this caliber promotes positive growth and maturity. These students then become role models for other GCHS students.
During training and the competitions, students must adopt the positions and attitudes of the countries that they represent. For example, our student representing North Korea had to play the role of the obnoxious obstructer of most of the proposals that her committee represented. Playing the role of the country correctly requires research and the ability to ad lib while remaining in character.
By far, the greatest expenses for the Debate Team are the actual trips to competitions. During the first three years of its existence, the team on competed once a year at The University of Alabama. Last year the team traveled to three competitions and this year plans to travel to four, including UA, Mississippi State University, & Kennesaw State.
The debate club started in 2011, as result of requests that social studies teacher L. Burnette received from his students. In the beginning, it was just an after school club in which students gathered and debated the day’s topic. However, in the spring of 2012, the club did have an informal debate with the team at Vestavia Hills via Skype. For the 2012-13 school year, Burnette secured a grant for a team to compete at the Alabama Model United Nations at The University of Alabama for two years. Four GCHS students competed in February of 2013. The following year (2014), GCHS was represented by seven students; one placing third in a committee debate, another fourth, and two students received commendations for their foreign policy papers. In addition, GCHS was recognized as the most successful team to ever compete under the Black Belt Initiative grant. For detailed results, please read the overview below.