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Greenwich High School Advances To 'Sweet 16' In Global Debate Competition

Greenwich High School’s debate team has made the top 16 of the IPPF.
Greenwich High School’s debate team has made the top 16 of the IPPF. Photo Credit: File photo

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich High School’s debate team has reached the top 16 in the 2015-16 International Public Policy Forum, the only team from Connecticut to advance to that round.

If Greenwich advances through this round, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals at the Harold Pratt House in New York City on Saturday, April 2.

Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only competition that gives high school students from around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and the Brewer Cup.

“These students have demonstrated a command of a very complex and timely topic,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, and a founder of the IPPF. “They have emerged from one of the most competitive fields we’ve ever had – and will now compete for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the IPPF Finals.”

This year, teams submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Genetically Modified Organisms Are Essential to Global Food Security.”

Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay. In November, the top 64 teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email for the six weeks. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams.

In the “Round of 64,” Greenwich advanced over Mexico Senior High School from Mexico, Mo. In the “Top 32” round, Greenwich advanced over Hamilton High School (Team A) from Chandler, Ariz.

The “Sweet 16” round, representing schools from 13 U.S. states and China, is now underway. Greenwich is competing against Bob Jones High School from Madison, Ala.

The “Elite 8” teams will be announced on Monday, Feb. 29.

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