Sophia Goldberg, staff writer
The new debate club at Beverly is beginning to take shape, but, this club is actually two years in the making. Club president, sophomore Samantha Boudaie, has been working on bringing the benefits of debate to Beverly since the beginning of her freshman year.
With Coach David Finnegan, who Boudaie believes will lead the debate team to success with his experience in debate, the debate team plans on competing in the National Speech and Debate Association this year. Boudaie plans on showing the student body that debate can help enhance writing and speaking skills in all school subjects.
“Debate has helped me become a better speaker and a stronger person by teaching me how to effectively convey my opinions. It has truly helped me from English to science, giving me the skills needed to write essays, give presentations, and, all around do well in school,” Boudaie said.
Boudaie began competing in debate tournaments in middle school at Horace Mann with former history teacher and current Horace Mann Assistant Principal David Foldvary. Since then, she has harnessed a love for debate.
“In sixth grade, I found myself wanting to be a part of a club. So, I joined debate. At first, I wasn’t amused, but as the year went on, my mother and history teacher convinced me to continue. The rest is history. I have competed for the past four years, and won a team award for 15th place and an individual speaker award for 13th place of 300. I was the first to be awarded at Horace Mann, and I am really proud of my accomplishments,” Boudaie said.
Freshman Evan Pizzurro, a teammate of Boudaie’s from Horace Mann, has joined the debate team at the high school to advance and continue working on the many skills he established in middle school, including public speaking, effective research, organization and teamwork.
“I first joined the debate team because I wanted to improve my public speaking skills. I decided to continue in high school because debate just gives you so many skills to help you succeed in life. It taught me how to research efficiently, learn how to organize my time and writing a lot better, and it helped me crest bonds and build teamwork,” Pizzurro said.
Boudaie believes that debate always helps the students involved, whether they win or lose. She says that being a part of the debate club will create lasting memories for all participants.
“Debate for me has never been a loss because, even when I lose, I feel like I won from the relationships I created and skills I learned during each event,” Boudaie said.
Debate club meets every Wednesday after school in the Career Center.