Fifth graders debate pros and cons of online learning at districtwide tournament


After experiencing virtual learning for almost an entire school year, fifth graders got to argue the pros and cons of online learning in the Dallas ISD Virtual Elementary Debate Tournament recently. Participating in teams, 129 students from 19 schools debated the resolution: Online learning is better than in-person learning.

Sudie L. Williams Talented & Gifted Academy and William B. Travis Academy for the Academically Talented & Gifted tied for first place overall in the debate tournament.

Rounding off the top six elementary schools were Withers, Weiss, Gill, and Sanger placing second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Each team had to debate one round affirmative and one round negative. Participating schools could have registered up to four teams in the competition.

Sponsored by Dallas ISD Student Activities Department, the elementary debate program is restricted to fifth graders and is in its third year. During the school year, coaches and students virtually attended afterschool practices, workshops, and scrimmages from September to May. Using the Debate|able curriculum, the program is designed to enhance students’ critical thinking, organizational, teamwork, and public speaking skills.

Here are the complete results of the 2021 Dallas ISD Elementary Debate Tournament.

Overall Top Schools

Rank Campus Name
1 Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy
1 William B. Travis Academy for the Academically Talented and Gifted
2 Harry C. Withers Elementary
3 Martin Weiss Elementary
4 Charles A. Gill Elementary
5 Alex Sanger Preparatory

Top Teams | MVP Gavel Award Winners (Won Both Rounds)

School Team Members
Travis Santosa, Livngston, Kisner & Patel
Sudie TAG McAnear, Bowers & Ingerto
Weiss Castillo, Valiente & Palacios
Withers Dahlander, Hull & Whisenant
Gill Raza, Garcia & Gonzalez
Sanger Perez, Singleton & Lander
Sudie TAG Herrera, Schmidt & Galvin
Withers Dierksheide, Brisner, Patermo & Segura
Travis Parras, Patrick, Ritschel & Martinez
Brashear Abdu-Jami, Bahena & Jackson
Weiss Castillo & Peralta
Sudie TAG Davis, Shirk & Stout 

Gold Medalist Winning Teams

Schools Team Members
DeGoyler Curran, Evans, Bandel & Alzoubi
Johnson Sanchez, Garcia & Minas
Moreno Saavedra, Landeros & Huerta
Lisbon Jackson, Montes & Moncada
Chavez Castro, Resendiz & Gutierrez
Lowe Velazquez, Valle & Khadka
Withers Jain, Hodges & Martinez
DeGoyler Gonzales, Vance & Bennett & Espinosa
Brashear Gonzalez, Dewberry & Nino
Lisbon Tevino, Hernandez & Ortega
Moreno Ayala, Martinez & Hinson

Silver Medalist Winning Teams

School Team Members
Kleberg Castillo, Retiz, Nuno & Frayer
Gill Arriaga, Montero, Edwards & Atonal
Cuellar Valle, Alonzo, Hernandez & Bonner
Trinity Height Contreras, Curtis-Chambers & Morris
Johnson Valdez, Garcia & Perez
Kiest Escobar, Calera & Garcia
Blair Bocanegra, Webster
Moreno Orta, Garcia & Moreno
Sanger Clark, Bakos & Johnson
Cuellar De La Pena, Zavala & Vaca & Castillo
Brashear Osae & Fleming
Kleberg Villa, Colmenero & Guerrero
Kiest Calderon, Cumplido & Gonzalez
Central Nunn, Romero & Morfin
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