What an amazing day at the Pumpkin Classic yesterday! East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy hosted 86 SVUDL debaters from all 7 SVUDL partner schools in the junior novice, novice, and JV divisions. Special guest judges included Former East Palo Alto Mayor and current Councilwoman Lisa Yarbrough Gauthier and SV2 Partner Lyn Christenson.
As always, the true stars of the day were the students! Returning judges commented on how much the level of debate is rising in SVUDL, with one judge describing the debate she judged as "the best SVUDL novice debate (she'd) seen!"
New partner Woodside had a strong showing, taking the Top Team nod. Susie O. won Top Novice Speaker, and Kierra J. and Blanca V. from the host school EPAPA took Top JV Team. Newcomers Gustavo M. and Bianda C. took home Debater of the Day awards.
There were incredible community moments as well, with Legal Mentors attending for a "Chat and Chew" with the students, connecting with and providing guidance to youth interested in law careers. The "Two Minutes of Fame" talent show had more entries that ever before, including Dominic O. and his now infamous standing back flip. Everyone is looking forward to the Aaron Thomas Invitational in December!