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Stoneleigh debate team has last word in contest

GREENFIELD — Four Stoneleigh-Burnham School speakers won first place, out of 11 school teams, at the Kingswood-Oxford Speaking Tournament in West Hartford, Conn., this month.

Rose Watson, Grade 10, of South Deerfield led the team with four trophies in her first appearance at a DANEIS (Debating Association of New England Independent Schools). Clara Swartzenruber of Greenfield, also a 10th grader, took home a second place award. Their wins, along with strong performances from seniors Karen Mardini of Aleppo, Syria, and Caroline Lord of Amherst enabled the team to take first place, with Philips Exeter Academy earning second place and Choate Rosemary Hall taking third.

After the tournament, Coach Paul Bassett said he had been worried about “losing our two very best senior speakers” when they graduate in May, “but the ninth- and tenth-graders coming up behind them are reassuring me there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

Other schools that participated in the tournament were: Roxbury Latin, Northfield Mount Hermon, Governor’s Academy, St. Mark’s School, St. Luke’s School, Kingswood-Oxford, Westfield High School and Joel Barlow High School.

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