The Lakeland District Debate Team had a strong showing at the New York City Urban Debate League State Tournament in April, with two teams reaching the elimination round and two students winning speaker awards.
“It was great to see the students finish strong because they consistently performed well over the course of the year,” said Stefan Bauschard, the Lakeland District Debate Team coach.
Ilan Villard and Alanalee Hughes, sophomores at Walter Panas High School, reached the quarterfinals in the junior varsity division.
Walter Panas sophomore Benjamin Panamdanam also competed in junior varsity.
In all, six students from the Lakeland team competed in the tournament, which attracted 486 students from 51 schools competing virtually.
Throughout the tournament, students debated the strengths and weaknesses of the International Monetary Fund in relation to poverty reduction and global financial stability.
“The state tournament was a great experience,” Alanalee said. “It forced me to delve into social and economic issues I had not thought of before. I’m proud of our success in the tournament this year and plan to build off of it next year.”
This year, the Lakeland team competed in 19 tournaments and hosted the Lakeland Westchester Classic Debate Tournament. Students participated in 215 individual debates. All events were held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m proud of how well the students competed at the state tournament,” Bauschard said. “They worked hard this year as they competed online, which presented many new challenges and opportunities for growth and to learn new skills.”
Panas Students Win Leadership Awards
Students from Walter Panas High School won top awards at the New York Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference (FBLI), with several advancing to the national competition in June.
Students competed in online business events through written tests and performance presentations against students from across New York State.
“It was challenging to discuss the case study presented during the limited time frame, but overall it was a great experience and I am looking forward to competing in Nationals,” said Walter Panas High School junior Iman Bowman, who placed fourth in Entrepreneurship.
Students who finished in the top four places qualify for the National Leadership Conference in June.
Here are the winners from Walter Panas High School …
‘Math Test Anxiety’ Research Earns Regeneron Award
Walter Panas High School senior Grace Newcombe won the Mu Alpha Theta Award at the Regeneron Westchester Science & Engineering Fair for the use of math in a challenging, original, thorough and creative investigation. Her research focused on math test anxiety.
“Grace has been a model research student during her four years in the program,” said Frank Tamweber, Walter Panas science research teacher. “I am very happy that her hard work and perseverance resulted in this estimable recognition.”
Grace explained that her project focused on determining if anxiety in math class affected academic performance, and if it affected genders differently.
“I modified an already existing questionnaire to help determine participants’ opinions in math class, and developed an original math quiz to measure their performance,” Grace said. “I completed my research during the Covid-19 pandemic, and while it was a challenge, I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during this time!”