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Henry Clay’s Debate Team Secures 10th Consecutive State Championship

Henry Clay's debate team outside at Transy with their trophies

The team from Henry Clay High School has won the Kentucky High School Speech League’s State Debate Tournament for the 10th straight year. Henry Clay also received the 2023 Sustained Excellence Award, which goes to the team with the top accumulated points over consecutive years. After receiving this honor, a team’s points reset to zero. Henry Clay last earned this award in 2020, when it was established.

“To say that I am proud of these kids would be a massive understatement. I am beyond proud! I tell them at every tournament we attend how proud they make me with their hard work and determination to succeed,” said Ryan Ray, Henry Clay’s speech and debate coach.

Paul Laurence Dunbar was runner-up in the state tournament, which drew 12 participating schools March 24-25 at host Transylvania University. Here are the top results from Fayette County Public Schools:

Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate

1. Ayesha Hamid, Dunbar

2. Sam Kotter, Henry Clay

Top Speakers:

1. Sam Kotter, Henry Clay

2. Ayesha Hamid, Dunbar

4. Olivia Zhang, Dunbar

6. Kennedy Preston, Henry Clay

Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate

2. Matthew Kotter, Henry Clay

  • Semifinalist: Evelyn Dyer, Henry Clay

Top Speakers:

2. Matthew Kotter, Henry Clay

5. Evelyn Dyer, Henry Clay

6. Dorottya Gal, Henry Clay

Novice Public Forum Debate

2. Calvin Adams & Oliver King, Henry Clay

  • Semifinalists: Vonnie Allen-Guy and Corinne Yelowitz, Henry Clay

Top Speakers:

2. Vonnie Allen-Guy, Henry Clay

5. Corinne Yelowitz, Henry Clay

Varsity Public Forum Debate

1. Karson Whitley & Justine Lofwall, Henry Clay (a record third consecutive championship)

2. Vibha Bhaskar and Yusuf Kahloon, Dunbar

Top Speakers:

1. Karson Whitley, Henry Clay

2. Yusuf Kahloon, Dunbar

3. Zoe Breitigan, Henry Clay

4. Justine Lofwall, Henry Clay

5. Vibha Bhaskar, Dunbar

6. Aimee Stamm, Dunbar

Congressional Debate

1. Daksha Pillai, Dunbar

3. Clint Corkran, Henry Clay

4. Bella Galavotti, Henry Clay

6. Winston Fugate, Henry Clay

Super Session Members:

  • Dunbar: Kaya Amin and Ahaan Thomas
  • Henry Clay: Will Brown, Leah Buzard, and Will Hargis

Source: Kentucky High School Speech League

Contact: Ryan Ray at Henry Clay

Posted March 31, 2023