2013 NFL School of Honor in Debate
Bellaire Debate
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National Forensic
League since 1955.
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Sweet Home Alabama NFL Nationals  June 17-21
For the 55th time in 58 years Bellaire Debate participated in the National Forensic League National
Speech and Debate tournament.  Sophomore Marina Finley earned 7th place in the nation in
Congressional Debate.  Juniors Kang Di Li and Julian Advani advanced to the 11th round of Public
Forum Debate.  Uche Akoma and Julian Advani were 2 of only 5 students chosen as NFL Nationals
Participants of the Year.  Both received $1,000 scholarships from the Lincoln Financial Group.  
Finley's finish in Congress also earned her an auto qualification to next year's NFL National Speech
and Debate tournament to be held in Overland Park, Kansas next June.  In April Finley also advanced
to the semi final round of the Tournament of Champions held at the University of Kentucky.  Her
performance at the TOC earned Marina an auto qualification to the 2014 Tournament of Champions.  
The collective efforts of our students at the 2013 NFL National Speech and Debate tournament
earned our school the designation as NFL Debate School of Honor.  Our week in Birmingham
capped off another great year of participation for Bellaire High School.

Tournament results South Texas NFL District April 11-13
Uche Akoma  National Qualifier

Tournament results UIL CX State March 15-16
Clark Johnson/Jinchen Zou octofinals
Andrew Alter/Zach Birenbaum octofinals

Tournament results TFA State March 7-9
Aman Narayan/Laura Zhang double octofinals
Eric Chu/Liana Wang double octofinals

Uche Akoma  quarterfinals
Maya Shaulsky quarterfinals

Tournament results South Texas NFL District Congress February 23
Marina Finley 1st place House 1 National Qualifier
Ziyu Wang 4th place House 2
Nathan Hiransomboon 5th place House 2
Faisal Khan 8th place House 2
Kevin Huang 2nd place House 3
Cari Bonilla 3rd place House 3
Raveena Chhibber 3rd place House 4
Tomas Arango 4th place House 4
Amber Liu 8th place House 4

Bellaire Advances to Finals of International Public Policy Forum
Members of the Bellaire High School debate team have advanced to the finals of an international
debate competition scheduled for April 12-14 in New York City. The Bellaire team has advanced to
the "Elite 8" round of the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum.
By advancing, the team wins an all-expenses-paid trip to the finals, and compete for $10,000. Bellaire
High's team is the only one from Texas in the finals. A team from Bellaire won the championship in
2007-08 and 2008-09. Bellaire was also the runner-up in the 2006-07 competition. "During the
written rounds, the students from Bellaire High School distinguished themselves as one of the best
teams in this worldwide competition," said IPPF founder William A. Brewer III said in a press
release. "These students now have an opportunity to showcase their advocacy skills during a
single-elimination, oral debate competition to determine who wins one of the most coveted titles in
debate - IPPF world champion."  The primary student IPPF debaters from Bellaire High are Jinchen
Zou, Zara Khan and Michelle Huang, who are supported by the student research team of Jennifer
Knesbach, Michelle Knesbach, Aman Narayan, Laura Zhang and Zach Birenbaum. "I am so very
proud of all the students involved," said Russell Rach, the team's policy debate instructor. "They are
a force to be reckoned with." This year's topic is climate change. "Their opponents at this level are
also doing master's level research, and the debates are extremely long and arduous events," Rach
said. "Their research doesn't just have to be good, it has to be great. And it has to be right. Is global
warming occurring? How fast? "President Obama and Gov. (Mitt) Romney wouldn't discuss or take
questions on these issues for fear of getting it wrong in the presidential debates," Rach said. "These
high school students are going to enter territory where even our top elected officials are afraid to
voice an opinion." In its 12th year, the IPPF is the only international contest that gives high school
students the opportunity to participate in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. This
year, 213 teams representing 34 states and 29 foreign countries registered for the competition. In
October, the teams' essays were evaluated by a review committee that determined the top 32 teams,
which participated in a single-elimination, written debate contest. Each team was assigned an
affirmative or negative position and the schools volleyed papers back and forth via email. After
defeating the Taipei American School from Taiwan in the top 32 round, Bellaire beat Henry Clay High
School of Lexington, Kentucky, in the "Sweet 16" round. The finals will focus on oral advocacy.
The IPPF semifinals and final debate will be broadcast live from New York City at
www.bickelbrewer.com/ippf on April 13. The final debate takes place at 2:30 p.m. CST and viewers
can vote for the winning school.

Tournament results Seven Lakes HS February 8-9
Tomas Arango 10th place

Tournament results Texas City HS February 1-2
Clark Johnson/Jinchen Zou  1st place
Liana Wang/Eric Chu 2nd place
Anthony Yun/Ashley Liu semifinals
Andrew Alter/Zach Birenbaum quarterfinals
Bravyn Lu/Yijun Hu quarterfinals
Narain Reddy/Suneal Vemuri quarterfinals

Tournament results Lamar HS January 25-26
Andrew Alter/Zach Birenbaum 2nd place
Narain Reddy/Suneal Vemuri quarterfinals

Bryce Williams  1st place
Uche Akoma 2nd place
Maya Shaulsky 4th place

Tournament results Emory University January 25-27
Kang Di Li/Julian Advani octofinals TOC bid

Tournament results Clear Creek HS January 18-19
Liana Wang/Eric Chu quarterfinals
Andrew Alter/Zach Birenbaum quarterfinals

Bryce Williams  1st place
Uche Akoma 4th place

Tournament results Winston Churchill HS January 11-12
Kang Di Li 4th place

Bryce Williams 6th place

Tournament results Katy HS January 11-12
Christina Tan/Samhith Punukula  quarterfinals
James Feng/ZiLu Li  quarterfinals

News & Stories from July, 2012 - December, 2012
Bellaire Debate
Member of the
National Forensic
League since 1955.

Marina Finley  National Qualifier

Public Forum
Julian Advani/Kang Di Li  National Qualifier

Elaine Shen  2nd place Senate
Marina Finley  Finals  House
Eric Bailey  semifinals House

Cari Bonilla/Nathan Hiransomboon doubleoctos

Marina Finley  quarterfinals

Tomas Arango 1st place
Eric Bailey 2nd place
Nirmal Patel 4th place
Esther Liao 5th place
Raveena Chhibber 8th place

Uche Akoma 3rd place

Kevin Huang 1st place
Tomas Arango 5th place

Faisal Khan/Sriharsha Rangaraj quarterfinals
Pooja Prasad/Rachel Lee octofinals

Nathan Hiransomboon 3rd place
Salem Hagdu 5th place

Eric Bailey 1st place
Jorge Villareal 3rd place
Annie Shen 6th place

Nathan Hiransomboon/Sriharsha Rangaraj octo

Nathan Hiransomboon/Elaine Shen octofinals
Kang Di Li/Julian Advani octofinals

Ziyu Wang 4th place
Our thanks and gratitude go out to these businesses for their
support of the 57th annual Bellaire Forensic Tournament.