Leaving a debate legacy

Hannah Ortega, Lead Reporter

Seniors Avery Flessner and Jacob Kalinke are passing down their legacy. As their senior project, they have started a debate club at Willow Springs and have already gone to speak to social studies teacher Allison Novicke.

“I specifically chose debate because I want to see the program grow and be the best possible experience for those that choose to participate in it,” Flessner said. “I owe so much of my development as a well-rounded young adult to the speech and debate program. This was the perfect way to give back to the program and ensure that others could have the same or better experience that I had.”

The pair want to spread their love for debate to younger students and give them the chance to undergo the experience, something that is appreciated by debate teacher Tami Parker.

“The greatest joy as a teacher is to watch kids find their passion in what you do,” Parker said. “ The fact that not only have they have found an activity that they love to do, but now they love it so much that they’re willing to share it with the next group of kids, the next generation, is the pinnacle point of teaching, so I’m very proud that they want to do this and I’m honored that they let me be a part of that.”

The two seniors have been working on the debate club and it is set to go into full swing soon.

“I’m excited for our middle schoolers to have the opportunity to get involved in debate. Not only will they benefit from the debate skills that they learn, but having an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with high school students is priceless,” Novicke said. “Several of my GT students from my first and seventh period have joined. They met last week on Thursday and will start meeting every Wednesday at the high school from 4:20 to 5:15. They are looking forward to working with high school students and learning more about debate and the debate competitions.”

Flessner and Kalinke hope their club will be continue for years to come as others pick up the legacy torch and keep it lit.

“[Our goal] is just to start something seniors can keep going on,” Kalinke said. “Our goal next year is for someone to take it up as their senior project and year and year after that so there’s always a senior to [go to] the middle school every year and [run] this club.”