During the 2016-2017 season, Lexington Debate attended 35 tournaments across the country in the Policy, Lincoln Douglas, and Public Forum divisions. We won 19 divisions outright across those 35 tournaments. That is an incredibly high winning percentage. Many strong schools with national reputations are lucky to win 5 tournaments over the course of a year. At our count, the school with the next most tournament wins in Massachusetts had 8. To the best of our knowledge (it's hard to track local tournaments in rural areas), Lexington Debate won more tournaments last year
than any school in the country. At States, Lexington brought students to compete in Novice/Varsity Policy, Novice/Varsity Lincoln Douglas, and Varsity Public Forum. In those 5 divisions, Lexington brought 13 of the 20 entries who finished as semifinalists or better in Massachusetts. We ended up winning Novice Policy, Varsity Policy, and Varsity Lincoln Douglas. We also won the States Sweepstakes award, extending our winning streak to
Our success doesn't end at winning ballots. Speaker awards are a second metric of performance, determined by points given at the end of each round by the judge. They are summed over the course of a tournament and outliers are removed before naming speaker award recipients. Our students won top speaker 13 times last year, including at the National Debate Coaches Association National Championship Tournament in the Public Forum division and in three divisions at the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League State Championships. Our students won second speaker another 13 times. Across all tournaments in the 2016-17 season, Lexington Debaters were in the top 10 speakers of their division 153 times.
This means that on balance, 4.4 Lexington students were in the top 10 speakers at every tournament we attended. We should humanize that statistic a little; there are multiple divisions at some tournaments where we compete
(Novice or Varsity Policy, Lincoln Douglas, or Public Forum); in fact, there were 90 divisions of competition in total across last season's tournaments. That still means that in every division where we compete, you could expect Lexington Debate to take 1.7 of the top 10 spots. And on every bus home, over 4 students came back with top 10 speaker trophies. What's important about Lexington Debate, however, is not its material success. Yes, we have a history of strong performance, and that is a compelling reason to place your child in our trust. However, what is most impressive about our team is our collaboration and spirit. The achievements we earn year after year would not mean as much if the
experience were all grueling work without joy. And there is work, and sometimes it does feel like a lot. But the friendships developed, the memories made, and the battles won are worth it. We help each other out to ease the burden of work, which makes it all the more satisfying to see your teammate win on an argument you helped them prepare. Lexington Debate has a built-in mentorship program that guarantees any instructor at the Institute will have had at least three years of substantial experience in argumentative and strategic guidance.
Though the Lexington Debate Institute is not directly linked to the Lexington Debate Team (and participation in the Institute does not guarantee a spot in the high school class), the spirit of Lexington Debate is alive and well in the Lexington Debate Institute. That's why Backers of Lexington Debate, the parent volunteer organization that financially supports the Lexington Debate Team, endorses and runs the Lexington Debate Institute. We will bring the essence of Lexington Debate, and the success and good spirit tethered to its name, to middle school students in a way that no other program can.