Ms. Gregg and Ms. Zhuge are the teacher coaches for the Debate Team.

In 2017, we had 20-30 members.
Read below about our various events reported on this year.


Posted Apr 24, 2017:

SEM Debate Goes to Nationals in Chicago!

Congratulations to all of our students who placed and good luck at State!

This weekend the team of Sophie Rahman and Olivia Northcutt-Wyly attended the Urban Debate National Championships in Chicago. This is the first time that SEM has qualified, and Sophie and Olivia qualified by placing second at the varsity city championship in Dallas.

This weekend was a success! We flew out on Friday morning and spent the afternoon exploring Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile. Attached is a photo of the debaters with our friends from Woodrow Wilson High School on Navy Pier. We returned late last night.

Sophie and Olivia were the youngest team at the entire tournament, and did quite well considering this. They won 3 of their 6 debates, beating teams of seniors from Rhode Island and Memphis. I'm extremely proud of them - they really rose to the challenge and even in debates against very experienced, nationally competitive teams, they held their own and represented SEM beautifully.

This Thursday, Sophie will be debating at the Old Parkland in the Mayor's Cup Debate hosted by Mayor Rawlings. She has worked really hard to prepare for this public debate, and I look forward to watching it in the Old Parkland's famous debate forum.

Thank you to everyone that has supported the debate team this year - it was a historic year for SEM debate and I look forward to next season.
Ms Gregg


Posted Mar 7, 2017:

SEM Debate Team Ends Novice/JV Season with Big Win at City Championship

The Novice and Junior Varsity debate team competed this weekend at Bryan Adams at the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance City Championship. Over 180 students were registered to compete. Trophies are on display in the main office.

Please help me congratulate the following students on their success.

Team Awards:
1st place JV - Juan Diaz and Ethan Helfman
2nd place JV - Benjamin Hernandez and Sophie Rahman
4th place JV - Storm Lasseter
3rd place Novice - Leslie Jaramillo and Alejandro Maldonado
5th place Novice - Mariam Joseph and Oziel de la Fuente
Individual Awards:
1st speaker JV - Ethan Helfman
4th speaker JV - Juan Diaz
5th speaker JV - Storm Lasseter
9th speaker JV - Sophie Rahman
8th speak Novice - Oziel de la Fuente
9th speaker Novice - Mariam Joseph

Also competing and finishing with a 2-2 record: Wendy Rodriguez and Renee Merrick.

Rudraksh Garg and Olivia Northcutt-Wyly attended as student coaches/judges. Thank you to assistant coach Ms. Zhuge for attending Friday!

Other exciting debate announcement: Sophie Rahman was selected to participate in the Mayor's Cup public debate in April. Details forthcoming but she was one of 4 students picked from hundreds of DISD debaters after multiple rounds of try-outs.

Next up...UIL state over break and NAUDL nationals in Chicago in April.

Thanks everyone for your continued support of the debate team!
~Mary Gregg


Posted Feb 24, 2017:

Debate Advances to Nationals!

Coaches Ms. Gregg, Ms. Zhuge

SEM places second at the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance Varsity City Championships.:p>

Olivia Northcutt-Wyly and Sophie Rahman qualified for the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues Nationals which is held in Chicago in April.

Storm Lasseter and Rudraksh Garg also had a great tournament, winning 3 of their 5 preliminary debates. They and observer Benjamin Hernandez helped support Olivia and Sophie's run. It really was a team effort!


Posted Feb 14, 2017

Debate Success!

SEM debate had another successful weekend. Friday and Saturday we competed at SMU at the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance Varsity City Championships. We placed second.

Olivia Northcutt-Wyly and Sophie Rahman (pictured to the left) qualified for the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues Nationals, which is held in Chicago this year. They will compete against the city-champions and runners-up from cities from New York to Los Angeles. The tournament is in April.

Storm Lasseter and Rudraksh Garg also had a great tournament, winning 3 of their 5 preliminary debates. They and observer Benjamin Hernandez helped support Olivia and Sophie's run. It really was a team effort!

As far as I know, this is the first time that SEM debate has qualified to nationals. It's particularly impressive because Sophie and Olivia are such young debaters - I can't wait to see what the future has in store for them! Sophie also won 3rd individual speaker, Olivia was 6th.

Next up - Novice and JV city championships on March 3rd and 4th and UIL state over spring break.

Thank you for your continued support of the debate team!
Mary Gregg


Posted Nov. 9, 2016

Debate Winners

SEM debate attended The Diplomacy Tournament at Thomas Jefferson High School where they competed against other DISD schools. Once again, your soaring eagles took home lots of awards! Please help me congratulate the following students:

Novice Team Awards:

  • 12th Leslie Jaramillo and Alejandro Maldonado
  • 10th Saul Correa and Akshay Jaitly
  • 5th Mariam Joseph and Oziel de la Fuente
  • *Honorable mention: Eduardo Heyer teamed up with another student from Trinidad Garza HS because we had an odd number of kids - they went undefeated and would have won first place if they were not disqualified due to being a hybrid team.

JV Team Awards:

  • 3rd Olivia Northcutt-Wyly and Sophie Rahman
  • 2nd Ethan Helfman and Juan Diaz
  • *both teams had an undefeated record, and the top 3 teams' winning tie was broken based on speaker awards.

Novice Individual Speaker Awards:

  • 18th Leslie Jaramillo
  • 13th Renee Merrick (This is her first time competing!)
  • 9th Akshay Jaitly

JV Individual Speaker Awards:

  • 13th Sophie Rahman
  • 8th Ethan Helfmann

We also won 3rd place overall as a school, closing losing out to our friends from Irma Rangel (2nd) and Garza (1st).

What a great weekend for the SEM debate eagles! Special thank you to Ms. Zhuge for assistant coaching and Storm Lasseter for judging debates and helping coach the younger debaters. Attached is a photo with the new hardware - the trophies are on display in the office.

Last stop - fall city championships next month - hoping to keep this momentum going!
~Ms Gregg


Posted Oct. 10, 2017

Debate Lead Sponsor- Mary Gregg
Assistant Sponsor- William Moore
Volunteer Judge/ Novice Coach -Storm Lasseter (Student)

Please help me congratulate the following students on their success at our first debate tournament of the season, hosted at Thomas Jefferson High School. Over 200 DISD students competed on October 1. We brought a team of 12 students and competed in the novice and junior varsity divisions.

Novice Awards:

  • 3rd place team: Leslie Jaramillo and Saul Correa

JV Awards:

  • 2nd place team: Olivia Northcutt-Wyly and Sophie Rahman. Olivia is actually a first year debater competing in JV (usually they compete in novice) so this is a HUGE accomplishment!!
  • 3rd place individual speaker: Ethan Helfman
  • 5th place team: Juan Diaz and Ethan Helfman
  • 10th place team: Benjamin Hernandez and Tomisin Ogunfunmi

Next up is our second tournament on November 5th! The trophies from Tournament 1 are on display in the main office.