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SBS Student Earns Spot at World Debate Championship

DebateChampsNewsStoneleigh-Burnham student Clara Swartzentruber ’16 of Greenfield has earned a seat on the U.S. team at the World Debating and Public Speaking Championship. Swartzentruber was the overall winner at the first competition of the season, held at Stoneleigh-Burnham School on October 4, earning her the slot on the U.S. team at Worlds in March 2016.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School also won the tournament overall as a team, with The Hotchkiss School taking 2nd, and Choate Rosemary Hall placing 3rd, and swept Interpretive Reading with individuals placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in that category.

The SBS team included Swartzenruber, Claire Lane ’16, Victoria Subritzy Katz ’17, Charlotte Minsky ’16, and Harper Watson ’16.

“This is the first time a Stoneleigh-Burnham student has won Top Speaker at the home tournament, even though our team has won the event in the past,” Dr. Paul Bassett, head coach of the SBS Debate and Public Speaking Society, said. “While this is the third year in a row SBS has won this tournament as a team, this is the first time one of our students has earned a spot at the World Championship at this first event of the season.”

Dr. Bassett added, “We would not have won the event if all members of the team had not done as well as they did.”

Swartzentruber also placed 2nd in Interpretive Reading, 1st in Impromptu Speaking, and 1st in After-Dinner Speaking.

Lane placed 1st in Interpretive Reading.

Subritzky Katz placed 3rd in Interpretive Reading and 3rd in After-Dinner Speaking.

Forty speakers from nine schools participated in the Stoneleigh-Burnham Public Speaking Tournament.

To learn more about Debate or other signature programs at SBS, attend our next Open House. For more information, visit