Over the last three decades, the Greenhill Debate Team has amassed a level of success on the state, regional and national levels that is virtually unparalleled. Under the steadfast leadership of Aaron Timmons, Jr. (Director of Debate) and Dr. Allie Chase (Associate Director of Debate), the program continues to grow and even surpass the accomplishments of previous seasons.
“Speech and debate challenge the way students think. It gives them skills that they will use throughout their lives: critical thinking, critical listening, researching both sides of an argument, distilling information quickly, collaboration, teamwork, and public speaking. These skills are essential for members of an increasingly polarized, global, and interconnected world," said Timmons.

Team Members

Name Class
Karrington Barnett 12
Carcyn Coleman 12
Shreeya Madhavanur 12
Sophia Mohamed 12
Emma Nguyen 12
Madison Rojas 12
Christopher Row 12
Spencer Simon 12
Ivy Stitt 12
Nikitha Thoduguli 12
Jaden Watt 12
Kaden Alibhai 11
Abeera Amer 11
Reyna Diamond 11
Emily Hu 11
Pranav Joshi 11
Angela Kamgang 11
Adam Kesselman 11
Seth Lee 11
Sophia Li 11
Anika Mootha 11
Ayne Park 11
Dibyadeep Saha 11
Pooja Sanghvi 11
Natalie Stachowiak 11
Jeannette Yang 11
Lilliana Alston 10
Neha Bachu 10
Saida Bidiwala 10
Jonaki Bose 10
Gautam Chamarthy 10
Prabath Girish 10
Fernando Gupta 10
Lucas Jakubanin 10
Evie Kwei 10
Varun Mukund 10
Olivia Ortley-Gragg 10
Ella Ou-Yang 10
Zara Paul 10
Pranav Sreenivas 10
Aditi Vikram 10
Harris Xie 10
Sherry Zhang 10
Nora Ahern 9
Michael Ahn 9
Iliyan Ali 9
Tara Alim 9
Isabel Bhatia 9
Dhiya Hemchand 9
Maya Jagsi 9
Sarah Koshy 9
Aaron Kuang 9
Rory Liu 9
Lily Marshall 9
Dylan Millimet 9
Soyam Mohammed 9
Aytan Monet 9
Quaid Oza 9
(Left to right): Allie Chase, Ph.D. (Associate Debate & Speech Coach) and Aaron Timmons, Jr. (Director of Debate)
If you are interested in learning more about our Debate program, please contact Mr. Timmons.

Policy Debate

The Policy topic shall be the current national question. Each student and their partner will debate both sides of an interesting and controversial proposition for the entire season, which includes constructive argument, cross examination, and refutation. Skills students will learn include research, policy analysis, case construction, refutation, questioning, organization, and communication.

Lincoln Douglas Debate

This style of debating features one person on each side. Propositions of value are debated with the emphasis on developing logical argumentation. Students will learn values analysis, argumentation skills, sound and ethical uses of persuasion, and clear audience centered communication. Students will have the opportunity to debate several topics during the school year.

World Schools Debate

World Schools Debating Championship debates use a special format known as "World Schools Style Debating." This is a combination of the British Parliamentary and Australian formats. Each debate comprises a total of eight speeches delivered by two three-member teams (the Proposition and the Opposition). Each speaker delivers an eight-minute speech; then both teams deliver a "reply speech" lasting four minutes, with the last word being reserved for the Proposition. Between the end of the first and the beginning of the last minute of an eight-minute speech, the opposing party may offer "points of information." The speaker may refuse these but should take at least one or two points during his or her speech.



Frequently Asked Questions

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Can students do Introduction to Debate in the first semester and then switch to Intermediate or Advanced Debate in the second semester?

    No. The Introduction to Debate class in the second semester builds on things from the first semester and is not a repetition of content from the first semester.
  • Q. What courses are offered in Speech & Debate?

    Middle School
    Communication in the 21st Century - 6th Grade (Semester 1, 2)
    The one quarter course for middle school students is designed to develop and enhance student’s oral communication skills. The course serves as introduction and overview of the variety of communication methods used in the 21st century. Emphasis is on basic communication processes, listening skills, delivery techniques, organization and research techniques, utilization of technology, media evaluation and public speaking. A variety of technological skills will be developed and utilized to enhance student presentation skills. Goals of the course include the fostering of confidence, poise, self-esteem, and enhancing critical thinking.
    Introduction to Debate - 7th and 8th (Semester 1, 2)
    This one semester course for 7th and/or 8th grade middle school students is designed to allow students to develop, and demonstrate, proficiency in research, refutation, best practices in the construction of arguments, analyzing effective modes of persuasion, and group work necessary to succeed in debating. The course will examine Lincoln Douglas Debate, Policy Debate and World Schools Debate. This course does not have a prerequisite and may be taken by any 7th or 8th grade student. The first month of the course will be spent learning the basics of all three formats of debate. If students have a preferred format, instructor/instructors will work with them primarily in that format.
    Debate II - 7th and 8th (Semester 1, 2)
    This class is for students who are seriously considering Debate as an option in Upper School. We engage in a quick paced examination of competitive debate and focus on issues such as topic analysis, delivery, organization, research, and debates in class on a variety of issues. We focus on both team debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate formats in class. The goal is also to have a year-end in-class tournament and potential local area competitions.
    Advanced Debate - 7th or 8th - (Semester 1, 2)
    After completing this course, students will be comfortable with all dimensions of competitive debate. Building on the foundation established in the Debate I and/or Debate II course(s), this class will emphasize participation in formal debates and will require participation in at least one tournament (there are 4-5 tournament opportunities during the semester). This course will review the basics and introduce advanced forms of argumentation, research, evidence comparison, cost-benefit analysis, note-taking, audience adaptation and best practices in contemporary Debate theory. Student will focus on either Lincoln Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, or World Schools Debate. While debate is competitive in nature, students will never be graded on wins or losses. Grades will be earned based on student research, class participation, argument development, and the collaborative work done to create and prepare cases to put themselves in the best position to excel competitively in extra/co-curricular tournaments. Prerequisites for this class includes taking Debate I and II. With permission of the Debate instructors, make take Advanced Debate after taking either Debate 1 or Debate 2.
    Upper School
    Introduction to Debate - (Semester 1, 2)
    Introduction to Debate is a one-semester entry level course for students who are new to Greenhill School, have limited Middle School debating experience, or have never debated before. This course surveys the formats of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, and World Schools Debate over the semester. Students learn portable skills such as best practices in public speaking and critical thinking; learning to develop, defend, and respond to well-reasoned arguments; enhanced research skills; and collaboration and teamwork. Together these skills build a foundation for effective argumentation and advocacy, vital skills needed in an ever-changing world. Students should take this course in the first semester as the curriculum in the second semester builds on the concepts learned in the first semester. Students are encouraged to compete in interscholastic competitions throughout the Metroplex. Most students in this class are 9th graders, but any student who chooses to explore Debate could enroll in the class.
    Intermediate Debate - (Semester 1, 2)
    This course builds upon the principles of Introduction to Debate by emphasizing the research component of argumentation, in addition to building on skills such as effective writing of arguments as well as enhancing delivery techniques to persuade audiences and judges in interscholastic competitions. Students, typically sophomores, take this course after taking Introduction to Debate, but any student who has the written permission of the instructor may take this course. Students in this class primarily focus on Policy Debate. Students in Intermediate Debate are required to attend a minimum of three interscholastic competitions per semester.
    Advanced Debate - (Semester 1, 2)
    This course, intended for students active in interscholastic competition, covers advanced concepts in Policy Debate. Each year the course material changes to correspond to the National High School Debate Resolution. This course may be repeated for credit.
    Lincoln-Douglas Debate/World Schools Debate (Semester 1, 2)
    This course examines the practice of contemporary Lincoln-Douglas and World Schools Debate by engaging in a study of the philosophical foundations of many of the major societal issues of the day. The course introduces students to argumentation, persuasion theory, research, and strategy necessary to participate in interscholastic debate. The course may be repeated for credit. The minimum participation requirement for successful completion of this course is three tournaments per semester. Students of all grade levels may take this course with the approval of the Director of Debate.
    Tutorial in Advanced Forensics - (Semester 1, 2)
    One-semester tutorials are available to advanced debate and forensic students in the Upper School. Topics are to be jointly proposed in writing by the student and instructor and must be approved by the Director of Debate and the Head of the Upper School.
  • Q. Are the classes during the school day or after school?

    Introduction to Debate and Intermediate Debate are during the day. Advanced Debate and Lincoln Douglas Debate/World Schools Debate are in the afternoon, typically every other day.
  • Q. Do students need experience to be in the Introduction to Debate class?

    No! We encourage all students to try Debate regardless of previous experience. Any student coming from another school that has prior experience should discuss with Mr. Timmons, Dr. Chase, or Mr. Powell about which course would be best suited to their experience level.
  • Q. Is there a preference of which semester a student should take the course?

    Taking Introduction to Debate in the first semester is STRONGLY preferred. In the second semester we build on material learned in the first semester. If starting in the second semester is the only viable option, we will allow it, but it is not the preferable option.
  • Q. Can first year students choose to jump to Intermediate or Advanced Debate?

    No. Any exception made would have to be approved by the Director of Debate.
  • Q. Should a student do Introduction to Debate in the first semester and Intermediate in the second semester?

    No. The second semester of the Introduction to Debate course builds on things learned in the first semester. Intermediate Debate is a course designed for a student's second year in Policy Debate most typically.
  • Q. Are students required to compete in tournaments if they are in the class?

    They are encouraged, although not required, to compete in the Introduction to Debate class. Students in any other class are required to compete.
  • Q. Can a student do sports, Band/Orchestra/Choir, robotics, etc, and Debate at the same time?

    Yes. While is does require communication between all parties (families, students, and coaches), we have had students compete in Speech and Debate and a variety of activities. Students and families should be realistic about the time commitment required to excel in multiple activities, but students have done it for decades.
  • Q. I am interested in Debate, yet I have no clue in suggesting which course to take. What should I do?

    Those students/families should speak with Mr. Timmons, Dr. Chase, or Mr. Powell to have a discussion on the format of Debate that works best for them based on interest, learning styles, debating alone or with partners, etc.
  • Q. Should a rising ninth grader wait until later in their Upper School career to take Debate or should they try in the first semester of Upper School?

    While possible, we highly discourage that option. Debate, like many other activities, requires repetitions and if a student begins in the second semester, they will be behind other students in content, in addition to tournament opportunities. If beginning in the second semester is something that cannot be avoided, we welcome all who want to enroll.

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