LSE’s First Congressional Speech and Debate Tournament

An Exciting Achievement for Lotus


LSE’s Speech and Debate Team

The first Congressional Speech and Debate tournament was hosted at Lotus School for Excellence on October 27, 2022. The school opened its doors to Strive Prep Smart and Denver East High School.

Lotus has never hosted a congressional debate tournament, with students always traveling to other schools to compete. This is because Speech and Debate was only made an official sport at our school last year. Previously, it had been held as a club. Being designated as a Lotus sport means that they are a part of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), an association that manages all high school activities in Colorado. 

The event went according to schedule. Once students arrived, they were taken to their assigned chambers where they were addressed as representatives and debated on bills such as expanding the Supreme Court, combating Chinese imperialism in Africa, resolution for Yemen, etc. All students who participated did an amazing job defending their positions. Kairine Brown, novice debater from Denver East High School, described her experience saying, “It was really fun, this is my second congressional debate and the people who were in my room had a lot of really good things to say.”

After the second round of debating was over, all debaters, judges, coaches, and volunteers were taken to the secondary gym, where the rankings of each chamber were announced. Novices from our schools ranked as follows: 5th place: Claudia Ampate; 4th place: Sundus Osma and Melgen Burciaga; 3rd place: Amira Hussein and Rediet Mamo; and 2nd place: Newal Nasir. In Varsity Debate, Eden Yimam ranked first.

Moments from LSE’s first Speech and Debate Tournament hosted at our school. (Milko Sado)

Not only did the Lotus team excel in the competition, but we also made a great impression on students from other schools who were visiting.

“I really like the diversity that Lotus has. Also, from what I have seen, they [students] are all friendly, and they seem to care about the people here and around,” said Nayeli Sanchez, novice debater from Strive Prep Smart.

Kairine Brown, novice debater from Denver East High School, said, “The outside was really pretty, and it was really cool. The people that I’ve met here were great, really smart, and really fun to talk to.”

Coach Martin (Kimrose Bassra)

Both Ms. Martin and Ms. Matthews, the coaches of the team, hope to be able to not only host another Congressional Debate Tournament, but to host an all day tournament.

Ms. Matthews hard at work coordinating.

Ms. Martin said, “Ms. Matthews and I have a lot of ambitions to host more Congressional Debate tournaments. We’d also love to host an all day multi-event tournament. One of our goals next year, is to host another congress and make that a part of our season each year.”

“The goal is not only to host another congressional debate tournament, we are going to host a full-on debate tournament where it is speech events and debate events,” Ms. Matthews added. 

Speech and Debate captains Esra Hima and Handakina Tsegaye both said they initially felt nervous the day of the tournament, but now feel pride and contentment with how things went. The presidents also said that both LSE debaters and visitors did a great job.

Overall, this tournament opened many doors not only for the Speech and Debate team, but also for Lotus. With more tournaments being hosted by Lotus, future generations of debaters attending Lotus will have more opportunities to pursue this sport.


See the gallery below to read what Lotus debaters had to say about this experience.