JSA debate victories

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The team readies itself for debate. Photo by Sarah Oberlander.

Recently, six delegates from the Townsend Junior State of America Club (JSA) attended the annual JSA Northeast Spring State Convention 2013, which included debates, mock trials, thought talks, and speeches given by keynote speakers. Sophomore Frank Nicolazzi won his debate regarding the Vatican’s influence and Chapter President Karen Su won the Best Moderator award for the Organizational Block.

Discussing  the conference, sophomore Igor Portnoi said, “In Spring State, we debated about various topics, such as North Korea, the Arab Spring, Taiwan and many more. It was a fun experience and I learned some great debate skills. I hope in the future to attend more conferences and become a better public speaker.”

Townsend Harris’s JSA was recently started by sophomore Karen Su, who hopes to provide young statesmen an open, friendly forum where they can freely express their opinions on a given topic or resolution.

The themes and objectives of the meetings change weekly, but a majority of the debate resolutions are based on current affairs and important policies.

About the club, Karen said, “I encourage both experienced and inexperienced young statesmen to join because JSA is a place where we teach to strengthen our debate skills in order to fight for what we believe in. Although we are still relatively new, we are still finding ways to become active within our community, whether if it’s in the school, neighborhood or city.”

Reflecting on the club’s work, Social Studies teacher and JSA Advisor Mr. Franco Scardino said, “I am so proud of Karen Su and the entire JSA club for resurrecting the school chapter. JSA has always been a club that has drawn some of the most talented, passionate and civic-minded students from our school. I am confident that under Karen’s leadership the club will grow in membership and flourish.”

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