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Paducah Tilghman team in debate and writing competition
l to r: Coach Tina Baker, Lilly Burba, Cassie Arboleda, Will Hancock, Andrew Zaninovich, Sean Blakely, Jacob Holtgrewe

Paducah Tilghman’s Speech and Forensic Team has qualified for the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum Debate which began Wednesday, October 27, 2010. 

The Tilghman debaters qualifying for the international forum are freshmen: Cassie Arboleda; Sean Blakely; Lilly Burba; Will Hancock, Jacob Holgrewe; and Andrew Zaninovich.  They are coached by Tina Baker. 

The first round of the prestigious, annual competition is a 2,800 word qualifying essay and involves students from across the globe.   This year’s resolution is "Resolved: NATO Military Operations in Afghanistan Are Not Justified." It addresses the ongoing military operations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan and requires affirmative and negative teams to focus attention exclusively on the justification of NATO military involvement. 

Based on the written essay, on November 10 the top 32 teams will be announced. Those teams will earn cash awards and advance into a single-elimination, written debate contest. Teams volley papers back and forth over the Internet, with judges reviewing the papers and voting for the winning teams. The top 32 will be narrowed to the Sweet 16 and this process continues until the "Elite Eight" teams emerge. The "Elite Eight" earn all-expenses-paid trips to IPPF Finals Weekend in New York where the oral debates take place. The champion takes home a $10,000 grand prize. 

According to William A. Brewer III, partner at Bickel & Brewer and founder of the IPPF, “After these students have distinguished themselves with their scholarship and written advocacy, they have the opportunity to showcase their oral debate skills on a global stage.”

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