Science Park High School senior, Brianna Aaron, got off to a rocky start this debate season and hit a wall in 3 major tournaments this year. The plateau was unpredictable across the board, even from Brianna. However, despite the setbacks, she remained optimistic: "I just had to get out of that groove in order to bounce back," said Brianna.
She did more than bounce back. After a mental reset, she went on and racked up points at major tournaments to capture the Dukes and Bailey Cup. This award makes her the best Lincoln Douglas debater in the country for the 2017-18 school year. The Dukes and Bailey cup is a highly competitive award given annually by the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA). The prestige leaves little room for error.
Aaron won by 100 points.
"To lose three tournaments at the beginning of the season, it's almost unheard of to actually come back and be awarded the overall season-long excellence award," said NDCA chair Shunta Jordan. "It was a phenomenal feat."
Read more of Brianna's story here.
photo credit: Andrew Miller for NJ Advanced Media