Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Elite debaters

Left to right, the elite East Mountain High debate team – Hannah Linder, Gina Sanchez, Tiffany Delgado (Courtesy Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Members of an elite student debate team from East Mountain High School will soon pack their bags for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to compete as national finalists in a global debate competition April 21 for a grand prize of $10,000.

The team Hannah Linder, Gina Sanchez and Tiffany Delgado advanced to the “Elite 8” round of the International Public Policy Forum, a contest sponsored by the Brewer Foundation / New York University.

“I’m excited to return to this level of the competition,” Sanchez said. “When I competed in the New York rounds as a sophomore, I learned so much. Now as a senior, I feel significantly more prepared to advance even further in the competition!”

Added East High debate coach Trey Smith “These students have completed hundreds of hours of research and writing to get to this point. I’m glad their dedication has paid off.”bright spot

The finals will take place at The Harold Pratt House in New York City. The East Mountain High team is one of eight — representing schools from five U.S. states and three countries: Slovakia, China, and Taiwan — competing for the right to be named the “IPPF World Champion” and a $10,000 grand prize.

“These students have earned an opportunity to compete in an advocacy forum unlike any other — the IPPF Finals,” said William A. Brewer III, chairman of the Brewer Foundation and founder of the IPPF, in a statement .

East Mountain High debate team coach Trey Smith

This year’s program began with 158 teams representing high schools in 14 countries and 30 U.S. states submitting qualifying round essays on the topic, “Resolved: International climate accords for greenhouse gas emissions should adopt binding enforcement mechanisms.” The essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.

In November, the “Round of 64” teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email for the next six weeks. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. The next two rounds also took place in written form.

The “Elite 8” teams are: East Mountain High School from Sandia Park; The Davidson Academy of Nevada from Reno, Nev.; Westfield Academy from West Hartford, Conn.; Concordia International School Shanghai from Shanghai, China; Taipei American School from Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China); William Mason High School from Mason, Ohio; Stuyvesant High School from New York, New York; LEAF Academy from Bratislava, Slovakia.

To read more, visit

To read about East Mountain High, visit