Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958
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Debaters Make Finals, Medal Round at Fairchild Challenge

The Columbus Debaters competed in the 17th Annual Fairchild Challenge Debates.

We had four students competing on two teams against 26 schools throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County. The format of this event is the two-person debating style known as British Parliamentary Debate. After preliminary seeding rounds took place, the Columbus teams entered into the third round of debate as the first and sixth overall seeds out of 46 teams.
Both Columbus teams advanced to the semi-final round of competition. Leading the way for the Explorers, the team of Andrew Castro and Javier Hidalgo-Gato won their semi-final round and advanced into the final round as the overall top seed of the tournament! Meanwhile the team of Albert Sanchez and Marcel Van Hemert, ended their great run in the semifinals. Castro and Hidalgo-Gato debated the final round of competition in front of an audience of about 150 teachers, students, and Fairchild staff inside the Garden House.
In finals, the boys faced great competitors from Coral Reef, North Broward Prep, and Mater Academy Lakes. The students debated the topic: This house supports renewal of FPL's operating license of the Turkey Point Power Plant for an additional 20 years., In front of Miami Herald reporters, educators, parents, and Garden guests alike, the boys gave some great speeches supporting Miami's investment into nuclear energy.
After the judge deliberation, our boys earned silver medals and finished in 2nd place of the entire debates slightly missing out to Coral Reef, the tournament winners. This is only the second time in school history (first was in 2009) that we have medaled in the Challenge Debates.

This is the only tournament of its kind where students get a chance to debate outside in a botanical garden discussing local environmental issues that affect the students. Below are the rest of the topics debated yesterday: 
  • This house will permit the United States to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • This house shall pass SB 172, a bill preventing local governments from regulating sunscreen sales.
  • This house will end federal aid to rebuild in disaster prone areas.
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

Columbus is fully accredited by AdvancEd and a member of the National Catholic Educational Association.