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We are excited to announce that OSM will continue its tradition of offering debate as an extracurricular activity. As part of the Illinois Middle School Debate League, OSM has had an incredibly successful debate program since inception, and we expect to continue the winning tradition this year! OSM routinely finishes at the top of the league in both medals and speaker awards.

Who can participate?

Debate is open to all students in grades 5th – 8th.

Benefits of Debate

Debate sharpens a student’s ability to research and analyze problems, think, and listen critically, express thoughts clearly and fluently, and better understand public affairs. The skills learned in debate supplement classroom learning and are applicable to all aspects of education.


Debate Coaches & Sponsors

Christian Kline, an Illinois attorney, is our Debate coach. He has been involved in debate for decades and joined OSM in 2022.


Nandita Manglavil is a parent volunteer and sponsor for debate and will be coordinating debate correspondence this year. Nandita is the mother of Matty Manglavil (7th grade), who is a Varsity debater and Maya Manglavil (5th grade) who will be a novice debater this year. We will also have other parent sponsors/volunteers providing support for the program throughout the year.


Kate Kozlowski is an OSM graduate, a Sophomore at Walter Payton and a champion debater. Kate was one of the coaches at debate camp this year and is sharing her knowledge and passion with the novices.


Practices and Tournaments 

Practices will be at OSM on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15pm – 5:00pm beginning Tuesday, September 5th. Debate runs from September through March. There are four tournaments throughout the school year, plus a state championship (invitation only) in March/April (TBD). Most of the debates are in person and some maybe virtual. There will be plenty of support from coaches, volunteers, and current debaters whether tournaments are virtual or in person.


Tournament Information 

T1 October 21st @Sacred Heart

T2 December 9th @ online

T3 January 20th @ Avery Coonley

T4 March 9th @ online

State Championship in April – TBD online (by invite only)


Tournament Check In is at 8:00am, and the tournaments typically end at approximately 4:00pm. Debaters, particularly our novice debaters, will have access to the coaches and each other to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the debate. Debaters should bring lunch and have snacks and hydration for the day.


An email will be sent out approximately two weeks prior to each tournament to confirm attendance. Please respond promptly to the email so that OSM can properly register our debate teams. Debate tournaments are conducted with teams of two debaters, so it is important that debaters know if their respective debate partners plan to attend the tournament in case debaters need to be assigned different debate partners for a particular tournament.


We look forward to working with your debaters!


Debate Topic 

The topic this year is, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.” The debaters will present plans regarding Green New Deal Jobs Guarantee, Universal Basic Income, Social Security, with Disadvantages (DA’s) Economy, IRS Trade-Off, and Social Safety Net.


Debaters will learn to argue both the affirmative and negative for each plan. In past years, the students have debated Cyber security, Water Resources, Criminal Justice Reform, International Arm Sales, and Immigration, etc.

Student Expectations

  1. Show up on time, prepared and ready to learn at practice sessions. Debate practice is not the time to do homework or socialize.

  2. Have all necessary items for debate – debate box with core files filed, notebook for notes, highlighters, two different colors of pen and post-its.

  3. Do homework as assigned by the coaching staff – this will include learning debate rules, speaker responsibilities, flowing the debate, learning the Core Files and participating in practice rounds.

  4. Either choose or be assigned a partner and work well with your partner.

  5. Regularly check email for announcements and practice assignments.

  6. Attend all tournaments, if available. Consider the impact to your partner and the team if you miss a tournament. Confirm your attendance two weeks prior to the tournament.


Check out this video, you will see him giving a broad overview of debate to our novices. Click here to view video. Feel free to watch and gain a better understanding of what our Knights are doing as part of debate here at OSM.

For More Information 

Please feel free to contact:
Christian Kline (,

Nandita Manglavil (,

Click here for the Student Created flyer.

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