Coaching Spotlight #1, Mr. Wanninger


Charlie Anderson

  1. Were you in a debate club in high school?

I was on the debate team for a while in high school, but it was a different format than we have at LFHS.  I was involved in Lincoln-Douglas debate, whereas here we do Congressional Debate. But because I was also involved in the speech team, the drama club, and the newspaper in high school, I stopped doing debate since I had no time.

  1. What inspired you to become the one of the two main teacher leaders of the Debate Club?

Mrs. Clark and I are both the coaches now, but she is the one who inspired me.  She was the head coach and needed an assistant coach, and she asked me to join her.  We make a great team, and so after a few years, we became co-coaches.

  1. Do you remember your first time moderating for the Debate Club at LFHS?

When I went to my first meeting of the Debate Team back in 2010, I didn’t know any of the students on the team — I only knew Mrs. Clark.  But immediately I was impressed with the passion, intelligence, and dedication of the team members.

  1. What are your expectations for the upcoming season?

We are going to have a great season.  In addition to our excellent team president, Patrick Corrigan and the outstanding officers we have, we have a smart and eager group of new students.  I really feel great about our prospects this year.

  1. Any hard working debate students that you would like to shout out?

I don’t want to single anyone out here.  So far the team is working very well together.

  1. With the group you have this year who do you think will step up as leaders of the team?

We have some great sophomore officers like Jack Anderson and Maury Harty who are already proving their leadership skills, and some of the new freshmen also show a lot of great potential.  

  1. What is your favorite part of leading this team?

I love the fact that I get to work with dedicated students who care about the world.  These students are engaged in the way the government works, and I love to see that kind of passion.

  1. What is your favorite memory about the debate team?

Every year our trip to Washington, D.C., is memorable, and I love seeing all the sights of D.C. with students who are so interested in government.

  1. What was one of the funniest moments that has happened in this club?

Last year in D.C., we walked over to the White House, where people are always protesting various things.  A group of students and I were having a conversation with a woman who was talking about the bad things the government had done when it suddenly became very clear that she was a full-on crazy person.  She started talking about various conspiracy theories, including something about aliens, and we knew we picked the wrong protestor to talk to.

  1. Why should more people be interested in Debate?

Everyone should be interested in current events, and politics is about the mechanisms of those current events.  And debate teaches critical thinking, logical reasoning, and good public speaking. People can find their voice through debate.

  1. In five words describe the experience a student would get if they were to join the team.

Fun, interesting, intellectual, relevant, and challenging.