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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Life of Competitive Debate Captains: Q&A with co-presidents, Avery Morris and Ana Dollard

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LFHS Debate team co-presidents, seniors Avery Morris and Ana Dollard have been on the team  since their freshman year. Morris was president last year and will be joined this year by Dollard, the new co-president. Morris is also a part of the Model UN leadership team and is a co-president of the LFHS band. Outside of school, she loves volunteering, and hiking, and plans to study public policy in college. Dollard is involved with the LFHS theatre program, and choir group, and enjoys reading and writing stories. 

What are your goals for the debate team this year?

‘We want to make the team stronger, have higher retention rates, and we wanna win. The team is the strongest it has been since we have been on it, so we are feeling very confident that the team will do very well this year. We want this to be the best year in LFHS debate team history. -Dollard

We also want to encourage people to join the team. We meet every Tuesday from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Debate is a place for people who want to gain confidence in their speaking or are already confident in their speaking but want to make their arguments more specific. Debate is a place for people who have any opinions at all about current political matters.  It is really a place for people with ideas who want to make changes.” -Morris

Why did you want to become president?

“I wanted to be president because I was really excited about having a big leadership role on the team. I was already an officer on the team and I felt that I was ready for the next step in leadership. I also felt that being president would help me gain skills like taking initiative, and being a better leader.” -Dollard

What is the most challenging part of being the debate team president?

“The most challenging part is showing up. The debate team is like having a family of 20. When you have a meeting where you feel like you didn’t make a good enough plan and the group wasn’t engaged enough you feel like you have failed your family. The hardest part of the president role is having the responsibility on your shoulders to be exemplary at all times, but with Ana as co-president this year that responsibility will definitely become easier, now that I am sharing half of my work, and the increased collaboration will help produces better ideas.” -Morris

How do you keep the team motivated?

“To keep people motivated we try and provide a positive environment at every meeting. Of course, we are the debate team, naturally, we thrive on competition but we still keep our meetings supportive and motivational. We provide confidence along with constructive criticism. There is lots of laughter at meetings and it is a very positive, motivating environment.” -Dollard

What motivates you to lead the team?

“I love the people on the team, and I love the way in which the team makes me better while I help others to get better as well.” -Morris

“I really want everyone to succeed, everyone is capable of being great, and it’s up to us to help them unlock their potential and become more confident and successful in debate.” -Dollard

Why do you enjoy debate?

“Debate is an art form. It’s something that has completely changed my life. I am writing about debate in my college essays. it has given me incredible skills, grown my confidence, and made me happier.” -Dollard

“I love debate because it has given me a much more complete understanding of the world around me. Understanding different political and governmental issues we have, like tax laws and education reform, is very helpful.” -Morris

What does your future in debate look like?

“I am excited to grow and learn as much as possible. I plan to do debate in college. I am not sure exactly what that will look like or what style of debate I will participate in, but I am definitely going to try and be a part of that.” -Dollard

“I am hoping to study public policies because our debate form at LFHS is congressional debate and we discuss the merits of different policies and then vote pro or con on student written legislation that experience of evaluating legislation will be very helpful.” -Morris

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About the Contributor
Caroline Gerber, Editor-in-Chief
Caroline is very excited to start her second year contributing to The Forest Scout, now as Editor-in-chief! A senior at LFHS, Caroline runs for the girl's track team and is an officer on the debate team. Outside of school, when she’s not with friends and family, Caroline enjoys watching action shows, playing guitar, listening to music, and walking her dog, Jasper.
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