Volunteers Needed For Statewide Debate Tournament In Los Alamos Feb. 26-18


The Los Alamos Middle and High School Speech and debate teams need the community’s help, and the only thing required is a willing ear.

The teams will host a statewide tournament that kicks off at Los Alamos Middle School Thursday, Feb. 26 and a great number of volunteers are needed to help the program run smoothly.

“We have parents who had children in our program come back and judge year after year to support the next generation of students,” Hilltalkers Coach Margo Batha said. “Our current parents are always willing to travel with us, judge, feed us and run countless errands. These parents are extraordinary.”

Los Alamos High School coaches are Margo Batha and Christine Engelbrecht. Los Alamos Middle School coach is Sherri Bublitz and Jemez Mountain Home School coach is Carolyn Connor. They are seeking volunteers to judge or food donations feed visiting coaches and volunteer judges.

Batha sends thanks to her colleagues that allow the work and dedication of the coaches, to appear so seamless. Those supporters include: Los Alamos Middle School Principal Rex Kilburn, who will host their three day tournament; Superintendent Gene Schmidt, Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn and Los Alamos High School bookkeeper Phyllis Tapia.

Sophomore, Aneesh Pawar is no stranger to argumentation and debate. “I like to argue and ask questions and debate is the perfect place to do so,” Pawar said. “I am grateful for the fact that the parents and other adults put in a lot of their time to keep in our club.”

The four coaches are very proud of their students for the time and dedication, not only put into their presentations, but the countless hours they and their parents put forward to accomplish the statewide tournament.

“They are constantly striving for excellence, which inspires me,” Batha said.

The solitary Hawk Talker Coach, Sherri Bublitz is working with LAMS staff to ready the Los Alamos Middle School facility to host some 900 hours of competition, starting next week and covering three days.

Bublitz has hosted sessions for willing volunteers and the coaches insist that training is not required to judge the competition, just the willingness to listen and the love of children.

Bublitz can be reached for questions at 505.663.2426. The competition is 3-9 p.m., Feb. 26 and 27 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Feb 28 at LAMS.