St Mary High School wins police debate competition
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
Three students from St Mary have been hailed as the parish's most convincing young conversationalists after defeating rivals from St Mary Technical High School to win the final of the local police's annual High School's Debate Competition.
St Mary High School's head girl and team captain, Abigale Bradley, Roshane Sorkie and Lincoln Brown collected the winning prize and $5,000 each at the ceremony, which was held last week at the St Mary Anglican Church in Port Maria.
Brown, who was named as the finals' 'Best Debater', told The Gleaner: "I'm elated that we won with the help of my teammates and God. I really think teamwork played a major role in our victory today, because it wouldn't have been possible with just one of us.
"For example, where there were downfalls in my speech, the captain and second speaker would come and help me fix them up, and that was reciprocated throughout the preparations for this debate. Words just can't explain how happy I am."
Bradley noted: "Winning feels excellent because we worked very hard. I honestly think prayer was the main thing that helped us because, as St Mary High School students, we use the strategy of praying before every match, and as our motto guides, 'Faith and Courage,' all the way."
Sorkie, the team's second speaker, said: "I always say that poor preparation brings about failure, so preparation was the key as it helped to guide us and our research along the way. I didn't actually think we were going to win the competition because St Mary Technical High is a very hard team to beat. So we are very proud."
St Mary High's English teacher and debate coach Shelly Ann Reid, who received a day pass to the Couples Tower Isle resort, added: "It's always wonderful to have students being victorious, after having worked so hard. We worked as a team and did our research, but I think we still have some weak areas we need to work on."
Speaking after the final, the safe school coordinator for the St Mary police, Shaunice Bentley-Innis, praised third runners-up Annotto Bay High for helping to make the finals so competitive.
She said: "Debating helps young people to settle their disagreements in a rational manner and this competition is an annual event held by the Community Safety and Security Branch, who go into communities and schools to help build students so that we can have a better, brighter and more productive Jamaica."