Boston Debate League

GBH Highlights the BDL

May 2, 2022 | By Sara Gill

A peek inside City Finals and the BDL Community

GBH reporter James Bennett II joined us as a volunteer judge at the City Finals in March, and wrote about his experience judging and his conversations with BDL debaters, coaches, and staff.

As Bennett writes, “The end of March coincided with the end of Boston Debate League’s 2021-2022 season, its first featuring in-person competition since the pandemic forced it into the digital ether. It also saw the reappearance of in-person volunteer adjudicators, who are trained on the spot before taking their place upon the judgment seat, and then in the quiet of a library to complete their ballots, determine points and winners, and render their decisions.

That’s how I found myself in a cab on a Friday afternoon headed to Boston Latin Academy. Bounding up the school’s Old World stairs two at a time, I made my way to the library and checked in as a visitor to sit among a smattering of adults, varying in temperaments from nervous to genuinely curious to hype. We were all there to judge middle schoolers in a debate tournament, and we were all volunteers.”

Read the full article here.

“Talk to enough middle and high schoolers and you realize that this is a community; debate kids, like band kids and theater kids, occupy their own social space.”
– James Bennett II, GBH Reporter

Kelly Cody, Senior Volunteer Manager, joined BDL in 2021
Joshua Nixon, ASD and Resolved Program Manager, joined BDL in
Douglas Matute
Douglas Matute, Program Manager for Debate en Español, joined BDL in 2022
Ranner Faugas, Assistant Director of After-School Debate, joined BDL in
Roger Nix, Assistant Director of After School Debate, joined BDL in
Carlos Monteiro, Instructional Coach for DI Classrooms, joined BDL in
Sarah Mayper, Senior Instructional Coach for DI Classrooms, joined BDL in
Marisa Suescun, Director of Programs, joined BDL in 2013
Kimberly Bartlett-Ra, Director of Operations, joined BDL in
Kim Willingham, Executive Director of the Boston Debate League , joined BDL in
Jackney Prioly Joseph, Director of External Affairs, joined BDL in September 2020. Jackney leads our efforts to engage and partner with community and corporate organizations to create a community of support for our students. She previously served as Director of College and Career Readiness at the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. She has diverse leadership experience in education, nonprofits, and city government where she served under Mayor Thomas M. Menino and former City Councilor, now Congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley. A Bryn Mawr and Posse Foundation alum identified for her extraordinary leadership, Jackney works to secure partnerships that will tap and sharpen the leadership skills of our program participants.