Debate team bids farwell to coaches

Phoebe So, Author

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Palo Alto High School’s Speech and Debate Team looks forward to next year’s season despite the loss of two debate coaches.

Sam King and Nadia Arid, Stanford University graduates, are leaving the debate team to pursue professional careers after four years of service at Paly.

“They leave behind such incredibly important legacy, and as our coaches of the last four years they have really had such a seminal impact on everything about our community,” debate director Jennie Savage said. “One of the things that we do on our team is to raise people in a way, and that means coaches as well. … I’ve watched Sam and Nadia mature as professionals and we’re just thrilled to see them launch into their professional careers.”

King and Arid’s impact on the team stretched beyond just debate strategy, Savage said.

“They [King and Arid] got us in phenomenal shape, not just for every year that they were coaching but for years beyond,” Savage said. “Aside from just teaching the mechanics of debate they set the standard for ethical competition, for integrity, compassion and how we treat one another on the team”

According to Savage, the departure of King and Arid will not negatively affect the debate team. With the remaining three debate coaches, Alex Kennedy, Alex Carter and Matt Delateur, the team hopes to find success at next year’s tournaments.

“They’ve positioned us perfectly as a good leader does, so the leader can leave and the team can continue to grow and function, and they’ve done that perfectly. We’re launched into next year with their legacy and the likes of three phenomenal coaches and I think we’re going to continue to bring it up next year.”