Success for Mayfield Junior School Debate Team

It was a week of intense after school practice sessions – making for very long days for our MJS Debate team – but it paid off as the team achieved second place overall at the Middle School Public Debate Program Invitational Tournament held Monday, January 16 at Harvard-Westlake. Team members Grace Fadden ’18, Elliot Eaton ’17 and Ryan McBride ’18, led the way, going undefeated for the day and placing 2nd as a team. Ryan McBride placed 6th individually in a field of about 150 debaters.

The tournament featured top teams from schools all over the Los Angeles area. Our debaters successfully argued both sides of two topics: Public schools should not have regularly assigned school resource officers on campus and California should adopt universal preschool.

Each year the team competes in six to eight tournaments. This is our third year competing in the Middle School Public Debate forum. Our league is the Rancho California Debate League, which includes Pasadena area independent schools plus two public schools in Duarte. Former MJS Debate team member, Lily Maechling ’15 joined the program as an assistant coach this year. Her experience has been an asset to the team.

Debate Coach and MJS faculty member, Jason Wolfe was particularly proud of the team’s performance. “What makes tournaments like these so challenging is they feature a lot of schools that don’t end in middle school. I’ve seen that typically the schools that go through grades 12 have stronger debate programs because their middle school students can regularly spar with the high school students. So in a sense, we punched above our weight here.”

Mayfield Junior School, 405 South Euclid Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 796-2774 or visit




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