March 27, 2019
When it comes to high school debate competition, there is little to debate: Pflugerville ISD teams are among the best in Texas.
Teams representing Connally, Hendrickson and Pflugerville high schools advanced to the 109th Annual UIL State Cross Examination Debate Meet March 22-23 at the University of Texas at Austin.
Hendrickson High School captured its fifth title in policy debate at the event. Hendrickson’s team of Alejandro Castaneda and Mahnoor Faheem outlasted the competition in the Class 6A division to take top honors this year.
Connally’s team of Sarah Raymond and Andrew Wissman were joined by Pflugerville High School’s Coltrane Drexler and Joseph Garza in the top 10 teams of the Class 5A contest. David Persons serves as Connally Debate director; Ron Hester is PHS Debate director.
Castaneda and Faheem were joined in the 6A finals by Hendrickson classmates Trey Gutierrez and Dylan Scott, who together won the 6A policy debate title last year. Gutierrez and Scott captured silver this year, with Scott receiving the tournament Golden Gavel award as the top speaker in Class 6A.
Hendrickson Speech and Debate, led by directors Aly Mithani and Kirsten Nash, previously won state policy debate titles in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Policy debate competition consists of two-person teams whose members debate each other. Debate is done throughout the school year, with U.S. immigration policy this year’s topic.