Through the combined and persistent efforts of Irvington’s Debate Team and Fremont Debate Academy, Horner Debate Club was reinstated under the Horner PTA.
Near the end of the 2014-15 school year, former Horner Debate advisor, Ms. Caine, was forced to step down due to personal commitments, leaving Horner’s debate team unable to continue without an advisor. Irvington’s debaters, who also mentored for Horner Debate, attempted to reinstate the club. However, efforts throughout the 2015-16 school year to bring back Horner Debate were not approved by Horner’s new administration and lacked support from Horner’s faculty.
Under the tutelage of Fremont Debate Academy, an incorporated nonprofit that teaches debate at the elementary schools throughout the FUSD, students had the opportunity to participate in tournaments and further honed their craft in Horner’s debate team. Hoping to continue this pattern, Fremont Debate Academy’s surrounding community worked to reinstitute Horner’s Debate Club.
Fremont Debate Academy invited FUSD superintendent Dr. Morris to their interschool tournaments, demonstrating the vital purpose and benefits of debate; impressed, Morris joined their efforts to bring back Horner Debate. Having obtained official backing of the FUSD and rallying parents, several meetings were held with Horner’s administration to devise a solution. As Horner was unable to provide a faculty advisor, Fremont Debate Academy would run Horner Debate Club independently under the PTA.
“I came to realize that if passionate people come together to solve a grave issue, anything is possible, even if it is something that requires you to combat an established administration.” said debate club president senior Rishabh Meswani.
Run under the PTA, Horner Debate Club has emerged stronger and made the transition from elementary to junior high level debate smoother.