Rosemount High School juniors Lisa Beard and Matt Stefanko were quarterfinalists in the 2011 Minnesota State Debate Tournament held Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota.
Policy debaters Stefanko, making his second straight state tournament appearance, and Beard, in her first trip to state, beat teams from Minneapolis South, St. Paul Como Park, St. Paul Central and Edina in preliminary rounds to qualify for the eight-team quarterfinals. They lost to the eventual state champions from the Blake School.
Beard was previously an octofinalist at the novice state debate championships and a quarterfinalist at the junior varsity state championships. She and beard finished second in the section finals to qualify for state, Stefanko's second straight section runner-up finish.
The team of junior Ryan Kirkley and sophomore Wesley Just also qualified for state in policy debate. They beat a team from Minneapolis Patrick Henry in the preliminary round but did not advance to the quarterfinals.
The topic for this year's policy debate was "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey."
Beard and Stefanko are the ninth Rosemount team to reach the quarterfinals in coach Cort Sylvester's 19 years at the school. The Irish debaters will compete Jan. 21-22 in the Southern Minnesota national qualifying district tournament at Lakeville North High School.
Students near finish line in national
For the second straight year, a group of Rosemount High School students has earned a chance to make their pitch to a national company.
On Feb. 28 RHS students Taryn Biterly, Emily Lemke and Nathan Olson will fly to Indianapolis, Ind. and make a presentation to executives at Finish Line, a mall-based athletic goods store. The trio earned the trip by finishing in the top three of a national competition.
During their trip the students will visit a Finish Line store, have dinner with company executives and present their ideas and implementation strategies.
Biterly, Lemke and Olson compiled their presentation as part of an assignment for a marketing class at RHS.
If the team's suggestions are judged best next month Finish Line will put some of them into practice.
Last year, RHS students Sara Devitt, Katelyn Paget and Abby Cegler earned their own trip to Indianapolis with a similar project.