The Kennebunk High School Congressional Debate Team won the state title on Saturday. They are from left: bottom row, Annalise Cowing, Ruth Metcalfe, Kayley Roche, Renee Bergeron, and Annie Murer; second row, Rory Sheehan, Lance Dinino, Ethan Eickmann, Everett Beals; and top row, Nick Quigley, Julia Connolly, Ethan Leonard and Brian Foisy Courtesy Photo

KENNEBUNK — Kennebunk High School’s Congressional Debate Team arrived home as winners of the state title Saturday, narrowly defeating Scarborough and Greeley high schools to win the honor for the second year in a row.

In all, 40 teams competed for the honor at Lewiston High School.

Thomas Macisso, a school-to-work transition specialist at Kennebunk High School, is the team advisor.

He said the Congressional Debate Team is part of the National Speech and Debate Association. Students write legislation on topics such as taxes, farm subsidies, the death penalty, and health care and then debate the issues, culminating with the finals for the state title in January.

“We use adult volunteers as judges; the students are given scores that range from 1-6, with 6 being the highest,” said Macisso in an email. “Debaters are judged on how well they presented the evidence, backed with relevant and recent sources to back up their claims. In addition, they are rated on their poise, critical thinking, and public speaking.”

He said individuals qualify for national competition. This year, Kennebunk High School senior Kayley Roche has qualified to attend the national competition. Last year, Ethan Eickmann attended the national tournament, Macisso said.

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