Fayette schools earn top debate, UN honors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Before the coronavirus outbreak shot down schools and school activities, Fayette County schools took top honors at several competitions.

The debate team from Henry Clay High School captured its seventh straight state championship this spring, and Paul Laurence Dunbar placed second in the team debate sweepstakes.

Bryan Station and Lafayette also competed in the Kentucky High School Speech League’s 2020 state tournament March 11-12 at the University of Louisville. (The accompanying speech tournament slated for that weekend was preempted by COVID-19 concerns.)

Top results from Henry Clay 

  • Congress: 4th place to William Byerman; 8th to Sebastian Enz
  • Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate: 1st place to Chloe Sachs; 2nd to Matthew Kotter
  • Novice Public Forum: 3rd to Karson Whitley; 4th to Justine Lofwall; 9th to Ghazzal Hammad
  • Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate: 1st place to Jack Lofwall; 5th to Cole Knight; 7th to Will Baumann
  • Varsity Public Forum: 2nd place to August Colby; 3rd to Tag Howard; 4th to Santiago O’Neil; 5th to Jasir Rahman 


  • Congress: 7th place to Ashley Su; 9th (tie) to Liam Demann
  • Novice Public Forum: 1st place to Daksha Pillai; 2nd to Emily Hu; 5th to Zoe Jenkins
  • Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate: 3rd to Sadie Bograd; 9th to David Vulakh; 10th to Lynn Ye
  • Varsity Public Forum: 6th to Gabriella Staykova; 9th to Sanaa Kahloon; 10th to Parker Smith


  • Congress – 2nd place to Johnathan Hurley

Bryan Station

  • Varsity Public Forum: 8th place to Dylan Campbell

Meanwhile, several middle and high school groups from Fayette County Public Schools participated in the 2020 Kentucky United Nations Assembly in Louisville during March; two of the six KUNA sessions were then canceled amid COVID-19 concerns. In this three-day experiential learning program, students engage in simulated international diplomacy, experience the richness of cultures from around the world, develop empathy, and hone critical-thinking skills while encountering a variety of perspectives and global issues with peers from around the state. Students also serve as officers, run as candidates, and earn merit-based awards. Following are this spring’s highlights from FCPS.

Middle schools

  • Premiere Delegations: Jessie Clark Middle;
  • Outstanding Ambassadors: Elena Schultz of Jessie Clark;
  • Schools slated to attend a canceled conference: Winburn and Tates Creek;
  • Presiding Officers for 2020 canceled conference: Daksha Pillai as president of the UN General Assembly and Blake Cegelka as Security Council president (both now attending Paul Laurence Dunbar High School).

High schools

  • Premiere Delegations: Frederick Douglass, Lafayette, Tates Creek, and STEAM Academy;
  • Outstanding Ambassadors: Lily Eller of Lafayette, Rohma Akhtar of Tates Creek, Alli Condi of Douglass, and Juliette Wallace of STEAM;
  • Outstanding Speakers: David Hensley of Douglass, and Arden Ensor and Sarah Grace Sajadi of Lafayette;
  • Outstanding ICJ Advocate Team: Lafayette;
  • ICJ Showcase Advocate: Robert Lowther of Lafayette;
  • Outstanding Delegation: Lafayette;
  • Best New Delegation: Frederick Douglass;
  • Schools slated to attend a canceled conference: Henry Clay and Bryan Station;
  • Presiding officers for 2020: Abigail Rasmussen of Lafayette as International Court of Justice president.



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