District CX Debate


Marlana Tanaro

Springlake-Earth Cross Examination Debate Teams pose for group photo. Back Row: Emma Stevenson, Annabelle Anchondo, Lynnsey Mahler; Front Row: Nehemiah Castillo, Tyler Tanaro

Sayler Beerwinkle, Editor

Freshman Nehemiah Castillo and sophomore Lynnsey Mahler during a debate round. (Marlana Tanaro)

The Cross Examination Debate Teams competed at the district contest on Wednesday, at the Church of Christ in Earth. Junior Annabelle Anchondo and sophomore Emma Stevenson were debate partners and they competed against, junior Oscar Flores & sophomore Lynnsey Mahler, and freshmen Tyler Tanaro & Nehemiah Castillo. Mahler and Flores qualified for state and will compete in Austin, Texas in March. Also, Tanaro received the ‘Best Speaker’ award. The teams are coached by teacher Marlana Tanaro.  

This contest takes several ounces of hard work and effort. The teams started working about six months ago.

“They started working in the summer,” M. Tanaro said. “They even went to a debate camp.”

Anchondo knew from the start that her teammates would be successful.

“I knew any one of us teams could go to state,” Anchondo said. “We have all worked so hard, and I knew every single one of us deserved to go to state.” 

It was Tanaro, Castillo, Anchondo, and Stevenson’s first year to be a part of the debate team.  

Juniors Oscar Flores and Annabelle Anchondo during a debate round. (Marlana Tanaro)

“Tyler and Nehemiah, they have both come so far, and they are so great at what they do,” Anchondo said. “I mean Tyler even got a shout out by the judge by how great a speaker he is.” 

T. Tanaro has an outgoing personality, and it was awarded during this contest.

“It was pretty cool to be awarded the best speaker award,” T. Tanaro said. “Since it was my first year to compete, I was proud of myself.”

Mahler and Flores have debated together a few times before. 

“I love debate,” Mahler said. “It was definitely a crunch getting ready for this resolution but in the end, I think we did really well.” 

Each team has to go through eight rounds in order to qualify for state.

“I feel like the rules have changed this year, and they are unfair,” M. Tanaro said. “Right now we have one team going on, and that’s even iffy, because they have zero rounds, even though they debated at district.”

This UIL contest gives the contestants mixed emotions prior to the contest. 

“It was also nerve-wracking for me at least because they were people we’ve spent all year with learning together, and having good times with,” Anchondo said.

Sophomore Emma Stevenson and freshman Tyler Tanaro during a debate round. (Marlana Tanaro)

“So to have to be in serious mode and debate against them was far more nerve-wracking than taking on complete strangers.” 

Mahler is excited for the state competition in March. 

“I can’t believe we’ve been blessed with this opportunity to represent our school in Austin,” Mahler said. “I can’t think of a better group of people to make that trip with.” 

Although the students do the competing, they owe it all to Mrs. Tanaro. 

“They truly make debate so much fun, not just the debaters, but Mrs. Tanaro, too. Anchondo said. “Without her, none of this would be possible. She’s amazing, and all of us are blessed to have her.”