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West Hartford Student Will Head to World Debate Championship in Sydney

From left: Apara Kashyap, Connor O'Loughlin, and Mark Marottolo in Vancouver. Submitted photo

Three Kingswood Oxford students shone at an International Debate Competition in Vancouver, and one West Hartford student will now head to the World Championship in March.

From left: Apara Kashyap, Connor O'Loughlin, and Mark Marottolo in Vancouver. Submitted photo

From left: Apara Kashyap, Connor O’Loughlin, and Mark Marottolo in Vancouver. Submitted photo

Submitted by Jackie Pisani, Kingswood Oxford School

Three Kingswood Oxford students, Apara Kashyap ’18 of West Hartford, David Marottolo ’18 of Wethersfield, and Connor O’Loughlin ‘17 of West Hartford traveled to Vancouver to compete in The International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition on Oct. 22-23.

Hosted by the Collinwood School, the event showcased 124 students from Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Great Britain, and South Africa who tested their debate skills, persuasive talents and dramatic flair. O’Loughlin placed in the top four American competitors and will head to the World Championship in Sydney, Australia in March.

The competition featured various categories including Interpretive Reading, Dramatic Interpretation, Persuasive Essay, Parliamentary Debate, After Dinner Speech, Exam Debates, Impromptu, and Radio Broadcast. O’Loughlin competed in Radio, After Dinner and Impromptu.

He performed exceptionally well in the After Dinner category which requires a student to talk to a fictitious group in a humorous or edgy manner. O’Loughlin addressed a group of Mexican people to convince them that building a wall would serve Mexico’s best interest to protect their culture.

O’Loughlin said, “I think the After Dinner is the most fun. I like to take a social premise and then put a twist on it with some substance.” Judging from the audience’s reaction and his top placement in the competition, O’Loughlin hit all the right notes.

Marottolo competed in Parliamentary Debate, Impromptu, Persuasive. His Persuasive speech, in which one poses a problem and finds a solution, dealt with the death of languages.

Kashyap competed in Interpretive Reading, Parliamentary Debate and Impromptu. The students prepared for their After Dinner, Dramatic Interpretation, Persuasive and Interpretative Reading segments. However, the more spontaneously prepared Parliamentary and Impromptu categories required the students to work quickly at the event itself.

Beth Repp, advisor to the Forensic Union who accompanied the student to the event remarked, “The students were all amazing and competed in some super tough events. They represented KO with integrity, intelligence and style.”

The preeminent independent co-ed day school in Greater Hartford, Kingswood Oxford School is located just steps from Blue Back Square in West Hartford Center. Its 508 students come from 62 towns in CT and western MA as well as China and South Korea.


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