OSCEOLA -- On May 23 Osceola Middle School hosted a spirited, tri-county Incubate Debate tournament. Students from Okeechobee, St. Lucie, and Broward counties gathered to participate in a heated exchange of ideas on a topic that is close to their daily lives - the necessity of homework for academic success. Debaters on both sides presented compelling arguments. Proponents for homework stated it enhances independent learning, improves time management skills, and augments subject understanding. Debaters on the other side argued that excessive homework can lead to stress and burnout, restricts free time for other activities, and may not always cater to different learning styles. The debate was overseen by Judge Jerald D. Bryant, Okeechobee's Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, who was impressed by the students' analytical skills and sportsmanship.
"Their level of analysis, argumentation, and rhetoric was commendable," he commented. "It reminded me of a debate on communism that I participated in during my senior year at OHS. I am deeply impressed."Osceola Middle School's debate team was guided by the devoted and talented Coach Carolyn Cooper. She expressed immense pride, observing, "The growth I've witnessed in our students is simply incredible." Neil Shroba from Independence Classical Academy in Ft. Pierce emerged as the champion, earning a $500 scholarship. The runner-up position was clinched by Miguel Degbor of Osceola Middle School, who was awarded a $250 scholarship. Incubate Debate Founder James Fishback was full of praise for the participants.
"Since founding Incubate Debate, I've never seen students grow so much in such a short period," he remarked. "Two months ago, Ms. Cooper and I hosted our first workshop. Today, I was awestruck by how these students debated and tackled such an important, timeless topic."This debate also came with an announcement: Incubate Debate announced the creation of a new region, inclusive of Okeechobee County, for the coming school year.
Fishback added, "We're investing in Okeechobee because of the unbelievable talent of these young men and women. We look forward to working with public, private, and homeschools to make this a vibrant and competitive Incubate region."