Parker School’s Tarnas takes first at debate

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
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Parker School senior Jesse Tarnas brought home the first place trophy in the Championship Lincoln-Douglas category from the Iolani Debate State Qualifying Tournament on Oahu. Tarnas and 19 of his debate teammates flew to Honolulu on Feb. 17 to compete in the two-day tournament against 15 other schools, including Punahou, Iolani and Kamehameha.

“It was especially exciting that Jesse Tarnas was so successful against the very top Lincoln-Douglas debaters in the state, and he should be one of the strongest competitors for the State Championships in April,” said Parker’s debate coach and headmaster Carl Sturges.

Tarnas said, “Taking first place at the Iolani Classic was fantastic. I honestly could not have asked for a better tournament, especially because the student I faced in the final round is one of the most respected and revered debaters in the state. This win has gotten me pumped for the State Championship, and I’d like to thank my coach and team for all the help and encouragement they’ve given me. Go Bulls!”

Four other Parker students also earned trophies and qualified to compete in the state finals in April. Seniors Thomas Baldwin and Tyler Saito came in fourth place in Advanced Public Forum, and Savannah Blankenship and Darnee Brighter, both sophomores, earned fourth in Beginning Public Forum. Sophomores Marie Jobes and Lysha Matsunobu, and juniors Paul Gregg, Elliott Jacobson, and Emilie Skladzien previously qualified for the state finals. The rest of Parker’s debate team members will compete for the remaining state qualifying positions at the Big Island District Debate Tournament in March. For more information, please visit