Incubate Debate’s regional champion Johanna Pierre (center) with the non-profit’s founder James Fishbank (left) and Stephen Asoli, admissions director, University of Austin

On Saturday, December 9, students from nearly all public middle and high schools in Beaufort County competed at the Incubate Debate’s second regional competition of the 2023-2024 school year. At the competition, students debated the merits of a federal carbon tax, a potential TikTok ban, and whether or not NATO should accept Ukraine as a member.

Local citizens like Dr. Richard Moniuszko of World Affairs Council evaluated students not only in their ability to give a speech but also in their civility and aptitude for respectful disagreement.

The University of Austin’s director of admissions Stephen Asoli addressed students in the awards ceremony, praising them for their willingness to dare to think and pursue truth during the tournament.

A special congratulations to Johanna Pierre from May River High School who secured the Championship title in the final round in the competition. Pierre argued against admitting Ukraine into NATO.

Incubate Debate’s next tournament is on Saturday, January 27 at May River High School, where students will be debating the benefits of the International Monetary Fund, daylight savings time, and whether it was necessary for the U.S. to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. This will be the third and final tournament of the school year hosted in Beaufort County. It will serve as the qualifier, determining which students will represent South Carolina at the prestigious fourth annual Incubate Debate Championship in Jacksonville, Florida in April.