Exchange affirmed

Debate team welcomes new student


NEXT STOP, TEXAS Junior Jesper Steenholdt poses for the camera outside of Mr. Mckinley, the debate coach’s, classroom. Steenholdt first came to America Aug. 9. where he stayed in New York until the 12. (Photo by Makalya Kyner)

Leslie Jaurez and Makayla Kyner

Junior Jesper Steenholdt from Stenlose Privatskole, Denmark is the first foreign exchange student on the debate team.

“I just started learning debate last week.” Steenholdt said. “Smithson Valley HS is a pretty big school and someone that is new can easily get intimidated at first.” Jesper states that his reaction was that he was,”Excited, not scared but nervous.”

He is learning the purpose of debate and how to do it.

According to debate coach, Jonathan McKinley, the basis of debate is, “to learn the ability to improve communication, and to get students to think intellectually.”

The older team members are helping him adjust to the team.

“We’ve never seen something like this before,” sophomore Taylor Vela said.  “We are all really excited to see his success and see him grow in debate and learn the different branches.”

The debate team consists of many branches. These include Lincoln Douglas, Student Congress, Public Forum, Exempt, and Cross Examination.

“I am leaning towards both Student Congress and Public form, but more towards Public Form.” Steenholdt said. “Maybe I will compete. I don’t know when. It depends on the tournament and time.”

He is leaning towards Student Congress to see the congressional side of America but is open to try other forms of debate to gain the full experience.

According to McKinley, this whole experience “gives the students an opportunity to see through different eyes. Its great! I wish I could’ve done this when I was young.”

Senior Alex Ball shares his opinion about this whole experience with a foreign exchange student.

“It’s pretty cool,” Ball said. “It encourages more people to learn about the culture. It’s a good experience for everyone because because it gets more people’s minds out of the domestic. You get to know the person and people get intrigued.”