Emery High Debate Team Takes Home Honors at National Event

1 min read

Two Emery High students took home honors at a recent National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) Tournament. The annual event was held at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. last weekend. They are the first Emeryville team in the history of the league to earn a spot in the national level competition.

The Emery team went undefeated during the league championships earning them a spot in the nationals. Emery High beat teams from Atlanta, Milwaukee, Kansas, San Francisco, and Oakland along the way.

This was Emery’s first year with the Bay Area Urban Debate League (BAUDL) at the varsity level although they have been in the league for more than a year. Fees for Emery’s entry into the competition were covered by BAUDL and other donors.

Emery High Senior Kimberly Solis reacts to being announced as the ‘top speaker” at the tournament.

Emery High Senior Kimberly Solis, a National Urban Debate student of the year finalist, took home ‘top speaker’ out of 88 students across the country as well as being named a BAUDL Visionary Award finalist. Solis will be attending UC Berkeley on a Fiat Lux scholarship starting this fall.

In addition, Emery High Valedictorian Novejot Bal was named a Octofinalist and took home the fourth place speaker award. Bal has not yet committed to a 4 year university.

Their accomplishments earned them the opportunity to visit the House of Representatives and sit on the Congress floor while visiting D.C.

(L-R): Mia Cadet, Novejot Bal, Shauntrice Martin, Najma Ali and Kimberly Solis.

The Emery High team was coached by Jessica Wright-Crichlow, Shauntrice Martin, and Sadaf Zahoor who helped craft an affirmative policy case that ‘unapologetically critiques heteronormativity’.

“They earned the award because of their passionate, raw debate style” noted Executive Director Shauntrice Martin. Debate coach Jessica Crichlow was honored with ‘Coach of the Year’ honors.

“Kimberly and Novejot have truly put in the work to be great debaters and outstanding individuals overall,” noted an obviously proud Emery High principal Jessica Goode. “Their work ethic, perseverance, and drive will assist them greatly as they move on to college.”

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“This is a another great example and result of the hard work, practice and leadership among our students, their coach, and their teachers,” added EUSD School Superintendent Dr. John Rubio. “I am very proud of our students and staff.”

Read More about The Bay Area Urban Debate League and their mission at baudl.org.

Feature Image: Novejot and Kimberly (2nd and 3rd from the left) stand with the other top-10 speakers at the Georgetown campus.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. Fantastic!! RESOLVED: Emery High has achieve something massive and deserves serious props.

    BTW Rob, the one great omission at the EvilleEye is coverage of high school (and other) local sports and events.

    Sign up a faculty advisor from Emeryville High and some student journalists and get us some in-depth weekly coverage of what’s happening in the 18 and under world.

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