Pioneer High talks its way to victory at Michigan High School Ethics Bowl

Pioneer High School took two teams to the first ever Michigan High School Ethics Bowl on Feb. 8. at The Neutral Zone Teen Center in Ann Arbor, where they competed against eight other teams from five high schools.

Against the odds, the two Pioneer teams faced each other in the championship round—which was the fifth round of the day, for a total of about eight hours of debate-like conversation.

Co-coach Brent Richards, a Pioneer history teacher, pointed out that this obviously means that Pioneer has a state champion.

“But I was more proud that these students represented themselves, Pioneer and public education ridiculously well,” he said.

The ethics case study competition is based on the College Ethics Bowl movement. Teams of students prepare responses to a selected number of case studies given in advance of the competition. At the competition, teams are given a case study and then present their arguments and the most relevant differing viewpoints. Following their presentations, teams field questions from both judges and their opponents.

Competing schools included Saline, Washtenaw Technical Middle College, Ypsilanti, Greenhills and Huron.

Richards said that in their remarks, several students publicly thanked teachers from whom they had learned philosophical theories, medical ethics, public speaking skills, government law making and regulatory responsibilities, critical thinking skills, how to quote Descartes, argumentation and thesis-developing skills, and more.

The students were thrilled when they won, Richards said. Even better: The winning team will compete in the National Championship in Chapel Hill, NC over spring break.

The State Championship team includes: Brett Boehman; Ellen Sauer; Courtney Fulcher; Ge Ling Lee; Basil Baccouche; and Noe Barrell.

The runners-up include Avishag Eliav; Isabel Davidson; Jaime Davidson; and Leah Weingarten.

The winning team consists of:  Top (L-R): Noe Barrell (11th grade), Brett Boehman (12th), Basil Baccouche (11th) Front (L-R): Courtney Fulcher (11th), Ge-Ling Lee (11th), Ellen Sauer (12th). Here is a picture of our winning team. Names are as follows: Top (L-R): Noe Barrell (11th grade), Brett Boehman (12th), Basil Baccouche (11th) Front (L-R): Courtney Fulcher (11th), Ge-Ling Lee (11th), Ellen Sauer (12th).
The Michigan High School Ethics Bowl winners include:  Top (L-R): Noe Barrell (11th grade), Brett Boehman (12th), Basil Baccouche (11th)
Front (L-R): Courtney Fulcher (11th), Ge-Ling Lee (11th), Ellen Sauer (12th). 

Michigan State Ethics Bowl

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations to Ellen, Courtney and company on their Ethics Bowl triumph. In fact, Pioneer owned the final this year–with both Pioneer teams in the championship. And your nod to your teachers afterwards was a class act. Thanks, too, to co-coach Brent Richards for taking the risk to join a new organization.
    The Pioneer team will be exceptional representatives from Michigan at the National Ethics Bowl in North Carolina in April.
    Kudos to the Partay! And to The Purple Gang too.

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