Freeholders honor Trenton High School debate team

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(Front Row L-R) Freeholder Lucy Walter, students Ana Esqueda, Julian Elliott and Lexus Bellamy, advisor Nicholas Cirillo and Freeholder Sam Frisby. (Middle Row L-R) Freeholders Anthony Carabelli and Ann Cannon (Back Row L-R) Freeholders John Cimino and Andrew Koontz.

(TRENTON) – Three student members of Trenton Central High School's highly regarded debate team and their advisor, history teacher Nick Cirillo, were honored with certificates of achievement by the Mercer County Board of Freeholders at their formal meeting on March 13, 2014.

Following a successful season against high school competition, debate team captain, Ana Esqueda and members Lexus Bellamy and Julian Elliott, were victorious in a debate this past December against Rutgers University's team, ranked third in the nation. The teams argued opposing positions on the politically sensitive question, are feminist ideals detrimental to gender equality?

This is not the first time a debate team under Cirillo's direction has challenged an elite college team and emerged the winner. In addition to Rutgers, Trenton High debaters have won debates against Ivy League teams from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Debate team members Alexandra Quaye and Kimberly Godoy also received certificates but were unable to attend the ceremony.