Pathfinder

  • If you are volunteering for Special Olympics, make sure to pay your $20 to the school store by tomorrow to participate.

  • The American Mathematics Contest will be held on Feb. 7. If you are interested, pay $5 to the bookstore by Dec. 7 to participate.

  • Items in the lost and found will be donated on Nov. 20. Stop by before Tuesday to claim your items!

Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

Preparing+for+a+round+with+his+debate+partner+Cheryl+Ma%2C+senior+Ryan+O%E2%80%99Connor+studies+information+he+has+researched.+Being+partners+for+only+one+year%2C+they+placed+first+in+districts+and+went+to+Nationals+in+the+2016-2017+school+year.+%E2%80%9CCheryl+is+the+love+of+my+life.+She+has+made+it+bearable.+Working+with+her+has+helped+me+re-find+my+passion%2C%E2%80%9D+O%E2%80%99Connor+said.+
Preparing for a round with his debate partner Cheryl Ma, senior Ryan O’Connor studies information he has researched. Being partners for only one year, they placed first in districts and went to Nationals in the 2016-2017 school year. “Cheryl is the love of my life. She has made it bearable. Working with her has helped me re-find my passion,” O’Connor said.

Preparing for a round with his debate partner Cheryl Ma, senior Ryan O’Connor studies information he has researched. Being partners for only one year, they placed first in districts and went to Nationals in the 2016-2017 school year. “Cheryl is the love of my life. She has made it bearable. Working with her has helped me re-find my passion,” O’Connor said.

Maddie Cooke

Maddie Cooke

Preparing for a round with his debate partner Cheryl Ma, senior Ryan O’Connor studies information he has researched. Being partners for only one year, they placed first in districts and went to Nationals in the 2016-2017 school year. “Cheryl is the love of my life. She has made it bearable. Working with her has helped me re-find my passion,” O’Connor said.

Katie Spillman, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Over the course of three years, senior Ryan O’Connor has accomplished something that many debate students hope to achieve. He is the first student this year to be a Quad Ruby competitor, which means that he has acquired at least 1,000 debate points. A debate student gets six points for a win, and three for a loss.

“I think the thing that sets me apart from other people is I have a lot of drive. I spend a lot of time working on debate and improving, even if I am already the best,” O’Connor said.

Although this achievement is common for the speech and debate team, it is notable that O’Connor was able to accomplish it this early in the season.

“Usually kids who do this for four years and go to every tournament and are successful will reach 1,000 points,” debate advisor Cara Borgsmiller said. “Ryan didn’t start until his sophomore year. That’s part of the reason that I think this is more of a feat. That in only two years and a couple months he accomplished what usually takes people an entire four years.”

Although Borgsmiller is impressed by O’Connor’s achievement, she is not surprised.

“He’s very driven, not just to beat other people but to beat himself and to do better than he did before. So I think that is a large part of why he finds success in debate. But also, he’s just a naturally charismatic speaker,” Borgsmiller said.

I love that debate allows me to express myself and voice my opinions in a manner that makes an impact,”

— Ryan O'Connor

He has also spent on average 15 hours per week with his debate partner, senior Cheryl Ma, in order to improve each other’s skills.

“Both of us are loud talkers, and our train of thought is very similar. Sometimes in a round people will ask a question, and we will answer with the same words at the same time. I’m lucky to have him as a partner that works with me like that, but we are also very different,” Ma said. “We help each other come up with unique ideas in points that the other couldn’t think of. I’m really grateful to have him as a partner because our dynamics work together well.”

O’Connor credits his confidence and public speaking skills to his participation in debate.

“I love that debate allows me to express myself and voice my opinions in a manner that makes an impact,” O’Connor said.

Borgsmiller is grateful to have people who are passionate like Ma and O’Connor on the team.

“For him, it’s never just about giving his speech, it’s about convincing people and persuading them. His passion is something that he showcases every weekend,” Borgsmiller said. “Having a leader like him on the team is invaluable.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Contributors
Katie Spillman, PHOTO EDITOR

Grade: 12
Years on staff: 2
Life soundtrack: "Daydreaming" by Paramore
Most passionate about: "Equality in all forms. I think the worst thing a person...

Maddie Cooke, MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

Grade:  12

Years on Staff:  4

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Barry the Bee

Does the toilet paper go over or under on...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Feminist Club sells pins and keychains to benefit the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Girls cross country follows birthday traditions

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Senior students add to the youth voter surge in the 2018 midterm election

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Girls cross country team poised to podium at state

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Jewish Student Union strives to create a welcoming community

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    The role of a third party in modern America

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Students take charge in Student-Sponsored Candidate Forum

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Students start Asian Appreciation Association to spread awareness for the Asian culture

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Parkway implements new check-in protocol in effort to keep students safe

  • Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years

    news

    Junior Matthew Hopper honors Brynn Haun through Eagle Scout project

Navigate Right
The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
Senior Ryan O’Connor reaches 1,000 debate points after three years