COLUMBIA CITY â€” Dakota Wappes never imagined his time spent with the late Bob Brittain, a debate coach at Columbia City High School, would take him to Berlin, Germany.
Wappes, a sophomore at Ball State University, is a part of the schoolâ€™s debate team and a 2011 graduate of CCHS. For the first time, he ventured outside the U.S. and competed with his teammates from BSU in a debate challenge that encompassed some 400 schools from 82 different countries.
The team was given a topic 15 minutes before a particular round of competition. In that small amount of time, the group had to prepare to debate the issue.
â€śThe best thing to do is stay updated on current events,â€ť said Wappes. â€śI read material that is going to keep me informed on the biggest issues.â€ť
The dedication to prepare even outside of the debating arena is one Wappes attributed to Brittain. â€śMr. Brittain created my base. Not just in regards to debating, but as a person,â€ť said Wappes.
Competition ran from Dec. 27 to Jan. 4. That meant the team spent New Yearâ€™s Eve in Berlin, a memory Wappes describes as â€śunbelievable.â€ť
Going forward, Wappes continues to hone his communication skills in preparation for his degree. But as he does, the early training received from a CCHS mentor propels him further toward his goal.
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