COLUMBIA CITY — 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 school’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.
“The best thing to do is stay updated on current events,” said Wappes. “I read material that is going to keep me informed on the biggest issues.”
The dedication to prepare even outside of the debating arena is one Wappes attributed to Brittain. “Mr. Brittain created my base. Not just in regards to debating, but as a person,” said Wappes.
Competition ran from Dec. 27 to Jan. 4. That meant the team spent New Year’s Eve in Berlin, a memory Wappes describes as “unbelievable.”
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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