By Joan Frances
The art of debate has been around since our founding fathers began holding elections for officials to run our Country. For the past several weeks America has been engaged in watching the presidential debates where the candidates go head to head debating current issues. Students in high schools and colleges are trained in debate to prepare them for successful careers.
Learning the theory, concept and strategy is a long process. Policy debate focuses on a new topic every year and contentions are written to affirm or negate the status quo. Extensive research is required and teams have several different cases and competition is challenging. A debater must be able to follow cases that are read aloud at a very fast pace since a strict time frame is required. This is a developed talent, and is very exciting competition to watch. Fort Bend has an abundance of debate talent. News media continually recognizes and supports the accomplishments of our young people. We can be proud one very successful debater resides here.
Ryan Beiermeister began Policy Debate in high school as a freshman at The Kinkaid School. She and her partner, Daniel Sharp competed all four years traveling nationally, winning recognition and respect with their colleagues. In 2008, Ryan’s senior year, she and Daniel won the Texas Forensic Association CX Debate Championship. After graduation she attended Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, where the Debate program is unrivalled.
Ryan partnered with Layne Kirshon, another Kinkaid graduate. Together they continued to compete at the college level working with Coach Daniel Fitzmier. The resolution for 2011-2012 is; “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.” This year, March 30 through April 2, Ryan accomplished the ultimate in the world of debate. At the National Debate Tournament at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, Ryan was given the esteemed award of first speaker. She is only the second female in the history of her college that has earned this award and the fourth woman since 1940 to receive this honor at the National Tournament. She and Layne also received The Rex Copeland Memorial Award, given to the team with the best season long performance. It has been a long road for Ryan, and she has earned every accolade.
Ryan graduated from Northwestern in June, Summa cum Laude and with honors in Political Science, a Minor in English Literature and was elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She is working in Washington D.C. for Palantir Technologies.
She is an example of what one woman can accomplish with drive, determination and passion.