Burk Ohbayashi Hired as New Debate Coach
Alum of The King's Debate Society steps into leadership
NEW YORK, August 30th, 2012—The King’s College is pleased to announce that Burk Ohbayashi (King’s ’12) will be joining the King’s staff as Interim Coach for The King’s Debate Society. Ohbayashi will work as a part-time coach, leading the Society in efforts to improve their skill at British Parliamentary debate—and spearheading the search for a full-time coach.
Burk has long been a faithful member of The King’s Debate Society. He was one of the first team members to place in the top ten speakers at a competitive tournament. During his debate career, he became one of the best debaters in the Northeast, regularly breaking into quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds—most recently placing 16th overall, with his partner Josiah Peterson (King's '12), in the United States World Format Debating Championships. He has continually invested in the Society, serving as Novice Trainer in the 2011-12 season and imparting the vision of KDS to new debaters. He is the last remaining member of the founding cohort of the Society.
Katie Teubl—former debate coach, adjunct professor at King’s, and recent graduate of New York University’s Bioethics program—is confident that the King’s Debate Society will continue to flourish under Ohbayashi’s leadership. Since the position of coach requires extensive knowledge of British Parliamentary debate and a love for wrestling with tough ideas, Teubl calls it a “dynamic challenge,” one for which Ohbayashi is well prepared: “His commitment to truth, thoughtful consideration of other viewpoints, and superb knowledge of the art of British Parliamentary debate will serve the King's Debate Society well.”
As the new coach, Ohbayashi is extremely thankful for those who have gone before him. "As the new King's Debate Society coach I have incredible role models to look up to,” says Ohbayashi. “Matthias Clock, Pam Dodge, and Katie Teubl have invested incredible amounts of time and energy into making The King's Debate Society the amazing pillar that it is now…I am incredibly excited to follow in their footsteps.”
Looking forward, Ohbayashi intends to maintain the Society’s competitive edge: “We cannot allow ourselves to stagnate and become content with simply winning competitions,” said Ohbayashi. “This year will be focused on building the infrastructure that will make other forms of engagement successful in future years.”
The King’s Debate Society was founded four years ago by Matthias Clock (PPE ’11), to train students to advocate Truth in the marketplace of ideas. Over the past four years, it has grown into a community of men and women committed to exploring today’s most difficult moral, practical, and ethical questions—questions that face policy makers and everyday citizens alike.
Last year, KDS was ranked 8th in the nation and 25th in the world. This year, with a new team of student leaders and a new coach, they expect to see greater growth—and an expansion of the debate platform for those consequential ideas propounded by The King’s College.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.
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