Manville High School’s First Student to Go to Nationals


Solomiya Mykhaylyshyn

For the first time in ten years, a member of the Speech and Debate club, Conor Johnston, is able to go into nationals. Conor Johnston has been doing debate for 4 years now. He is currently during Congressional Debate and he is the President of the club. Congressional Debate is where students basically debate pieces of legislation, involving resolution and bills. To add on, being the President of the club is not easy due to the fact that he’s in charge of organizing the meeting and being able to help the younger participants. Yet, even though being the President is not an easy job, he is able to be extremely helpful and understanding. These past years, and especially this year he has been tremendously helpful with helping the novice students. To add on, this year he has been exceptionally successful in winning almost every single one of the tournaments.

In October 2020, two of the three competitions Conor was competing in were both national competitions against students across the country. While competing in the Yale University he made it to Quarterfinals, in the NYC Invitational he made it to Semifinals, and in Philipsburg Fall Classic he placed 4th place which means he qualified for the state tournament. In January of 2021, he had a tournament Championship at the Freehold Invitational and for one of the three tournaments that month in order to compete Conor had weekly search about 10-20 pieces of topics in a span nuclear non-proliferation to electoral college and Medicare to lifting sanctions on Cuba. Finally, on February 27 of 2021, he won the NJ District Championship in Congressional Debate.

This year, due to his accomplishments he is able to go to nationals to represent the state in June. Nationals is a tournament to which more than 6,000 students travel to debate different current events. Nationals are significantly hard to not only get into, but also compete in. Seeing how well he has been doing this past week, there is no doubt he will definitely stand out in nationals. The MHS is rooting for him!