Jim Shapiro, who started the high school speech and debate program 18 years ago, was honored last weekend with the Bronx Achievement Award which underlines the careers of coaches from around the country for their dedication to training their students in forensics. The award was presented at the start of the annual Bronx HS of Science Speech & Debate tournament.
The two presenters, both Berkeley Carroll alums, were surprise guests. Jacob Levi '06, and Dylan Scher '11, flew in from Paris and Chicago, respectively. Jacob, who graduated from Pomona College, is pursuing graduate studies in the philosophy at the renowned Ecole Normale Superieure, and Dylan is a sophomore at the University of Chicago. Both young men had won the top speaker award in Lincoln Douglas debate at the Bronx tournament during their competitive years in high school.
During their remarks Jacob said debate had had a major impact on his life and choice of career. Dylan paid tribute to Mr. Shapiro's use of metaphors even though he was not always certain of their true import. Little was he aware that Mr. Shapiro himself is not sure whether his penchant for metaphors defeats logic even as he exhorts his debaters to pursue ultimate philosophical truths.