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HB's own Jason Habig is inducted into the Ohio Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame
Posted 03/05/2018 08:04AM

It was a great weekend for Hathaway Brown’s Speech & Debate program, as Jason Habig, HB's Middle School history department chair and director of summer programs, was inducted into the Ohio High School Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame. Jason coaches HB's Upper School Speech & Debate team, which he established at HB in 2005 and now includes more than 60 students in grades 9-12. Prior to joining HB, he coached the team at Saint Ignatius High School. Jason was a policy debater himself at Saint Ignatius and Case Western Reserve University, and he began coaching at SIHS when he was a freshman in college until he joined the faculty at HB.

With a regular season that includes one- or two-day tournaments each weekend from October through January, state and national tournaments in February and March, and after-school practices for 13 different events, supervising Speech & Debate is quite a commitment. In his two decades of active participation in this honor society, Jason has amassed numerous impressive achievements, but he’s most lauded for his unwavering commitment to students and their development as confident, caring, thoughtful people who are empowered to go out and make the world a better place.

On Friday, March 2, Jason’s own mentor in Speech & Debate, Joe Buzzelli of Saint Ignatius, introduced his former student to the gathered crowd of several thousand students and teachers in Sylvania, Ohio, thanking him on behalf of all the young men and women whose lives he’s transformed, for his “generosity of intellect, friendship, and kindness.” In his acceptance remarks, Jason encouraged the students to think beyond themselves in their life pursuits. “When you combine your speech and debate talents with caring deeply about the people and the world around you, it’s essential that you hear this message early and often: every single one of the adults who helps run this activity in Ohio—from the most accomplished coach to the most inexperienced novice judge—comes to the tournaments on Saturdays because they believe in your power to make the future better,” he said. “Please use that power to choose to care about the world around you.”


To commemorate the occasion, the senior members of the 2017-2018 HB Speech & Debate team compiled a special video of their own, including well wishes from several school alumnae and others who wanted to express their gratitude to Jason for the effect he’s had on their life trajectories. You can watch that moving tribute here.

This weekend’s event marked the end of statewide HB Speech & Debate competition for the season, with only Nationals left. There were several highlights from this year’s competition, leading up to and including the tournament in Sylvania:

  • A record 77 Upper school girls and 22 Middle School girls participated in at least one tournament this year
  • Three HB students are National qualifiers, including Isha Lele ’18, who is one of a small handful of students nationwide to qualify to Nationals all four years of high school
  • 16 Upper School students earned state-qualifying records this year
  • HB was one of only three schools in the Cleveland area to have qualifiers to States in all four debate categories

From the State Tournament:

  • Isha Lele ’18 finished third in a field of more than 220 in Congressional Debate, and she was the highest placing female in the event
  • Jessica Chang ’21 finished as a semifinalist in Congressional Debate
  • Amaya Razmi ’18 was as an octafinalist in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, finishing ninth in the state in back-to-back seasons
  • Anya Razmi ’20 advanced to quarterfinals in Informative Speaking
  • Molly Gleydura ’18 advanced to quarterfinals in Declamation

Congratulations to all of these students, and to Jason for his outstanding Speech & Debate career. We are confident that his work will continue to make a powerful impact for many, many years to come. 


At a Glance 

HB in the News Volume XXV - February 1, 2017

HB in the News Volume XXIV - October 5, 2016

HB in the News Volume XXIII - July 1, 2016

HB in the News Volume XXI - March 31, 2016

HB in the News Volume XX - December 28, 2015

HB in the News Volume XIX - September 30, 2015

HB in the News Volume XVIII - June 30, 2015

HB Honors Volume V - June 15, 2015

HB in the News Volume XVII - March 31, 2015

HB in the News Volume XVI - December 15, 2014

HB in the News Volume XV - August 28, 2014

HB Honors Volume IV - June 9, 2014

HB in the News Volume XIV - May 28, 2014

HB in the News Volume XIII - March 14, 2014

HB in the News Volume XII - December 18, 2013

HB in the News Volume XI - October 1, 2013

HB Honors Volume III - June 14, 2013

HB in the News Volume X - June 13, 2013

HB in the News Volume IX - March 12, 2013

HB in the News Volume VIII - December 17, 2012

HB in the News Volume VII - September 18, 2012

HB in the News Volume VI - June 19, 2012

HB Honors Volume II - May 31, 2012

HB in the News Volume V - April 3, 2012

HB in the News Volume IV - January 4, 2012

Innovations Volume I - September 14, 2011

HB in the News Volume III - September 8, 2011

HB in the News Volume II - June 1, 2011

HB Honors Volume I - May 19, 2011

HB in the News Volume I - March 10, 2011

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