Ethics Bowl Takes the Lead


On February 1, 2014, four Jericho High School seniors won the Seventeenth Annual Long Island Region Ethic Bowl Competition at Hofstra University.

According to its website, the Ethics Bowl is “a competitive yet collaborative event in which students analyze and discuss real-life, and timely, ethical issues.” The team was led by JHS debate teacher Ms. Mary Moran, who explained that, “This year we were better prepared and knew what we were doing.” Mrs. Moran took two teams to the 2014 round, and both teams entered the semifinals with identical scores of 4-0. Jericho was the only school to have two teams in the top four.

Ethics Bowl champions, from left, Ben Kronengold, Jasdeep Kaur, coach Mary Moran, Anuhita Basavaraju, and Ken Aizawa.

The students have a major responsibility when it comes to preparing for the Ethics Bowl. Moran said, “It is mostly independent work, but I try to meet individually with each team. I try to ask them challenging questions to make them really support their idea of what they think is right.”

Senior Ben Kronengold, a member of the winning team, said, “We talked a lot. Sometimes, it felt like we were talking in circles or that we weren’t actually preparing, but by the time the tournament came, we knew our stances inside and out as well as the other possible stances because we usually came across them in our conversations.”

Moran believes that the way she and her team prepared for the competition was effective, but if she were to change something, she would try to meet with her students for longer blocks of time after school to practice. In addition, Moran said that she would like alternate team members to prepare with the team. “This year I had alternates, but they didn’t prepare with the individual teams so when somebody couldn’t go, they weren’t prepared enough to step in,” Moran said.

Throughout this competition, students learn to defend what they believe is right. “This is such a great competition because there really is no right answer. It is really impressive to see high school students do it,” said Kronengold who went on to explain that he is interested in the competition because it forces him to analyze complicated issues from every possible angle. “I’m glad to have been able to prove to ourselves and to others that we can be consistently triumphant in the Ethics Bowl, and I think that we will go to the national competition with high odds of succeeding,” he said.

The winning team consisted of four seniors: Anuhita Basavaraju, Ken Aizawa, Ben Kronengold, and Jasdeep Kaur. The third place team included junior Haejin Park, junior Grace Mok, sophomore Matthew Swickle, and sophomore Amanda Orbuch.


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