Art focus: Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Adviser nomination: The debate adviser said, Brian has had a solid year in Lincoln-Douglas debate. He took first place at a Blaine tournament, second at St. Paul Academy and he placed at Eastview. Brian also won the Rural Debate League Championship. He also took first place at the Northern Light District qualifying tournament, earning him his third trip in a row to nationals, which are in Birmingham, Ala., this year. Brian always works hard and helps the other debaters on the team do better.
What is your goal at nationals? My goal is to do better. There are 250 competitors who do six debates and only 64 move on. I moved on my freshman year, but I didn't make it last year. I hope to qualify and progress from there.
What do you enjoy about debate? I like arguing. I don't enjoy the research, but it's good to know what you're arguing about ... I argue with my parents more than I should. I don't win because they have supreme power over me.
Brainerd High School junior Brian Ashburn posed Monday before class. Ashburn was named the Fine Arts Student of the Week for his work in debate. Brainerd Dispatch/ Jennifer Stockinger» Purchase reprints of this photo.
How has debate helped you grow as a person? It taught me a lot about philosophy. Lincoln-Douglas is very philosophical. I'm taking an Advanced Placement European History class and it's about different philosophers so it's interesting. Debate also taught me to see both sides of an argument because we have to argue both sides. Many times people only see their side of an issue.
Topic you hate to debate: I hate debating health care because it's not very interesting to me. I'd rather debate about domestic violence or voting rights.
Art activities: Debate, mock trial, symphonic band and president, Students for Political Awareness.
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Qualifying for nationals three times.
Favorite movie: Dark Knight.
Favorite TV program: Cash Cab.
Favorite song: Our Time Now, by Plain White T's.
Favorite food: Cereal.
A perfect day: School would be canceled and I would be able to sleep all day and have food brought to me.
Your New Year's resolution: I want to focus more on academics. Many times I spread myself too thin and then it doesn't always turn out.
Parents: Barbara and Floyd Ashburn of Brainerd.
Ali Archibald, senior, Fifth Street Journal: Ali has been one of the Fifth Street Journal's most consistently strong staff members. She is a solid writer and creative designer, the adviser said.
Toni Hanson, senior, art: Toni is a hard-working student in Design II as well as Painting II. She is a careful craftsperson and diligently works to achieve her goals, her art adviser said.
- By Jennifer Stockinger,Staff Writer
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