Too young to vote, Miller is still an informed citizen | FAB Spotlight

Lauren Miller, debate team co-captain, J’aime Les Crepes employee and Kingston High School senior, enjoys getting outside as much as competing at the podium. Here, she hikes Marmot Pass.   - Contributed
Lauren Miller, debate team co-captain, J’aime Les Crepes employee and Kingston High School senior, enjoys getting outside as much as competing at the podium. Here, she hikes Marmot Pass.
— image credit: Contributed

At election time, the most prepared and educated group of North Kitsap citizens must have been members of the Kingston High School debate team. FAB’s Spotlight is on Lauren Miller, KHS senior, artist and debate team co-captain.

She was disappointed she was not quite 18 at the time of the election, yet she was well up on the issues and candidates and is “amazed at the divide between east and west” in Washington state.

“As a debate team, we know what debates look like and, unlike the presidential candidates, we know how,” she said of debating. A big topic for Lauren is the environment, which she feels was missing in the campaign discourse.

“Landfills fall under the radar and the problem just gets bigger,” Lauren laments. This is leading her, perhaps, to a career in environmental engineering and waste management.

Through topics submitted nationally by students, the Public Forum and Congress divisions address national and foreign policy issues from all sides.

“Debate forces us to learn more about a subject and keeps us up on current events,” she said. Last year, Lauren, in a KHS team of four, went to nationals in Baltimore. “We thank the Kingston community for giving big public support for our trip east and I hope other team members will get to go this year.”

Lauren and her debate partner, Maddie Walker, will compete this year as a duo, possibly on the subject of dragons. Care and encouragement for freshmen and new debaters is Lauren’s major concern as a team captain. Having been in this role, she calls herself a “mentor captain,” guiding new captains by passing on her experience in fundraising, running meetings and, as she says, “bringing everyone together as a family.”

North Kitsap has always been home and Lauren hikes, cross-country skis, and runs.

“I love outdoor stuff — the Olympics and the rain,” she said. You may have been served a delicious crepe by her at Kingston’s J’aime Les Crepes.

Lauren’s warmth, quiet self assurance, poise and ability to express herself surely are attributes enhanced by four years of investigation and preparation for debates.

Update on English, debate teacher
Debate coach Lasica Crane writes the following about Dee MacKinnon, KHS English and debate teacher:

“When I began coaching the KHS speech and debate team three years ago, Dr. MacKinnon was my greatest support and constant cheerleader. Her involvement with the team was so consistent that they affectionately christened her ‘DMac.’

“With her assistance, our team blossomed into a nationally recognized program. Unfortunately, DMac sustained a serious injury to her knee and will not be able to participate with the debate team this whole school year. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her continued involvement with our team in the future.”

A personal note: Mary Montgomery, FAB president, and I visited Dee MacKinnon and the good news is, considering the seriousness of her injury and extensive surgery, she is optimistic and in good spirits while working hard on physical therapy.




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