Burke Catholic students compete in Regional Ethics Bowl
Teenagers discuss real-life ethical dilemmas, expand their thinking by competing with students from diverse backgrounds


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GOSHEN — The big football game wasn’t the only “bowl” happening over the weekend. Two teams comprised of 11 students from John S. Burke Catholic High School were among about one hundred students from across the Hudson Valley who gathered at Manhattanville College Saturday for the Regional High School Ethics Bowl.
The competition required students to collaboratively analyze real-life ethical issues. In each round of the competition, teams took turns evaluating cases about complex ethical dilemmas and responding to questions and comments from the other team and from a panel of judges.
An ethics bowl differs from a debate competition in that students are not assigned opposing views; rather, they defend whichever position they think is correct, provide each other with constructive criticism, and win by demonstrating that they have thought rigorously and systematically about the cases and engaged respectfully and supportively with all participants.
“Ethics Bowl was an amazing opportunity to expand my thinking by competing against students from diverse backgrounds,” said Burke senior Hannah Schabilon, who has competed for four years in a row and made it to nationals as a freshman.
“It was great to meet and compete against teams from all over the Hudson Valley,” said junior Maddie St. Amand. “Hearing so many differing ideas really challenged our team to consider all sides of the issue.”
“Through their preparation and participation in the Ethics Bowl, our students are learning how to think critically and appreciate multiple points of view,” said Janice Clark, Burke Catholic Principal for Academics and Ethics Bowl Advisor. “These are skills that will take them far in life, and I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.”
Both teams from Burke Catholic won a round at the Ethics Bowl, and Burke Catholic team one comprised of Hannah Schabilon, Leigh Anne Sillen, Holden Lee, Maddie St. Amand, Jabari Garcia and Brendan Lahiff earned a coveted spot in the semifinals. There, the team narrowly lost to a team from North Rockland High School.
Winning teams from regional competitions across North America will travel to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in April for the National Ethics Bowl.