Humans of Liberty North: Addie Kimmerle


Kate DeGarmo, Reporter

During High School, many people struggle to figure out who they are, and sophomore Addie Kimmerle is no stranger to this. While she has never struggled to figure out who she is professionally, coming to terms with her sexuality was a struggle for her. As one of the top debaters in the state, Kimmerle is in debate and has never faltered.

“I qualified once last year in just one event, and three times this year in three more: student congress, international extemporaneous speaking (IX), and in policy debate. It’s probably my proudest accomplishment, I worked hard all year to try and qualify for just one event, so to make it in three is just incredible, especially when two of those events were new to me. I was incredibly blessed to have had such a great partner, Alexander Walls, to teach me policy at the beginning of the year and then later my coach, Sean Nicewaner, decided it would be fun to throw me into extemp during the championship season at the end. Each event started off slow, with limited success, but I eventually found my rhythm and was able to do great things. I was double district champ in IX and policy and took 3rd at state in CX,” Kimmerle said.

Kimmerle has had a very successful debate career. She went to Nationals as a freshman and qualified three times as a sophomore. She loves debate, but she didn’t always. When she first joined in middle school, she did not like it as much as she does now.

“In 5th grade, I tried to join the middle school team, but I hated it because I didn’t like anyone in it. Then in 7th grade, I came back because one of my guy best friends asked me to be his partner, so I re-joined and loved it. It was what got me into politics. I went to a private school for part of elementary and all of middle school and there were 25 kids; all of us were rich and privileged and, yet, I was nothing like them because of how we were raised. I came from a conservative household, so there were constant debates. Since we were always arguing, my social studies teacher, who happened to be the coach, approached me and was like, ‘You need to join the debate team’, and she paired me with my liberal guy best friend and I was super conservative, and we got paired together. That was a match made in heaven. We actually did fairly well, and I carried the team, but it made me realize it was what I enjoyed doing. I did that through eighth grade. Freshman year when I walked into the debate room I loved everything about it. I loved my coach, I loved the topics, and I just found my element. Coming into a brand new school, brand new district, brand new people, I didn’t know anybody at the school except for a few girls in cross country, and it was something where I was allowed to blossom and be myself. I was allowed to educate myself in a way I’d never been able to do before. So I began to understand how the world works and how the world is the way it is. With climate change, civil rights, and equality, and the struggles of others, and how that actually impacts me more than I think it does. So we debated random things at first, standardized testing, climate change, then nuclear weapons, so there was never a dull moment. It allows me to have very productive discussions with people now. In debate, people like to think of it as people yelling and screaming at each other. That’s only in the classroom, never at actual tournaments. But it helps you to have productive conversations about very difficult topics and teaches you to argue for things you might not agree with. It lets me get in the loop with key issues that are affecting us today,” Kimmerle said.

Kimmerle isn’t just in debate. She is on the varsity track team as a sprinter as well as the cross country C-team captain. She didn’t expect to do sprints, but she didn’t have time to learn to high jump like her mother, due to debate. 

“I’ve always been in track. My mom was a D1 track athlete for the University of Iowa and was state champ 6 different times in both indoor and outdoor high jump. So I was just kinda forced to do it. Then I found out I was actually pretty good at it. I’m pretty fast. My element used to be the 400 but then I never did the 400 so now I just do sprints. I’m on varsity. So that’s how I joined track and I just kind of stayed with it, like I’m still forced to do cross country, and I’m C-team captain. I’m only in it now because of my best friend Marisah,” Kimmerle said.

Kimmerle’s mother was a D-1 track athlete in Iowa while in a long-distance relationship with her high school sweetheart, Kimmerle’s father. 

“They are still together, and they are in love. They’re highschool sweethearts; they met their sophomore year of highs chool and have been together ever since. They dated for like eight years and didn’t get married until two years after college. They did long distance while he was in Pennsylvania and she was in Iowa. They met in Punxsy, Pennsylvania, like the smallest town, and have been together since sophomore year of high school,” Kimmerle said.