CDSI Registration – Last Call to Register Students to Work with Amazing Faculty


As we near the end of school, we ask each coach to check the current CDSI Registration to see which students have registered from your school so far and get any last students, including brand-new recruits, signed up before the end of school.

All high schools and middle schools with graduating 8th graders have received flyers and registration forms in the mail – if you need additional copies, please contact Forrest Sumlar.

A special note about the excellent faculty we’ve assembled, which includes the following instructors:

  • Bill Altorfer, Hyde Park Academy HS: Bill has been one of the top external coaches in the history of the league, guiding multiple students to tournament championships and winning the 2009 CDL Adjudicator of the Year. In addition to his work with the CDC and Hyde Park, Bill is an alum of the University of Chicago and a returning CDSI instructor.
  • Cara Bader: Cara is an exciting new addition to the CDSI, having recently completed her Master’s degree in Urban Planning at UIC and assisted as a volunteer with the Hyde Park Academy debate team. She was one of the top high school debaters in the country at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, winning the prestigious Emory University Barkley Forum, Semifinalist at the Varsity Glenbrooks, placing in the Top 10 at the National Forensic League Nationals, and debated for a year in college at NYU.
  • Robb Berry, Northside College Prep: Robb has built one of the top teams competitively in the RCC and coached debaters of all levels of experience.
  • Deven Cooper, Cal State Fullerton: Deven is a graduate assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton and won the 2008 CEDA National Championship for Towson State University. He is a returning CDSI instructor and one of the leading argument innovators for critical and performance debate in the nation.
  • Aaron Davis, University of Pennsylvania: Aaron is a former Northside and Payton College Prep external coach, Pomona College alum and Posse Scholar, future Penn graduate student, and former Morgan Park High School 2004 Chicago Debate League City Champion and Tournament of Champions qualifier (the first urban debater ever to do so).
  • Jim Dorrell, Marshall Metro HS: Jim has helped turn Marshall into one of the largest, most competitive teams in the entire CDL, with awards at both the Varsity and JV levels.
  • Muriel Dorsey, Illinois State University: Muriel is a scholarship debater at Illinois State and was one of the top debaters in the CDL at Prosser Career Academy, winning the 2010 Richard M. Daley Leadership Award.
  • Cydney Edwards, University of Wisconsin Madison: Cydney is a University of Wisconsin Madison undergraduate and returning CDSI instructor who is one of the best CDL debaters in recent memory, finishing as Top Speaker and Finalist at the 2007 Chicago Debate Championship for Morgan Park High School and qualifying for the National Forensic League Nationals. Her infectious enthusiasm for debate made her a big hit with our CDSI students.
  • Andrew Glennon, Hope College Prep: Andrew is an external coach for Hope College Prep and former Pontiac High School National Forensic League Nationals-qualifying debater, trained in argument as a lawyer, and has been instrumental in leading Hope students to increased success, specializing in increasing the ability of struggling students to organize and argue complex materials. Andrew will focus on adapting and explaining the Core Files to newer and younger debaters.
  • Ross Gordon, Emory University: Ross is a returning CDSI instructor who drew respect from our RCC students last summer for his debate expertise and was the Top Speaker at the 2009 Tournament of Champions as a high school senior and National Debate Tournament Octofinalist for Emory University.
  • Mary Gregg: Mary is a recent Northwestern University graduate and returning CDSI instructor who was one of the top college debaters in the country this past season, including Octofinals at the National Debate Tournament, Quarterfinals at Harvard University, and a Top 10 ranking in the country in a spring coaches’ poll. Mary is an aspiring high school teacher who plans to continue coaching high school debate as she pursues her education graduate studies.
  • Dave Hayes, King College Prep: Dave has made a very strong impact in his time as a coach, starting at Jones College Prep and now leading the King College Prep team, which advanced to the JV Semifinals at the Chicago Debate Championship after a year of successful performances and increased participation.
  • Kurt Hilgendorf, Hope College Prep: Kurt returns for another summer at the CDSI, where he has been among our most popular instructors and known for his strong teaching skills along with his experience as a National Forensic League Nationals-qualifying debater at Pontiac High School, leading his team to the Varsity Octofinals at the Chicago Debate Championship and another year of solid participation.
  • Melina Luna, Alcott HS for the Humanities: Melina has been one of the top young coaches in the league, building a large and successful team at Alcott, including Varsity Quarterfinals at the Chicago Debate Championship in only their second year of debate.
  • Jessica Mulder, Hyde Park Academy HS: Jessie made a big mark in her first year as head coach at Hyde Park, more than doubling the size of her team with her enthusiasm and leadership, while having multiple students win tournament championships, taking HPA to 5th in the Medal Count for 2010-2011.
  • Donny Peters, Illinois State University: Donny is the Director of Debate at Illinois State University, where he has built a successful program including multiple CDL alums on scholarship. Donny was a graduate assistant coach at Wayne State University and Ball State University and is known for his student-centered approach to teaching debate.
  • Brian Peterson: Brian was a successful college debater at the University of Texas Austin, qualifying for the elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament, and was a top assistant coach at Lane Tech and Glenbrook South. Brian is a returning CDSI instructor, drawing rave reviews in his past years working with our students.
  • Josh Rivera, Southern Illinois University and Lane Tech: Josh is one of the brightest young alums the CDL has seen in a long time, winning the 2011 Richard M. Daley Leadership Award, Finalist and Top Speaker at the Chicago Debate Championship, and Semifinalist and Top Speaker at the NAUDL Urban Debate Nationals. He’s headed to SIU on a debate scholarship and is one of the most well-regarded debaters and young people in our community.

Want to sign your students up to work with these amazing instructors?

Please note a few important details below:

  • CDSI Dates: 7/25 – 8/12, Monday through Friday, 9 am – 3 pm (now 3 weeks of debate instruction!)
  • Location: Westinghouse College Prep’s beautiful, brand-new, air-conditioned building at 3223 W. Franklin.
  • Top-flight staff: includes current CDL teachers, top CDL alums, and college instructors with national champion-level national debate experience and college head coaches – all selected for their ability to teach students of all levels successfully and improve their skills while introducing the 2011-2012 space topic and Core Files.
  • Targeted instruction by experience level: Labs will be organized by experience level, including Beginning JV, Regional Circuit JV, Intermediate Varsity Transition, Advanced Varsity, and the top-level Regional Circuit Lab, for our most ambitious Varsity debaters.
  • Meals and transportation:Lunch and reduced-fare CTA cards are provided daily
  • Free Core Files: get them before anyone else
  • College Access programming: includes college tours to area universities
  • CDSI Registration Deadline: 6/17, 6 pm (earlier applicants get priority if capacity is reached), using the CDSI registration form
  • Registration fee per student: $25 non-refundable registration fee to ensure student attendance, all money goes back to CPS programs; students are NOT confirmed to attend the CDSI without $25 registration fee
    • CDSI is limited to only 150 students this year so students choosing not to attend or withdraw will not have this money returned by CPS – all 150 slots will go to motivated, participating students who benefit from CDSI
    • Checks or money orders (no cash) made out to: “Chicago Board of Education” (please note we can’t take checks or money orders made out to CDC, CDL, CPS, Westinghouse or anything else other than “Chicago Board of Education”)
    • Checks or money orders mailed to:
      Chicago Debate Commission, 332 S. Michigan, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60604
      (please note: checks and money orders should NOT be made out to CDC, but checks and money orders MUST be sent to CDC’s address for collection – do NOT send to Westinghouse or CPS since CDC will confirm student registration payment)

To ensure students meet the deadline, coaches should help register their students, help students fill out CDSI registration forms, help get forms together, and even help collect registration fee checks from parents or from the school if you can find money to put toward the $25 registration fee per student. Please contact with any questions for for help in filling out the registration form.

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