This year, with 1355 students from 71 schools debating in the CDL, Chicago maintained its position as the largest urban debate league in the nation.

The Chicago Debate Championship was a fitting culmination to a superb season. Whitney Young’s top teams — Jeron Dastrup and John Vitzileos, and Christian Palacios and Katherine Sears — closed out the 2013 Varsity Chicago Debate Championship after each team defeated a Northside team in semi-final rounds. Lane Tech’s Deandre Sturdivant and Benjamin Zamudio defeated Payton in the final round to win the 2013 JV Chicago Debate Championship.

The 2012/13 CDL Season Awards were presented prior to the final rounds of the tournament. The Golden Gavel Award, which recognizes the CDL debate coach of the year, was awarded to Bob Edwards of Phoenix Military Academy for his commitment to advancing his debaters by encouraging them to compete in the some of the most competitive tournaments across the country.

Andrew Singleton from Westinghouse College Prep was named the Voltaire Sterling Debater of the Year, for 4 years of work elevating the level of competition of Westinghouse as it moved forward through three Conferences.

Alumnus of the Year was awarded to Robert Lampley, a trial attorney for the Wisconsin State Public Defender, for his efforts to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Chicago CDL did an amazing job at the NAUDL Nationals! No other city had two teams in the semi-finals. Whitney Young’s John Vitzileos was 5th place speaker and Christian Palacios was 17th place speaker. John and Christian advanced to the final round, where they were within one ballot (2-1) of defeating Baltimore City College H.S. for the 2013 Urban Debate National Championship. Pauline Esman from Northside College Prep was 4th place speaker; she and her partner Jennie Wang advanced to semi-finals.

John Vitzileos also won the prestigious 2013 Julia Burke Award, given to the debater who best combines competitiveness and strong character, at the Tournament of Champions, where he and partner Jeron Dastrup made it to Double-Octos.

Hanna Nasser, CDL alumna of Whitney Young, was selected by the Chicago Debate Commission to receive the Michele Coleman Mayes Scholarship support her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Congratulations to university debate institute scholarship winners from the Chicago Debate League: Mayra DeLeon, Gerard Gueringer, Kiara Harrell, Alejandra Delcid, Viviana Gonzalez, Shelby Green, Keryk Kuiper, Robin Redmond, Tarik Shahzad, Jackie Chow, Kaylen Herring, Stephanie Lopez, Veronica Martinez. Many thanks to our generous university partners Samford University, Indiana University, Illinois State University and Northwestern University.

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