Owen Jones of Lane Tech College Prep took home the first place speaker award at the National Urban Debate Championships in Washington, D.C. on April 18, besting 75 students from 19 urban debate leagues around the country.

Owen Jones and Joey Peculis at the Mayer Brown Nationals Qualifier

Jones and his partner, Joey Peculis from Lane, along with the team of Hanna Nasser and Sydney Doe of Whitney Young, represented the Chicago Debate League at the national tournament, after taking top places at the Mayer Brown Nationals Qualifier on March 31.  At the national tournament, Hanna and Sydney reached the semi-finals, while Owen and Joey reached the quarter-finals.  Hanna took home 5th place speaker and Sydney received the 20th place speaker award.

These CDL students participated in all the championship weekend festivities, including a formal dinner featuring keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and honoring NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a public debate at the National Air and Space Museum, and a career panel and private tour at the museum.  The tournament itself took place at Georgetown University and final rounds were judged by members of the Georgetown debate team, recent victors in the prestigious National Debate Tournament.

Congratulations to our students on a great showing at Nationals – and to the Atlanta Urban Debate League for its win.