At their February 25th Board Meeting, Vice President Claire Muñana recognized the accomplishments of the Chicago Debate League, including spotlighting the accomplishments of several of the city’s finest high school debaters.

“We are pleased to recognize champion debaters from our district,” Ms. Muñana began. “This year the Allstate CPS Conference Championships involved 392 debaters from 45 CDL high schools. This competition culminated the season-long competition within the “A” and “AA” Conferences to declare one school the champion in each conference and award college scholarships funded with the support of Allstate.”

She continued, “With us today are Brandon McNamara and Ted Phillips from Harlan High School who won the 2009 Allstate CPS “AA” Conference Championship in debate. Harlan’s Head Debate Coach is Robert Pincham, son of the late Judge R. Eugene Pincham. Michael Harris and Terrence George from Lincoln Park High School won the 2009 Allstate CPS “A” Conference Championship in Debate. Lincoln Park’s Head Debate Coach is Laura Houston. Debater Terrence George is also one of our Honorary Student Board Member Shadow Students.”

Vice President Ms. Muñana also recognized the achievement of CDL students at the regional and national level. “Whitney Young debaters Misael Gonzalez and Kevin Hirn were the champions of the Regional Circuit Conference tournament at Lane Tech and were recently invited to the Northwestern University National Round Robin for Juniors. Whitney Young’s coach is Jennifer Higgs. The Northwestern tournament is considered the most prestigious debate event in the country for Juniors in high school.

Ms.. Muñana added “The Regional Circuit Conference, as it is known, brings together the top debate schools in the CDL with top suburban debate schools which rank among the best in the nation. Misael and Kevin have accumulated one of the top two season-long records in the RCC, distinguishing themselves at debate tournaments in more than a half-dozen states this year, and most recently at the University of California-Berkeley.”

The Board of Education also honored the contributions of Allstate, who played a key role in sponsoring the city Conference Championships. “Allstate not only funded some of the core operational costs of the events, it also provided college scholarships to the top four Varsity teams in each Conference. The Varsity Champion team in each Conference won a $1,000 scholarship. Additionally, Allstate volunteers got directly involved by helping with tournament administration and judging more than 50 debate rounds over the weekend.”

Finally, the Board credited Sylvia Nelson Jordan, the CPS/OHSP Program Manager for Academic Decathlon as well as the CDL. “We thank Sylvia for her dedication and recognize the hard work of her assistant Na-Tae’ Thompson as well.”