WDI Board Member and Alumni Rhian Williams Wins First College Debate Tournament!

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Rhian and Jenny display their awards from the Kentucky College Tournament.


In their first college tournament, WDI Board Member Rhian Williams and his partner Jenny Anton won the JV division at the Kentucky College Tournament.  The duo, who represent Wayne State University, won the first (Jenny) and second (Rhian) speaker wards in the JV division.  Rhian and Jenny were debate partners in high school and are continuing that tradition in college.  According to Jenny Anton, the team “couldn’t be more appreciative” of their high school and college coaches.  The WDI is looking forward to seeing what these two first years do as they advance in their debate careers.  Congratulations on your outstanding success Rhian and Jenny!

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Board Member Brooke Kimbrough Wins Consecutive Debate Competitions!

Brooke and Geo display their First Place Trophy from the Mukai. Photo: Sharon Hopkins
Brooke and Geo display their First Place Trophy from the Mukai. Photo: Sharon Hopkins

WDI Board Member Brooke Kimbrough and her partner Geordano Liriano are celebrating multiple victories today.  Brooke and Geo won the Val A. Browning Round Robin at Weber State University and the Mukai invitational.  The team from the University of Iowa are both sophomores.   Coach Gabriel Murillo described the wins, “Independently both are great accomplishments, winning both is just really incredible.”

At the round robin, Brooke and Geo won 6 debates and were the 1st (Brooke) and Second (Geo) speakers in their pod.

At the Mukai, they posted a preliminary record of 7-1 and were the 3rd (Brooke) and 4th (Geo) speakers.  The team also appeared in the quarterfinals at the UMKC Baby Jo Memorial earlier this year.

Brooke & Geo holding their speaker awards. Photo: Sharon Hopkins.
Brooke & Geo holding their speaker awards. Photo: Sharon Hopkins.

Coach Sharon Hopkins said, “Geo takes his craft so seriously and is supremely dedicated to his next speech being better than the last. Brooke is a fire 2N making aff after aff disintegrate into dust. They did it all while being their authentic, silly selves.”

With such a great start, the WDI looks forward to following Brooke and Geo throughout the year.  Sharon Hopkins agrees, “I was happy I could be along for the ride to see their maturation from last year. The best is yet to come for these youngsters.”

Congratulations Brooke and Geo.  The WDI is so happy to see your success.  We are proud that you are finding ways to win while being true to your “authentic, silly selves.”

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Alumni Ariel Olson Earns Her First TOC Bid.

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Ariel holding her award.

2015 WDI alumni and member of the Curriculum Committee Ariel Olson earned her 1st bid to the TOC recently.  She made it to the semifinal round at The Crestian in Lincoln Douglas. Olson had a record of 4-2 in preliminary debates coming back from a disappointing 2-2 on the first day. Ariel debates for Fort Lauderdale High School.

Olson was ecstatic upon receiving her 1st bid to the tournament of champions after beating Justin Yang from American Heritage. “Debate means a lot to me, I’m excited I received my first bid and I can’t wait till I get the next,” Olson stated.

Olson was also took part in The Crestian Round Robin and ran arguments centered around herself and her relation to the topic. Ariel is hoping that she can receive her next bid at The University of Florida’s Blue Key tournament at the end of this month. Ariel practices debate daily and always helps others.

Congratulations Ariel! The WDI is glad to see you winning and making debate a better place.  Way to go!

Ariel with her Assistant Coach Mrs. Stickna

2015 WDI Faculty Member LaToya Green Wins Coach of the Year Award!


2015 WDI faculty member LaToya Green was named coach of the year at the 19th annual Val. A. Browning Round Robin in Ogden, Utah. LaToya coaches at the California State University-Fullteron.

LaToya was honored to receive the award.  She wrote, “I can think of a million and one coaches who deserve this award, so to know that there are people who actually voted for me to receive this honor is truly humbling.”

She also thanked her students, “To my girls, Berenice and Gabriela there is NO coaching award without a hardworking team to coach so thank you for being brilliant in the moments its time to make magic and resilient in the moments where things don’t always go as we planned.”

The WDI is inspired by LaToya’s accomplishments.  Congratulations Toya!

LaToya holding her award.
Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

Congratulations to WDI Board Member Nicole Nave for Winning UMKC!

Congratulations to WDI Board Member Nicole Nave and her partner, Devane Murphy, for Winning UMKC!

“The Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) debate team starts the 2015-16 season ranked number one in the country among more than 75 collegiate policy debate programs after its victory at the Baby Jo Memorial Debate Tournament. On a 2-1 decision during the final round against a team from the University of California, Berkeley, the duo of Nicole Nave (a junior from Ferguson, Missouri, who currently resides in South Orange, New Jersey) and Devane Murphy (a junior from Newark, New Jersey) garnered RU-N’s first championship honor at a national level. Nave and Murphy also received top-20 speaker awards, sixth and 11th place, respectively.

“The powerful logic and compelling presentations of our Rutgers University-Newark debaters are clear evidence of their potential to become lifelong intellectual leaders in the public sphere. This extraordinary team will honor our investments in their education many times over for many years,” states Marc Holzer, founding dean of Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA).” (Source: http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/news/ru-n-debate-team-tops-nation)

To read the whole article, click here.

Congrats to all the ladies on their success this season!

Round of applause for all the girls rocking it out at both the collegial and high school levels these past view weekends. Heres some updates on the great weekends WDI alums, staff and Collegiate scholars are having locally and nationally!

At the high school level:

  • Lornex Rono debated maverick, was named 3rd speaker and champion at first tournament of the year in the Boston Debate League
  • Haley Uttley had a great showing at her first tournament of the year going 5-0 at Blue Valley SouthWest
  • Mary Floreani received 3rd place in Cross-Examination debate at the SDO TFA tournament and debating with a new partner this past weekend earned 3rd place at the Judson Invitational
  • Tamara Morrison won the Detroit Urban Debate League tournament, following qualifying for the Tournament of Champions

At the collegiate level:

  • Jyleesa Hampton was 4th speaker and a semifinalist at UNLV
  • Brooke Kimbrough advanced to quarters of the UNLV tournament after ending prelims 4-3
  • Maddie Langr earned 7th speaker and was a quarterfinalist at the Kentucky tournament
  • Miranda Elrich fresh off the round robin ended prelims at 7-1, earned 19th speaker and an appearance in the octos of Kentucky
  • Marlene Anderson earned the 14th seed at UNLV after a strong prelims and advanced to octos
  • Nicole Nave upset the 5th seed and advanced to octos at UNLV
  • Haley Larsen was 18th speaker and made an appearance in Double octos

Stay tuned for more updates on WDI attendees seasons, awards and tournaments.


WDI will be a host of the US National Debate Team tryouts

We are very proud to be a site to host this years US National Debate Team tryouts. Any registered WDI student can try out for free.


Claremont McKenna College, through its Claremont Colleges Debate Union (CCDU) and high school debate outreach program – the High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP) – has been selected by the World Schools Debating Council as the official US representative to recruit, select, and train students for its international debate competitions.

John Meany is the Director of the Debate Union. Among other Debate Union educational outreach initiatives, he administers the Debate Union’s Public Debate Program, a comprehensive effort promoting national and international class and contest debating for secondary schools. The Public Debate Program is the largest and fastest growing debate outreach network in the United States and one of the largest in the world. It now operates in 40 states and 20 countries.

The Public Debate Program includes the international US – World Schools Debating Championship (USWSDC) program, the High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP), and the Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP). John Meany is the US representative on the World Schools Debating Council. Kate Shuster, the Co-Executive Director of the Middle School Public Debate Program, also assists administration of the USWSDC program, including conducting auditions, selecting Team USA participants, coordinating participation for international events, and coaching the teams. Meany and Shuster

Auditions for Team USA – 2011-2012 Participation

Students from throughout the US are welcome to audition for international debate teams. The first team qualifies to participate at the 2012 WSDC Championship, to be held in Capetown, South Africa. Additional teams are eligible to attend regional and individual country tournaments.

Feel free to contact WDI board member Kate Shuster for details kate.shuster@gmail.com

For more information about the US national team and tryouts see: http://uswsdc.org/auditions/


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