Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chase Urban Debate National Tournament


April 28, 2009

Chicago – Four SLPS High School students represented the St. Louis Urban Debate League this weekend in Chicago at the second annual Chase Urban Debate National Tournament. The students competed in 2-person cross examination (policy) debate against 38 teams representing 19 other urban debate leagues. Gateway Institute of Technology’s team of JD Spalding (9th) and Charles Roy (11th) placed third among the First-Year League Division, while Central Visual & Performing Arts’ Lorri Leong (10th) and Kayla Massey (10th) won the National Championship in the same division.

This year, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, in cooperation with local school districts and private partners, launched new urban debate leagues in six cities: Oakland, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Memphis, and St. Louis. Qualifying teams from these leagues competed as part of a breakout division for first year leagues. While teams in this division competed against the entire field of 38 teams from more longstanding leagues, only teams from these six leagues were eligible to advance to the breakout semifinals.

The St. Louis Urban Debate League serves students in eleven SLPS high schools, with over one hundred students having competed during the league’s inaugural season. The league is housed within the St. Louis Public Schools, being sponsored by the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Paula Knight, and supported by the nonprofit St. Louis Urban Debate League Board of Directors, chaired by local attorney David Harris, of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale P.C. Questions should be directed to the league’s Executive Director, Ravi Rao (ravirao@urbandebate.org).

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