4th Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute a big success!

The 2018 Ornstein Summer Debate Institute was bigger, longer, and better than ever! More students (138) participated than ever before, even more than we were expecting, and did so for two weeks instead of one, a sign of growth and maturity of our summer program. The program was so large that our end of institute tournament had to be held at two locations--many thanks to Trinity Washington University and Washington Latin for your generosity!

The institute couldn't have gone off so well without our amazing staff. The summer institute is the one time of year where I feel like I actually have the staff I'd like to have during the academic year, a collection of passionate debate experts willing to pass along their wisdom to the next generation from across the nation. This year's staff represented 12 states, 12 universities, and more than 100 years of debate expertise. We had alumni of the New York, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Washington Urban Debate Leagues on staff, plus the Director of the Miami Urban Debate League and coaches from the Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, and Minnesota Urban Debate Leagues. This was the first year we had WUDL alumni on staff, something we were very excited about. Thank you all for a great summer, and come back next year!

Every year, the summer institute culminates in a competition, allowing students to show what they've learned and put their knowledge into practice.


Paris Smalley (Flowers) and Eric Clarke (Columbia Heights) are two gifted debaters whose teams have trouble keeping up with them. They debated together at the summer institute, and dominated the competition, winning the Varsity Division and the top two speaker awards. Kevin Tezi and Munyang Tengen got 2nd, and relative newcomers Mak Aneke (rising sophomore at DuVal) and Nye Glover (Wise) took 3rd place. DuVal's Ernest Ntangu and Jonathan Collins placed 4th, while Kaitlyn McClinton (Bowie) and Gabby Martin (Wise) took 5th. Unicorn Munsat (Capital City) and Jemilatu Bayoh (Stephen Decatur) placed 6th, despite being the youngest team in the Varsity Division, and Lucy Chamberlain (Alice Deal) and Zara Escobar (School Without Walls) took 7th. Zara, who was the top speaker the last two years in Novice and JV, respectively, didn't disappoint, taking the 7th speaker award in her first foray into Varsity.

Junior Varsity:

In JV, the story of the summer was powerful female debaters kicking ass and taking names. The future is bright, and coming sooner than you think.

Asha Verma (Kenmoor) and Steve Mirabello (School without Walls) dominated the JV Division, going undefeated and even beating some Varsity teams in practice rounds. Nadia Jason (Dora Kennedy) and Io Ken (Stuart Hobson) took 2nd, while Alex Morrisey (Dora Kennedy) and Kate O'Brien (EL Haynes) took 3rd. Clarke Dickens (Capital City) and Ademide Ogunmefun (Bowie) took 4th, Stephanie Boyd (Eleanor Roosevelt) and Gabby Gross (Dora Kennedy) took 5th, Isabel Ramirez (Greenbelt) and Robbie Mirabello (Washington Latin) took 6th and Isatou Jawara (Kenmoor) and Nassir Purnell Snowden (Washington Latin) took 7th.


Washington Latin, the home team, dominated, winning 14 trophies, or almost 1/3 of all of the awards given out.

1st: Tyler Stienberg (Everett Just) and Alexci Clarke (Greenbelt)

2nd: Isabelle Charles (Washington Latin) and Micah Clark-Suave (Inspired Teaching)

3rd: Benjamin Champion (CMIT) and Timothy Oshunkoya (Benjamin Tasker)

4th: Calvinna Anderson (Browne EC) and Elizabeth Campbell (Washington Latin)

5th: Immanuel Charles and Sheridan Easterling (Washington Latin)

6th: Amina Ford (Basis DC) and Brooke Robinson (Washington Latin)

7th: Joey Villaflor (Capital City) and Tristan Bercian (Greenbelt)

DC Prep's Krista Green was the top overall speaker in the Novice Division

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