Batavia student top speaker at debate program

August 17th, 2011    Author: Administrator    Filed Under: Community

Noor Masannat of Amman, Jordan and Amos Chapman of Keller, Texas were declared winners of the Four Star Debate leadership and debate program on Thursday. Two teams of students competed in debating whether the 50 states in America should adopt a system of school choice for private and public primary and secondary schools.

From left are Randall Oliver, Sydney Hayes, Dr. John Goodman, Manar Haseeb, Gen. Tommy Franks, Noor Masannat, Dr. Mike O'Neal, Amos Chapman and Edward Hoffman.

“At Four Star Debate, we strive to teach students how to disagree without being disagreeable,” Gen. Franks said. “With the current conflicts plaguing our world, I am confident we’re in good hands with these 50 students leading the way. Noor and Amos showed the kind of determination and teamwork that make great leaders.”

The first place team received $2,500 scholarships each.

Guest judges for the final debate include two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michele Smith, Peggy Pepper Wilkinson, Chris Burke, Mayu Takeda and Matthew Carswell.

“The final debate was a lively and informative session that showcased the skills and knowledge these students have learned throughout the program,” said Dr. John Goodman, NCPA president and final event moderator. “I’m optimistic that all the students will go on to be the strong leaders and thinkers we need for the future.”

Other winners include:

• The second place team of Manar Haseeb of Garland, Texas and Randall Oliver of Lindale, Texas won $1,000 scholarships each.

• Edward Hoffman of Batavia, Ohio won a $1,000 scholarship for being voted the top speaker.

• Sydney Hayes of Lincoln, Nebraska won the Jack Kemp Award and a $1,000 scholarship for being voted by her peers as the most helpful student.

• Noor Masannat won a $1,000 scholarship for being voted the most-improved debater.

“We are elated to see Four Star Debate continue to grow a national and international reputation,” said Dr. Mike O’Neal, president of Oklahoma Christian University. “Watching these very gifted young people from all over the U.S. and Jordan engaging in stimulating yet civil debate was entertaining and educational.”

Students received training from high-profile academic experts, NCPA professional policy analysts, debate coaches and university debate students. Leadership development and communications training was provided by OC’s nationally recognized faculty, staff and academy contributors. The highlights of the week included learning invaluable lessons on leadership from Franks, the four-star general who commanded American and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a surprise visit from King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Four Star Debate: Developing Leaders with General Tommy Franks is hosted by the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

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