GDS Debate Endowment Team


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GDS Debate Endowment is designed to help fund assistant coaches and students w/ financial need to travel & attend summer debate institutes.


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The Jim Gentile Debate Endowment was established by parents of '06 debaters who recognized the immense benefits of this program to change lives...all for the better and in significant ways. They wanted to ensure every GDS student with interest in debate could fully participate in all the years ahead.

The GDS debate program offers students intense interests, opportunities to dig deeply into annual topic and incredible research skills; amazing friendships and membership in an elite national group of debaters who stay in touch and continue to inspire each other, motivating them throughout high school and endures throughout their lives.

According to longtime coach Jim Gentile, debaters acquire the following: “thinking, listening and research skills. Honing skills of persuasion and logical argument. Exposure to unexpected areas of literature. Teamwork, partnering, friendship. And above all, life lessons.”

GDS debate team founder Janet Hahn notes, “Of all the professional people I know who were debaters, I am impressed by their ability to dissect issues from so many points of view, and to respond and solve problems with creativity and flexibility.”

Debaters’ parents see their students develop focus and become so engaged that most of their free time is spent in intellectual pursuits. One mother said, “Any parent should be delighted for a kid to take up debate. The intellectual, social and emotional growth it fosters is truly something.”

Ken Simon, coach in the early years of GDS debate, points out: “It may surprise some to know how many prominent figures participated on their high school debate teams. These include presidential advisors and members of the Cabinet, judges, university presidents and top attorneys.”

What the debate team gives Georgetown Day School is national prestige – which in turn helps students applying to top-tier colleges, providing them with both academic and debating reputations as well as with a familiarity by senior year with these campuses around the country.

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GDS Debate 30th Year Celebration Committee GDS Debate 30th Year Celebration Committee