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2023 High School Debate Championship

The City Club of Cleveland hosts the annual High School Debate Championship.

For more than two decades, The City Club of Cleveland has hosted the annual High School Debate Championship.

Every year, the top two area high school debaters square off in a classic "Lincoln-Douglas" style debate at a Friday forum. This allows the debaters to compete—not only for the judges and audience in the room—but also for our radio and television audiences.

The debaters will be Kaitlyn Ernst of Laurel School, coached by Rachel Rothschild and Rich Kawolics; and Sam Bowen of Hawken School, coached by Robert Shurtz and Eva Lamberson.

The finalists will debate the topic Resolved: Justice requires open borders for human migration.

On behalf of BakerHostetler, we are honored to support this annual tradition in memory of Patrick Jordan--a lawyer, fierce protector of democracy and free speech, and was a championship debater himself.

Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with ideastream is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.


  • Sam Bowen Student, Hawken School
  • Kaitlyn Ernst Student, Laurel School


  • Ella Jewell 2022 High School Debate Champion, Kenston High School
  • Michael K. McIntyre Executive Editor, Ideastream Public Media