iDebate Winning Team


Nevada and Illinois Students Win Debate and Leadership Competition, $2500 Scholarships

Oklahoma City (August 8, 2008) -- A debate team comprised of Noel Gordon, a high school junior from Henderson, Nevada and Hannah Ketring, a high school junior from Flanagan, Illinois were named the big winners at a week-long leadership camp hosted by retired General Tommy Franks.

idebate: Developing Leaders with General Tommy Franks, began Sunday and wrapped up Thursday night with a final debate that featured two top teams, three professional judges, two celebrity judges and a moderator from Fox News. The leadership development program brought in 48 students from all over the country to Oklahoma City where they were trained in strategic thinking, planning, communication, teamwork and persuasion.

Gordon and Kettring provided the affirmative argument in a debate on universal health care and won the debate by a 3-2 judges' vote. For winning, they each will receive a $2500 college scholarship.

"The winning team demonstrated what I have been promoting all week long," said Gen. Franks. "That one can convincingly argue on a topic without rancor or making it personal."

The celebrity judges for the final debate were Bill Richardson, New Mexico governor and recent presidential candidate, and Jack Kemp, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a previous presidential candidate.

iDebate is sponsored by The General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum along with Oklahoma Christian University's (OC) Academy of Leadership & Liberty and the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

Gordon, Kettring and the other 46 students spent the week receiving training from the NCPA's professional analysts and debate coaches, OC professors and university debate students. Students also worked directly with General Franks and other nationally recognized leaders such as NCPA President Dr. John Goodman and Dr. Nathan B. Mellor, Executive Director of the Academy of Leadership and Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University.

The Academy of Leadership & Liberty is located on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University and strives to identify, encourage and support leaders who are willing to use their leadership skills to promote equality, freedom, character and service. The National Center for Policy Analysis is a nonprofit public policy research organization that seeks private sector solutions for public policy problems. The General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum is a national, world-class facility devoted to enhancing balanced decision-making through the critical study of history.