CDL Honored by Mayor Richard M. Daley

Featured at Principal-for-a-Day Luncheonn

Mayor Daley brought the “Principal for a Day” (PFAD) program in Chicago in 1998. He sought to highlight the increasing private sector interest in helping the Chicago Public Schools on the part of the many business and civic leaders who have a broad understanding of the accomplishments and challenges faced by the students, teachers, and principals of CPS.

On October 29, the Chicago Debate League took part in the luncheon hosted by the Mayor and his wife Maggie at the Chicago Hilton and Towers to honor four hundred PFAD partners. Misael Gonzalez, CDL debater from Whitney Young High School, co-hosted the event. Misael also gave a speech in which he described his experience in the CDL and how that participation has benefited him. Both Mayor Daley and co-host Dean Richards of WGN directly praised Misael’s speech.

In his speech, Misael pointed to the connection between a strong league and his competitive successes. He said, “I’d like to thank the Chicago Debate Commission, and of course Chicago Public Schools, for their assistance to schools like mine and students like me. The CDC has organized the National Circuit Program, which has supplemented the core support, on top of the CPS foundation, has enabled students like me to excel and to see how far our hard work can take us. The CDL is a great example of the public-private partnership that the Mayor’s Luncheon today is designed to celebrate and expand.”

Misael added, “Work by the CDL to attain outside help from very generous organizations like Allstate and several major Chicago law firms made all the difference in the opportunities public school debaters have. Only two months into the season, my debate partner and I have qualified for the national circuit championship and we hope, with the continued support from outside sources, to show the nation that urban public schools are a debate force to be reckoned with.”

Additionally, in advance of the luncheon, the Frazier International Baccalaureate Elementary School Debate Team conducted a program for guests called “Are You Smarter than a Sixth Grade Debater?” based on the TV quiz show. Questions were drawn from the past two debate topics, poverty and alternative energy. It turns out the Frazier debaters were smarter, besting the PFAD guest consultants 60% of the time!