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The Broward County Public Schools’ Debate Initiative is a partnership between local businesses and high school debate programs within Broward County to promote participation and success of the schools’ debate programs.

Gunster, one of the largest law firms in Florida, and its Chairman of the Board George S. LeMieux, have taken a leadership role in promoting the initiative – along with former Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis and Broward County State Attorney Michael J. Satz.

To help ensure its success, Gunster is holding an ongoing drive to collect donations of career attire and office supplies for low-income students who desire to participate in the debate program but do not have the means to do so. The program is also in need of mentors, judges and drivers. For more information about Gunster’s involvement or to help get involved with the drive, please contact Gunster Director of Community Involvement Maureen Jaeger.

$15,000 toward Broward Schools Debate Initiative

NO DEBATE ABOUT IT: George LeMieux of Gunster (2nd from left); former Florida Bar President Euguene Pettis (3rd from right), on behalf of the Pettis Family Foundation; and Broward County State Attorney Michael J. Satz (2nd from right) donated a couple of monster-sized checks to Broward County Public Schools in February 2015 toward its debate initiative.

The debate initiative is grounded in research that shows the demonstrable impact debate has on student achievement.

According to the Broward County Public Schools debate program pamphlet, students who participate in debate:

  • increase their literacy scores by 25 percent
  • increase their GPAs by 10 percent

Nearly all students who participate in debate (98 percent) graduate from high school, and 95 percent go on to attend a four-year college.

Notably, at-risk students who participate in debate increase their chance of graduating from high school by 70 percent.

For more information about how you can get involved and support the debate initiative, contact Susan Cantrick (754-321-1859) or Lisa Miller (754-323-1759) at Broward County Public Schools.


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