Ron Bratt has dedicated his life to instilling debate skills in the youth. He does so because he has witnessed how it enhances their growth intellectually. Ron has been integral to building high school and college debate programs to help students learn practical skills that will benefit and enrich their lives.
Ron Bratt and Catholic University Debate
Ron Bratt has attained exceptional success in the competitive debate circuit. He began the Catholic University Debate program in 1998 and in its first year it made it to the finals of the American Debate Association. By the year 2001, the program had thirty members and was classified number one in the National Debate Tournament rankings.
Catholic University Debate, directed by Ron, attained many other successes. Later in 2001, the team won two national titles including the American Debate Association Varsity Championship and the Cross Examination Debate Association Novice National Championship. Two short years later the team won two other national titles and proved that the teach program used by the program was of the highest tier.
Capitol Classic Debate
Along with the Catholic University Debate team, Ron Bratt also started Capitol Classic Debate- America’s leading high school debate institute at Catholic University. This Institute had a base of over 200 students from around 30 states. Its success is clearly seen based on the great number of debate champions who have graduated from the program.
In the later half of 2002 Ron Bratt helped begin the Urban Debate League in Washington, D.C. As one of the founding directors of the League, Ron recruited students, built a sturdy infrastructure, and educated both students and teachers. Nowadays, Ron Bratt is honored that the League remains healthy and vital.
Ron Bratt: International Success
With the success of these national programs under his belt, Ron decided that it would be best to expand internationally. In 2003 Ron Bratt worked closely with the International Debate Educational Association to bring over 50 European learners to the US in order to have them learn leadership and debate.
The following year, in 2004, Ron took over 30 students from 7 countries including Russia, China, Haiti, Argentina, and South Africa to train and compete at the National Forensics League’s National Tournament.
In the year of 2006, Ron decided to create an even larger impact by founding Capitol Debate. Capitol Debate is a 501©(3) dedicated to progressing debate around the country. The program’s premier mission was Howard County and it began with only one debater. Ron Bratt has expanded this program to include over 100 students, who represent 13 high schools and 19 middle schools. In 2009, displaying the strength of Ron’s teaching and training program, the Howard County debaters won the Middle School National Championships. A couple of years later, both in 2010 and 2011, they won it again. They also took the top prize for the Freshman National Debate Championships and they regularly place in the top three at major national debate contests.
Most recently, in 2012, Ron Bratt inaugurated Capitol Classic Debate as an independent LLC. This allowed him to grow the company further, expanding it to beyond the borders of Maryland and Virginia, into California, China, and Taiwan.
“One of the greatest gifts I received as a kid was the opportunity to be on the speech and debate team. You know, I started capitol debate because I wanted to give other kids the same opportunities that I had as a kid. The doors that were opened, the confidence that it gave me, how it increased my self esteem and allowed me to meet and compete against other students that have the same interests and passions that I have. There is nothing more fulfilling to me then to see kids grow into a confident and outspoken adult. To see the smile on their face when they succeed in debate and know they can succeed in anything is priceless. Helping a child find his or her voice allows them to control their own destiny and shape the world around them. Being involved in the debate community for over 30 years provides me infinite resources that I can deliver to my students. Our faculty consists of nationally recognized coaches and educators that have dedicated their passion to improving other students lives, they have coached nation champions but more importantly they have inspired hundreds of kids nationwide. My greatest joy comes from watching students grow in our programs. I have watched hundreds of kids come to my programs and go on to colleges such as, Harvard, Dartmouth, Emory, USC, Wake Forest, Berkeley, University of Chicago and Stanford. I have watched a generation of peers become leading figures in their fields. Including leading lawyers, doctors, economists, scientists and financial experts. We teach the kids in a supportive and motivating environment while allowing them to have fun. We take breaks to go to the movies, swimming, cultural field trips and educational events.”