Boston Debate Director Recognized at National Barkley Forum in Atlanta

Steve Stein is welcomed into the Gold Key Society, one of the
most prestigious communities in the forensics world

This past weekend, history was made for the Boston Debate League (BDL) at the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University in Atlanta. Steve Stein, the league’s Executive Director, was welcomed into the prestigious Gold Key Society for his commitment to urban education and success in building a large and effective urban debate league here in Boston.

Stein is a former nationally competitive high school and college debater who pursued a career as a high school teacher and debate coach. At Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, GA, Stein built one of the largest and most successful high school teams in the country. Since Stein joined the BDL in 2008, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds. He has boldly aimed to double student participation, and he has done just that in each of the last three years. So far this school year, over 500 Boston Public School students have participated in the life-changing activity of debate, and thousands more benefit from a program to train teachers in all subjects to use debate activities in their classroom to increase the engagement and rigor of their teaching.

“There are a lot of things that Steve Stein could have done with his many talents, and he chose to serve as a teacher, and then go on to impact thousands of urban students through his work with the BDL,” says Tim Averill, a member of the BDL Advisory Council and 1989 inductee to the Key Society for his coaching at Manchester High School.
“Anyone who meets Steve immediately recognizes his enthusiasm for debate, and it’s contagious,” says John Isaacson, the BDL Board Chair and former national college debate champion at Dartmouth. Isaacson adds, “He holds the core belief that debate is for everyone. Steve has sold us all the idea that competitive debate, in classrooms and after school, can transform the educational experience in a school when it hits a critical mass of students.”

Every year, Emory University honors high school students and teachers for their commitment to excellence in forensics. One of the most celebrated events is the presentation by the Key Society, an exclusive group of coaches honored for their successes. The first urban debate leagues started in Atlanta in 1985 and The Barkley Forum was a pioneer in the growth of this movement.

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