Lanier MS Wins Ninth Consecutive National Speech/Debate Championship

Coach attributes success to constant practice, alumni “paying it forward”

July 06, 2011

Lanier Middle School’s speech and debate team won its ninth consecutive national championship in Dallas in June, after facing teams from all over the country in the 2011 National Junior Forensics League Tournament.

Lanier was recognized as the “Overall School of Excellence” and the “Debate School of Excellence,” while eighth-graders Connor Burwell (impromptu speaking), Dylan Berens (extemporaneous speaking), and Chris Galliano and Gavin Martin (public forum debate) all placed first in their respective categories.

“This team battled extremely tough competition and persevered through a grueling schedule,” said Coach Franz Hill. “We couldn’t have achieved this without the parental and administrative support and the guidance of the alumni assistant coaches.”

2011 marked Hill’s fourth year leading the Lanier team. He coached the debate team at Long Middle School for four years before that.