Academics

Debate

A Competitive Edge Like Nothing Else

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  • Heritage Hall is home to the most successful, active debate program in the state.

Heritage Hall’s competitive academic debate program is designed to enrich advanced critical thinking, advocacy, philosophy, politics, research, and communication skills. Policy debate (two-person team) is the oldest form of academic debate and is our program’s main focus.

Under the direction of a dedicated, full-time coach and part-time assistants who ensure quality training, our debate team competes with the best debate teams in the country at the most prestigious tournaments on the national circuit. The circuit culminates with two major tournaments: the National Speech and Debate Association national championships and the prestigious Tournament of Champions. Heritage Hall frequently qualifies for these championships, allowing Charger debaters to test themselves against the best in the country.

Additionally, as a Class 6A member of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA), our debaters attend OSSAA-sanctioned Oklahoma tournaments and have an impressive 18 state championships (10 since 2004).

No other school in Oklahoma offers students in policy debate this breadth of experience.

A Competitive Edge

Recent Heritage Hall debate team members say debate played a large role in scholarship offers from and/or admission to the following colleges and universities:

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  • Amherst College

  • Boston College

  • Cal Berkeley

  • Emory

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  • Georgetown

  • Harvard

  • MIT

  • Northwestern

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  • The University of Oklahoma

  • University of Southern California

  • University of Texas Honors College

  • Wake Forest

Program Highlights

  • More than 60 HH debaters have qualified for the National Forensics League debate national championships (NSDA), with numerous Top 25 finishes, and a first place policy debate national championship in 2020.
  • Ted W. Belch Award-winning coach (2020).
  • Heritage Hall debate has earned 18 (6A) OSSAA state championships (10 since 2004).
  • Since 2004, nine HH debaters have qualified for the Tournament of Champions (TOC), the most prestigious tournament on the national circuit.
  • HH debaters are frequently recruited to attend and debate at prestigious colleges and universities.
  • Our debate program hosts the J.W. Patterson Invitational Debate Tournament that serves as a national qualifier to the TOC. It is the only debate tournament in Oklahoma that has been given this honor.

Meet Our Coach

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  • Photo of William Gaston

    William Gaston 

    MS/US Speech and Debate, Debate Coach
    405.749.3033
Heritage Hall is a co-educational college preparatory school in Oklahoma City. As one of the few secular private schools in the state, we offer a challenging academic curriculum for students from preschool through grade 12, as well as unique leadership opportunities, a wide spectrum of athletics, and a well developed fine arts program.