MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis South High senior Lillie Ouellette-Howitz has been crowned a national debate champion after taking first in public speaking at the George W. Bush Institute’s annual national high school economic debate competition in Dallas, Texas.
Former president George W. Bush congratulated Ouellette-Howitz on her win, in which she successfully argued that Mexico would benefit from the privatization of the country’s energy sector. According to the Dallas Morning News, President Bush said the subject was “fascinating” and “required a lot of critical thinking.” Ouellette-Howitz and her opponent had 30 minutes to prepare for the debate.
“This was the most exciting tournament I have ever won, especially with the scholarship opportunities,” said Ouellette-Howitz, who has won numerous local and state public speaking and debate titles.
All contestants who reached the elimination rounds are eligible for scholarships up to $20,000.