Ron Bratt has dedicated his life to helping to develop debate skills in children because he has seen how it intensifies their mental growth. He has been involved in creating high school debate and college debate programs to help students learn practical skills that will benefit and enrich their lives.
Ron has attained outstanding success on the competitive debate circuit. He began the Catholic University Debate program in 1998. In its first year it advanced to the finals of the American Debate Association. By the year of 2001, the program had 30 members and was rated number 1 in the National Debate Tournament rankings.
Catholic University Debate, under Ron’s leadership, received many other accolades. 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 years later the program won two more national titles and showed that its teaching program was of the highest possible caliber.
Along with that, Ron established Capitol Classic Debate, America’s leading high school debate institute at Catholic University. The Institute drew over 200 students, from nearly 30 states. Its success is apparent from the numerous national debate champions that have graduated from its halls.
In the fall of 2002, Ron helped form the Urban Debate League in Washington, DC. As one of the founding directors of the League, Ron recruited students, established a solid infrastructure, and trained both students and teachers. Today, he is proud that the League remains strong and vibrant.
With these national successes under his belt, Ron expanded internationally. In 2003, he worked closely with the International Debate Educational Association to bring more than 50 European students to the United States to learn leadership and debate.
The next year, Ron brought over 30 students from seven countries, including Russia, China, Haiti, Argentina, and South Africa to train and compete at the National Forensics League’s National Tournament.
In 2006, Ron decided to make an even bigger impact by founding Capitol Debate, a 501(c)(3) committed to encourage debate across the country. The program’s first mission was Howard County and it started with one debater. Ron has built this program to include over 100 students, taken from the 13 high schools and 19 middle schools in the county. In 2009, in a testament to Ron’s training methods, the Howard County debaters won the Middle School National Championships. They won it again in 2010 and 2011. That same year, the Howard County debaters also won the Freshman National Debate Championships. They usually place in the top three at major national debate competitions.
In 2012, Ron established Capitol Classic Debate as an independent LLC. This allowed him to grow the company, pushing it beyond the borders of Maryland and Virginia, into California, China, and Taiwan.