(L-R) Elyse Rogers and Sam Kovi

DALLAS, Texas /Massachusetts Newswire – National News/ — Today, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is proud to announce the two finalists of the Great Communicator Debate Series South Central Regional Competition held in Dallas, TX on the campus of Southern Methodist University, home of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

“High school debates like those sponsored by the Reagan Foundation are an important step forward in reestablishing the vital public ethic of civility,” said Dr. Ben Voth, Director of Debate and Speech and Professor of Rhetoric at Southern Methodist University. “Debating provides one of our best and most reliable educational paths forward to a better future.”

Congratulations to our finalists, Sam Kovi, a sophomore from Lambert High School, part of the Forsyth County School District in Georgia, and Elyse Rogers, a senior from Classical Christian Academy in Missouri. See attached photo (linked below).

Sam praised coach Dr. Michael Hester. “He helped me to prepare for this by sitting down and chatting with me about the structure of my speeches to keep me organized and talk through the topic – he taught me how to do research to find the most reliable sources.”

Elyse, who will be attending Harding University in Arkansas this fall, overcame childhood shyness when she began debate as a required course in high school. “I discovered [debate] was something I really loved. I loved being able to research and then to communicate my ideas to others,” she said.

The top two finalists from each of the regional events earn a place in the National Championship where they receive an all-expense paid trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA as well as earning their share of $50,000 in scholarships.

The Great Communicator Debate Series (GCDS) is currently on its National tour with six in-person regional competitions and two online events with the finals hosted in Simi Valley, CA.

“The program is designed to showcase the debate and influence skills of high school students across the country,” reported Megan Gately, Director of Learning & Engagement at the Reagan Foundation. “Engaging in civil discourse through debate, where students learn that every issue has multiple points of view, empowers them to be well-rounded citizens who can express their views and respect the views of others–just like President Reagan did.”

For information on the Great Communicator Debate Series please contact

About the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the sole nonprofit organization created by President Reagan charged with advancing his legacy and principles – individual liberty, economic opportunity, freedom and democracy, peace through strength, and national pride.

The Foundation is a non-partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion, the award-winning Reagan Leadership Center, and the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s mission in Washington, DC.

The Reagan Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential, and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. More information is available at:

About SMU:

SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and more than 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, communities, and the world.


PHOTO link:

Photo caption: (L-R) Finalists, Elyse Rogers, a senior from Classical Christian Academy in Missouri, and Sam Kovi, a sophomore from Lambert High School, part of the Forsyth County School District in Georgia.

Learn More:

This version of news story was published on and is Copr. © 2024 Massachusetts Newswire™ ( – part of the Neotrope® News Network, USA – all rights reserved.

Information is believed accurate but is not guaranteed. For questions about the above news, contact the company/org/person noted in the text and NOT this website.