CDS Debating and Public Speaking

Students at CDS can begin debating in Grade 7 and enjoy an increasing number of opportunities to compete through Grade 12. By learning the art of debate, students build confidence, develop critical thinking and communication skills, and acquire a wider understanding of current and historical events.
The Debating & Public Speaking Club’s ongoing success over the past nine years has contributed to its growth and popularity as more experienced Senior School students are keen to mentor younger students and help contribute to their skill development.
The Club at CDS has experienced another banner year competing on the world stage. Veteran Debating Coach, Kerstin Wyndham-West, has facilitated this club for more than 20 years and is extremely well respected among her colleagues and students worldwide.

Latest Debating News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Left to Right: Anna Croxon, Maeve Tebbutt, Mrs. Wyndham-West, Anaïs Leiva von Bovet

    Best Showing Ever for CDS @ IISPSC

    Kerstin Wyndham-West, CDS Faculty and Debating Coach
    Last weekend, three students: Maeve Tebbutt (11), Anna Croxon (10) and Anaïs Leiva von Bovet (11) travelled to Winnipeg to compete in this year’s International Independent Schools' Public Speaking Competition co-hosted by Balmoral Hall School and The Gray Academy of Jewish Education. More than 140 students from 10 countries competed in their choice of three events.
    Read More
  • Olivia, Coach Kerstin Wyndham-West and Natalie at final awards dinner

    Dynamic Duo Crowned 1st & 2nd in the World

    Our top two debaters, Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and Olivia Railton ’17 made history on Monday evening, winning 1st and 2nd place in overall scoring at the 28th annual World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Pittsburgh, PA. This was Natalie’s fourth and final World Championship, having previously traveled to South Africa, Lithuania and Hong Kong, and Olivia’s second.
    Read More
  • Debater Wins National Title and Invite to Worlds

    Olivia Railton, a Grade 11 student at The Country Day School was crowned National Public Speaking and Debating Champion in Winnipeg last month, thereby qualifying for the 28th World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships March 30-April 5 for the second year in a row. Fellow debater, Grade 12 student Natalie Ganzhorn finished 5th and also qualified for Worlds for the fourth consecutive year.
    Read More
  • CDS Hosts Weekend Debating Invitational

    The Country Day School hosted its first public speaking competition in the new Senior School last Saturday.
    CDS debaters were joined by their counterparts from Branksome Hall, Bishop Strachan School, UTS, Holy Trinity School, Lakefield College School, Villanova College and Sterling Hall for the CDS Invitational. Each student competed in three events: Impromptu Speaking, Interpretive Reading, and Radio Newscast.
    Read More

Student Testimonial

List of 1 news stories.

  • Kerstin Wyndham-West, Debating Coach

    Kerstin Wyndham-West was born and raised in London, England, and she graduated in 1990 with an MA (Hons) from Hertford College, Oxford University, in Philosophy and Modern Languages. She then spent several years teaching English at the Gymnasium Oberalster in Hamburg, Germany.
    Read More


List of 5 items.

CDS World Qualifiers

CDS Students to qualify for Worlds in the past nine years:

Olivia Railton '17 and
Maeve Tebbutt '19 - Vancouver, BC
2016    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and
Olivia Railton ’17 - Pittsburgh, PA
2015 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and
Olivia Railton ’17 - Hong Kong, China
2014 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2013 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Durban, South Africa
2012 Reid Dobell ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2011 Lucas Regazzi ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2010 Victoria Sienczewski ’12 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2009 Genevieve Laurier ’09 and
Rachael Andrew ’09 - Reading, U.K.
2008 Genevieve Laurier ’09 - Winnenden, Germany

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.