Claire LaneJunior Claire Lane of Greenfield, MA received news on Monday, January 19th that she has been selected for the U.S. team that will compete at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Hong Kong this April. With this prestigious invitation, Claire becomes the 14th Stoneleigh-Burnham student to compete at the world level (see full list here).

At the World Championship, Claire will compete in four categories: Parliamentary Debate, in which she will be paired with someone she has never met, and then will have just ten minutes with her partner to prepare an argument on an unknown topic; Impromptu Speaking; Interpretive Reading; and After-Dinner Speaking. As a stipulation of the championship, Claire will only be able to present work that has been developed since January 1, 2015.

“I believe there are two main reasons Claire has been selected for the U.S. team: 1) The impressive body of work she has accomplished over the last two years, and 2) Claire’s tireless work ethic,” says Dr. Paul Bassett, head coach of the Stoneleigh-Burnham Debate & Public Speaking Society. Claire has been a member of three first-place Stoneleigh-Burnham debate and public speaking teams in her past two years. In addition, Claire attended Stoneleigh-Burnham’s summer debate camp, A Voice of Her Own, in which she was able to further develop her craft.

Claire will be working closely with her two debate and public speaking coaches, Dr. Paul Bassett and History Department Chair Karen Pleasant, as often as possible from now until the competition in April. Claire will next compete at the Kingswood-Oxford Speaking Tournament on Sunday, February 8th, in which she will have an opportunity to present a new After-Dinner speech.

Claire will be accompanied in Hong Kong by her mother, Karen Suchenski, SBS 8th grade Humanities teacher and coincidentally, a staff member of the school’s summer debate camp.