Former President George W. Bush personally congratulated Minneapolis South High senior Lillie Ouellette-Howitz on her most recent debate competition win, noting that the topic – which the teen had 30 minutes to prepare for – was “fascinating” and that it “required a lot of critical thinking,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
Ouellette-Howitz's victory over 500 others at the George W. Bush Institute’s annual national high school economic debate competition in Dallas was another feather in her cap after a string of local and state titles, WCCO reported.
But it was her most exciting win yet, she said, WCCO reported.
“When I debated as president, I got hours of preparation,” Bush said. “When you debated for the coveted prize, you got 20 minutes.”
The championship debate pitted Ouellette-Howitz against Hope Merens of Milwaukee. The Minneapolis student argued the case that that Mexico would benefit from privatizing the country’s energy sector.