The Global Academic Commons only hires the very best and most experienced instructors so that we can provide the very best instruction to all of our students. Most of our instructors have more than two decades of teaching experience and even our younger instructors have demonstrated exceptional academic and competitive success. We know that all competitors and parents want the very best and we are committed to providing just that.
The Founder of Global Academic Commons and the Director of Global Academic Commons Online programs, Stefan was a policy debate coach for the Harvard University Debate Council for twelve years, and is currently the Debate Coach for Lakeland School District, as well as the Founder and Director of Millennial Speech & Debate, the Georgetown Public Forum Debate Workshop, the Georgetown Public Forum debate tournament, and the Middle School Tournament of Champions. Stefan has been actively teaching speaking and debating in the United States at both the high school and college levels since 1994. During that time, he has taught hundreds of students, developed and tabulated more than one hundred tournaments, spent thousands of hours developing research and instructional materials for debaters all over the country, and has developed academic speech and debate workshops in the United States and abroad. His students have reached the late elimination rounds of all the major high school debate tournaments, have qualified to the TOC, finished 6th out of more than 200 teams at US NSDA nationals, and have competed in all formats. He has worked to develop debate in the US, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Japan, Morocco, and Taiwan. High school students he has worked with have been admitted to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Emory, Georgetown, Northwestern, and many additional top US universities. His elementary students have been accepted to Harrow International School Hong Kong and Legacy International in Switzerland.
Stefan is available to teach all debate events, public speaking, and assist with preparation for Model United Nations.
Dr. Rachel Williams is the Director of Public Speaking Curriculum Development and Lead Public Speaking Instructor at Global Academic Commons. She holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature and a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and has presented and published her work in the United States and abroad. Dr. Williams has over 10 years teaching experience at universities in the U.S. and France, where she has designed and taught a wide variety of courses focused on the development of speaking and writing skills in both English and French, from the beginner to the advanced levels. She has also taught English as a Second Language, with an emphasis on the acquisition of public speaking and composition skills, at Université Lumière Lyon II in Lyon, France. In Summer 2019, she was a faculty member at NSDA China’s inaugural summer camp, teaching public speaking and Original Oratory.
At Global Academic Commons, Dr. Williams has hundreds of hours of tutoring experience and works with students of all ages to improve their public speaking and writing skills. She teaches courses focused on tournament preparation and more general courses designed to increase skill-level on a broader spectrum. Her Original Oratory students have been very successful, going on to reach the final rounds and win at several tournaments.
Rachel is available to teach public speaking, Original Oratory, and middle school and beginner Public Forum Debate. She is also our French tutor.
Brian Manuel is the Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University and the Director of Debate at Edgemont High School. Prior to Stanford, Brian coached for Harvard University, where his teams were greatly successful achieving multiple First Round At-Large bids to the National Debate Tournament and participated in elimination rounds. At Stanford, Brian has coached teams to the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament and the Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship. On the high school circuit, Brian has coached the champions of the 2003 Bronx Science, 2008 Barkley Forum, 2011 Meadows & USC tournaments, and the 2012 Golden Desert Invitational. In addition, Brian has had multiple teams in the elimination rounds of the Tournament of Champions, NDCA, NCFL, and NSDA Nationals with finals finishes in 2007 and 2012, in addition to coaching the top speaker at NSDA Nationals in 2013.High school students he has worked with have been admitted to Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Emory, Georgetown, Northwestern, and many additional top US universities. Brian is the Assistant Director of the Global Academic Commons online programs.
Brian is available to teach all debate events and public speaking.
Joshua Gonzalez has more than 20 years’ experience coaching debate at the high school and college levels and is currently an Assistant Coach for the debate team at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Previously, Joshua served as a Lecturer and the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Houston (TX) and an Assistant Coach for the debate teams at the University of Iowa, Wake Forest University (NC), and Michigan State University. Joshua has coached numerous late-elimination round qualifiers at national championship tournaments in both collegiate and high school debate, including the 2006 National Debate Tournament Champions and 2009 Runners-Up.
Currently, Josh is the Director of the St. Louis Urban Debate League and is one of our regular online teachers. Josh has coached more than 100 hours of debate online and many of his students have reached the late elimination rounds of Public Forum tournaments.
Joshua is available to teach all debate events.
Glen Frappier is a Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies and the Director of the Gonzaga University Debate Program. Under his leadership, Gonzaga has achieved numerous successes at the highest levels of collegiate policy debate. In 2012, Glen’s achievements were recognized by the National Debate Tournament as the recipient of the George Ziegelmueller Award, presented annually to a coach who has distinguished themselves in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the NDT. In addition to coaching, Glen has 20 years of classroom experience teaching a wide array of college courses, including Public Speaking, Argumentation, Nonverbal Communication, Persuasion, Rhetorical Criticism, and Introduction to Rhetoric. He has also served as a communications consultant on issue and candidate campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. Glen has a B.A. in Political Science and an M.S. in Communication from Southern Illinois University.
Glen is available to teach all debate events, public speaking, and general communication courses.
Matt Stannard, JD, has over 15 years of experience teaching and coaching a wide variety of speech and debate events to both high school and college students. He is currently an instructor at the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops and the Coordinator at Climb the Mountain Speech and Debate. He is the former Director of Forensics at University of Wyoming, where he oversaw their debate programs. He has experience teaching and coaching the following events at both the college and high school levels: policy (NDT/CEDA) debate, parliamentary (NPDA/NPTE) debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, Public Forum debate, platform speaking events (Original Oratory and persuasive speaking) and extemporaneous speaking.
At the college level, Matt has taught a wide variety of debate and speech events at University of Wyoming, California State University-Long Beach, and College of Eastern Utah. His students have met with great success: he coached the NPDA/NPTE National Parliamentary Debate champions, regional and district championships in NDT/CEDA, and multiple elimination round participants at NDT, CEDA, NPDA, and NPTE. He has taught summer institute classes at Korean Debate Institute, Vermont’s World Debate Institute, and the Wyoming Debate Cooperative. He has also taught a variety of courses on argumentation, public speaking, persuasion, introduction to rhetoric, and other speech-related communication courses.
Matt also has extensive experience at the high school level. In addition to his current positions at the Harvard Debate Council and Climb the Mountain Debate, he has worked at the Emory National Debate Institute, Wyoming Forensics Institute, and Sun Country Forensics Institute for high school students.
The students Matt has taught online have reach the elimination rounds in Public Forum debate, reached the finals of Original Oratory, and have placed in the 21st Century Public Speaking competition.
Matt is available to teach Public Forum Debate, Original Oratory, and Public Speaking.
Mike Lacy is the head debate coach at Ivy Bridge Academy (IBA). Mike first got into debate doing Policy at Chattahoochee High School. While there, he was a Novice, JV, and 2-time Varsity state champion, quarterfinalist at MBA, semifinalist at Emory, finalist at Harvard, champion of the Glenbrooks, and received a top 5 speaker award at all of those tournaments. He qualified for the TOC his junior and senior year, receiving a total of 13 TOC bids and eventually reached the quarterfinals there.
Mike continued Policy debate into college, receiving a debate scholarship to the University of Georgia. While there, Mike served as President of the Georgia Debate Union while qualifying for the NDT all 4 years, receiving an at-large bid as a top 16 team 3 of those years, and reaching the octafinals of the NDT twice. He majored in Economics and minored in Philosophy.
Since starting the debate program at IBA, Mike has shifted his focus to Public Forum debate. His coaching accolades include finalists at Georgetown, finalists at middle school NSDA Nationals, and semifinalists at the middle school TOC, in addition to top speaker each of those tournaments. Multiple schools that he has worked with have been recognized as a “School of Excellence” at NSDA Nationals.
Mike is available to teach all forms of debate and public speaking.
Dr. Matthew Moore is currently the Director of Debate at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he also serves as the Director of the Central Oklahoma Debate Institute for high school students. Matt received his M.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri.
Matt has been coaching college policy debate since 1999. Matt turned the UCO program from a dying regional program that was on the verge of being cancelled, to a nationally competitive team. UCO teams have competed in elimination rounds at major national tournaments, have qualified to the National Debate Tournament every year since 2014, received the school’s first ever first round bid to the National Debate Tournament, and have been have received recognition as one of the top public debate schools in the United States. Prior to coaching at UCO, Dr. Moore coached at Augustana College and Southern Illinois University, worked 10 years at the Gonzaga Debate Institute, and served as a program coordinator for the St. Louis Urban Debate League.
Matt is available to teach all forms of debate and public speaking.
Martin Osborn has been debating and coaching debate since his high school days in Wyoming, totaling nearly 18 years. As a high school debater, Martin placed 7th at NSDA Nationals and also became part of the only class in the history of Wyoming to attend the TOC. As a competitor for Missouri State University, Martin qualified to the college National Debate Tournament (NDT) four times and was awarded Top Speaker at both the NDT and Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Nationals his senior year. CEDA also graced him with the “Baby Jo” Debater of the Year award.
Later, Martin earned his M.A. at Wake Forest University while coaching and helping to rebuild one of the most successful programs in the United States, including a Kentucky round robin appearance, multiple first-round bids, and elimination appearances at every tournament, including the NDT. Since then, he has worked with NDT programs at Kansas State and the University of North Texas. As a high school coach, Martin’s teams have appeared in late elimination rounds at tournaments such as Montgomery Bell Academy, Emory, Glenbrooks, and multiple Tournament of Champions (TOCs). Over the last decade, he has worked at many of the country’s premier high school camps, including Berkeley, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, and UMKC. He currently coaches skills and argumentation for Fullerton Union High School.
Martin is available to teach all forms of debate.
Dr. Michael Hester just completed his twenty-third year as the Director of Debate at the University of West Georgia (UWG). Under his leadership, UWG Debate has won three national championships, most recently in 2015, twice being national runner-up, and finishing 3rd in the nation two other times. In 2017, his career achievements were recognized with the George Ziegelmueller Outstanding Achievement award for Director of Debate and the Ross K. Smith National Coach of the Year.
In addition to working at UWG, Dr. Hester has served as a faculty member during summers at institutions across the US, including Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, Emory University, Gonzaga University, and the University of Michigan.
Dr. Hester earned his bachelor’s in political science from West Georgia College, master’s in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia, and PhD in Communications from Georgia State University. His doctoral dissertation, “America’s #1 Fan: A rhetorical analysis of presidential sports encomia and the symbolic power of sports in the articulation of civil religion in the United States,” was the first scholarly work to analyze White House sports championship ceremonies. He has most recently been quoted as an expert in presidential sports rhetoric in the September 2, 2017 USA Today article “White House Gamesmanship.”
Dr. Hester has held several titles at UWG, including Dean of the Honors College from 2012 to 2015. He has taught every year during his time at UWG, more than 150 classes. His UWG distinctions include being the youngest recipient of the UWG Distinguished Service Award, the only three-time recipient of the Honors College Professor of the Year, and the two-time recipient of Advisor of the Year as recognized by the Black Excellence & Leadership Awards. In Summer 2019, he was a faculty member at NSDA China’s inaugural summer camp, teaching public forum debate.
According to Dr. Hester, Debate is also much more research intensive than just a public speaking contest. “I would have to describe it as an intellectual beauty pageants of sorts; beauty in the eye of the beholder, and debate is in the eye of the observer.” Hester retains that the best part of debate is the students “It’s one of the best parts of being a teacher. You get to work with ambitious, creative and driven students. All of our debaters have high creative thinking levels, and they’re just very smart.”
Michael is available to teach all forms of beginner and advanced debate.
Marie Dzuris has had a storied career teaching all forms of speech and debate and was inducted into the Tournament of Champions Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 2009 in recognition of her achievements. She is also a member of the TOC’s Hall of Distinguished Service. She is currently an adjunct Economics Professor at Clark State in Dayton, OH, where she teaches General Economics, Macro and Micro, both online and in person.
Before taking a position with Clark State, Marie spent 30+ years working with high school students, teaching debate, speech communication, and AP Economics courses at Centerville High School. She coached both Policy and Public Forum debate, speech events, and Mock Trial. At Centerville, Marie coached some of the very best high school debaters in the United States. Her debaters achieved great success at a variety of competitions, including the Ohio High School Speech League State Tournament, Tournament of Champions, NSDA Nationals, Montgomery Bell Academy Tournament, Harvard Tournament and Harvard Round Robin, Greenhill Tournament and Round Robin, and Emory Tournament, among many other successes. High school students she has worked with have been admitted to Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, Brown, UCLA, Ohio State University Medical school, Yale, Columbia, and many other top US universities.
Read about Marie’s reflections on her coaching career and why she believes debate is important here.
Marie is available to teach public speaking, Public Forum debate, and economics.
Erica Coburn earned her Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Temple University. She has taught and tutored students focused on a variety of linguistic goals, including improving their public speaking and writing skills. Erica has taught English language learning at a variety of levels at Drexel University, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), The Providence Center in Philadelphia, The Ronald McDonald House, and has worked with students attending Temple University, Drexel University and the Community College of Philadelphia.
In addition to her experience in education, Erica’s professional career has included substantial experience in a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the lives of children and the hospitality industry.
Erica is available to teach public speaking.
Amy Bauschard, the Director of the Global Academic Commons Online Programs for Young Learners, is the director of the Carpe Diem Academy operated by Mercyhurst University, and has been named an “Afterschool Champion” by the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN). She was nominated and selected for her “exemplary commitment, dedication, and outstanding work in supporting meaningful, high-quality, afterschool programming for children and youth.”
Amy has taught at Mercyhurst University as a faculty member in the Education department for five years and also overseas at the Mercy Center for the Arts, a preschool that offers a unique correlated program of art, science, music, dramatic movement, and literature. She has more than a decade of teaching experience at the early childhood level, and she has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with both principal and reading specialist certifications. Amy works to adapt our public speaking and debate curriculum to provide an exceptional learning experience for our youngest students. She also oversees our writing program for young learners.
Amy is available to teach elementary school reading, writing, and public speaking
Dave Arnett is the Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky. Before arriving at Kentucky, Dave was the Director of Debate at the University of California at Berkeley for twelve years. On 14 occasions, his teams have been ranked in the top 16 (US), including 10 top five teams, and 3 overall number one rankings. His teams have won almost every major college tournament in the US including Dartmouth, Harvard, Northwestern, and Wake Forest. He has coached a national championship team as well as two runner-ups. Dave was selected the National Coach of the Year on two separate occasions (2009, 2015). This year, Dave has had two separate teams ranked in the top 16 of the national debate coaches’ poll. He has over twenty years of experience teaching high school students. Kevin Hamrick is the Director of Debate at Montgomery Bell Academy. This year his teams have dominated the national policy circuit, winning St. Mark’s, New Trier, and the Glenbrooks. His teams have also advanced to the elimination rounds at every other major tournament. Prior to coaching at Montgomery Bell, Kevin coached at Northwestern, where he assisted with coaching multiple national champions.
Dave is available to teach Policy debate and Public Forum debate.
Anand Rao is the Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Speaking Intensive Program and the Speaking Center at the University of Mary Washington. Anand co-founded a major debate workshop and served as Curriculum Director for the workshop for three years Anand has presented at dozens of national and international academic conferences, and regularly serves as a consultant and workshop leader for academic programs in the United States. He has more than twenty-five years of experience with speech and debate at the high school and college level, and served as a consultant on a documentary about the National Debate Tournament. Anand also studies uses of new media, including social networking, blogging, micro-blogging, and convergence media presentation to communicate in interpersonal and broadcast settings. Anand is the Director of the Global Academic Commons Online Public Speaking programs.
Anand is available to teach Public Speaking.
Natalie Bennie is a graduate of Samford University and received her M.A. in Communication at Wake Forest University. She currently coaches the powerhouse Wake Forest University debate team and was the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to Germany, where she taught English through public speaking and debate. She is a Ph.D. student in Communications at The Pennsylvania State University.
Natalie has extensive U.S. and international experience in debate as both a debater and a coach. As a coach, in addition to her present position at Wake Forest, she has taught high school students at multiple highly-regarded summer debate institutes in the U.S., including programs at University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, Samford University, and the Washington D.C. Urban Debate League. She recently chaired a panel on “The State of Debate in Asia” at the National Communication Association Annual Convention. As a student, she began her career as a Public Forum competitor and continued on to become a successful policy debater at Samford University. There, she was in the out-rounds of several major tournaments and was selected for the US National Debate Team tour of Japan in 2015. In Summer 2019, she was a faculty member at NSDA China’s inaugural summer camp, teaching Public Forum.
Natalie has successfully taught multiple Public Forum debate and public speaking courses at Global Academic Commons. In her Public Forum debate classes, she works with both novices, teaching them basic debate skills, and with experienced students, where she coaches them in more advanced skills and prepares them for tournament success.
Natalie is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Pablo Gannon received his M.A. in Communication at Wake Forest University, where he coaches the Wake Forest University debate team, one of the most prestigious college debate teams in America. During his time coaching at Wake Forest, the team has reached the late elimination rounds of every major national tournament, including a top 5 ranking.
Pablo had a highly successful high school debate career. He placed 5th overall in the US NSDA national tournament and won both the University of Southern California Invitational and the National Debate Coaches Association Championships. In addition to his experience coaching at the college level, Pablo spent two years teaching high school speech and debate in Ilsan, South Korea, and Chengdu, China, and recently participated in a panel on “The State of Debate in Asia” at the National Communication Association Annual Convention.
At Global Academic Commons, Pablo has been in demand as a Public Forum debate coach and has taught introductory and advanced debate skills, including tournament prep and topic research courses.
Pablo is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Hannah Call is currently Assistant Debate Coach at George Mason University. For the past 4 years, she has led the Varsity Public Forum lab at the George Mason Debate Institute and is currently the Institute’s Assistant Director and the Public Forum Lab Leader. She is completing her Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the same institution.
Hannah has a large amount of experience as debater and a coach. As a debater, she competed at both Liberty and George Mason, where she championed several tournaments, including ADA Nationals in two divisions. As a coach, her position at George Mason University means she works with the second-ranked, and one of the largest, collegiate policy debate teams in the country, where she is the lead recruiter for entry-level debaters and a pivotal researcher. She has demonstrated teaching expertise and communicative abilities, coaching debaters to multiple tournament championships. As the leader of the Varsity Public Forum lab at the George Mason Debate institute, she has contributed to the vast competitive success of students involved in the lab, including tournament championships, during their respective debate seasons.
She also coaches Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas at George Mason High School and has worked at Middle School public speaking camps for four years.
Hannah is available to teach Public Forum and Policy debate and public speaking.
Amisha Mody Mehta. Amisha Mody Mehta is an attorney, debate parent, debate coach and member of the New York City Urban Debate League Board of Directors. She has a B.S. in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at NYU and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. After working on Wall Street as a corporate lawyer, she decided to dedicate her time to her true passions, family and public service. Amisha discovered debate with her children, and, together with the support of the New York City Urban Debate League and the school system, they started the Westfield Debate Team, which currently has over 30 students in grades 6-11. This year, her teams reached elimination rounds at Penn, Harvard, Lakeland, and the Silver division of the TOC.
Amisha is available to teach beginning and limited experience Public Forum students.
Kevin Hamrick is the Director of Debate at Montgomery Bell Academy. This year his teams have dominated the national policy circuit, winning St. Mark’s, New Trier, and the Glenbrooks tournaments. His teams have also advanced to the elimination rounds at every other major tournament. Prior to coaching at Montgomery Bell, Kevin coached at Northwestern University, where he assisted with coaching multiple national champions.
Kevin is available to teach Public Forum debate and Policy debate.
Amar Adam is Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kentucky, one of the premier college debate programs in the United States and home of the Tournament of Champions. He currently coaches the top-ranked team in the United States.
Over the past 5 years, Amar has had an impressive record of accomplishments in college debate as both a student and a coach. As a student, he captained the University of Kentucky Debate Team, which was ranked in the top 5 nationally. He won the Naval Academy tournament 2018 and reached the top 16 in the National Debate Tournament that same year. A recipient of the highly competitive Singletary scholarship at University of Kentucky, Amar majored in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Arab Studies. Amar has extensive teaching and coaching experience at both the high school and college levels. He spent four years teaching at the Northwestern Summer Debate Institute and also served as an instructor at the Georgetown Policy Debate Seminar. As a coach at the University of Kentucky, his teams have won four out of 5 major tournaments in the current academic year.
Amar has exceptional reviews as an online instructor. He coaches both introductory Public Forum and advanced skills courses, specializing in tournament preparation and topic research.
Amar is available to teach Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Public Speaking. Amar also tutors in economics, both macro and micro, as well as calculus and statistics.
Benton Bajorek is Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas, a position he has held since 2015, where he also serves as Assistant Director of the Jayhawk Debate Institute. Benton has his B.A in Communication Studies from Arkansas State University, his M.A. in Communication Studies from The University of Kansas, and is completing his Ph.D. at the same institution.
As both a competitor and a coach,Benton has been involved with debate for almost a decade. As an undergraduate, he competitively competed in many different forms of debate, including American Parliamentary, Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, IPDA and Team IPDA. He also competed in forensic events including Original Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking.
In addition to his present experience coaching on the college level, in the past Benton served as the Head Coach for Brookland High School as part of the Delta Debate League Initiative, where he coached his school to the highest win percentage of all teams in the league. Since he began his position at University of Kansas, the team has seen enormous success. In addition to his work in debate, Benton teaches public speaking classes with emphasis in civic engagement and business.
Benton is available to teach all forms of debate and public speaking.
Stephanie Torre is an attorney admitted to practice in New York and Florida. Stephanie received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Miami and J.D. from New York Law School. Stephanie began debating in 1998 as part of her high school debate team where she participated in several speaking events and was first introduced to Policy Debate. She continued in the activity throughout college. Debating for the University of Miami in Policy Debate, she received numerous speaking awards and attended regional and national tournaments. Stephanie credits debate for shaping her life and career by giving her the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a dynamic group of teachers, coaches, and fellow debaters.
“Debate has been the single most rewarding activity I have participated in from high school through the present. Through debate, I have developed skills in public speaking and advocacy that I use in my career as an attorney and through volunteer work in my community.”
For the last few years Stephanie has continued to judge Middle School and High School Public Forum and Policy Debate. Stephanie has taught debate workshops, participated in the Street Law program, and looks forward to continuing to work with students to achieve their goals and enjoy Debate.
Stephanie is available to teach Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, and Public Speaking.
Donald H. Broussard, Jr. is the Director of Forensics and the AP US Government & Politics and AP Comparative Government Teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mr. Broussard is also the CEO and Founder of Urban Education and Debate Connections, which is an educational consultant firm based in Louisiana. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice at Alabama A&M University. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Grand Canyon University and is currently earning a Doctorate in Curriculum Design and Instruction with Administration Concentration.
Donald has started several debate programs within the inner city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Knoxville, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi, to name a few. Donald has coached debate state champions, district champions and national qualifiers in multiple areas (Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, Public Forum, Student Congress, Original Oratory, and Extemporaneous Speaking). Donald debated at Lafayette High School from 1994-1998 and competed in Policy and LD Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory and Student Congress). He qualified and placed for State Championships and qualified for NCFL and NFL Nationals.
Donald has helped create three college debate programs (Dillard University – New Orleans, Alabama A&M University – Huntsville and University of Louisiana – Lafayette) as well as helped many of his speech and debate students earn full scholarships to many colleges and universities throughout America.
Donald is available to teach all speech and debate events.
Conrad is a student at the University of Notre Dame, pursuing a double major in Finance and Political Science. While in high school, Conrad debated for four years at Green Valley High School (NV), serving as vice president his junior year and president his senior year. Conrad qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice in Public Forum and was ranked as high as fourth in the nation his senior year. He also reached late out rounds at the majority of tournaments he attended, including both the TOC (twice) and the NSDA National Tournament (three times). Conrad won the Alta Invitational, the Bingham Copper Classic, the 2016 IPF NSDA National Tournament, and the Nevada State Tournament (twice). Outside of Public Forum, Conrad placed top 14 in the nation in House at the 2017 NSDA National Tournament and was the runner up in United States Extemporaneous Speaking at the Nevada State Tournament. As a coach, Conrad has coached students to out rounds at multiple national tournaments, and has helped teams he has worked with qualify to the TOC.
Conrad is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Derek Hilligoss currently coaches for the Wake Forest Policy Debate team, where he is in the 2nd year of his M.A. studies in Communication and Rhetoric. He received his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Central Oklahoma, where, as a debater, he qualified to the National Debate Tournament 4 times and received a first round at large bid his senior year, indicating he was a top 16 team.
In addition to his experience coaching at the collegiate level, Derek has served as a faculty member at the Ross K. Smith Debate Workshop at Wake Forest University, coaching debate and public speaking to middle and high school students from 13-17 years old. Previously, he was an instructor at the University of Central Oklahoma’s summer debate camp for two years. He has also worked with a local Urban Debate League in Oklahoma providing volunteer judging and teaching for students.
Derek is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Lisa Kanak first became involved in speech and debate in middle school, culminating in collegiate policy debate at the university level. She started coaching speech and debate at the college level in 1990 first at Liberty University and then at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1991 to 1997. In 1997, she began teaching speech and drama in a local private school, and also founded two highly successful high school speech and debate clubs, one in Arkansas and one in Virginia. She has coached and taught middle through high school students in Public Forum debate, Policy Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, and Original Oratory. She coached several debate teams to the National Debate Tournament at the college level, as well as multiple high school policy teams to NCFCA nationals.
Lisa is available to teach Public Forum debate, Original Oratory, and public speaking.
Susan Ontiveras has over 40 years of teaching experience in public and private schools both domestically and internationally. Her coaching experience includes her experience as Head Coach of the Antwerp International School in Antwerp, Belgium for 8 years and Director of Forensics and Head Coach of the nationally recognized Albuquerque Academy Speech and Debate Team in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 11 years. During her time at Albuquerque Academy, the team took First Place in Speech and Debate in State competitions 10 of her 11 years with numerous First Place individual students. Additionally, during those 10 years, Susan took students to the National Speech and Debate Tournament and secured the honor of taking First Place in World School/s Debate the first year it was offered. She also had a 13th place Extemp Student and a Finalist for National Student of the Year. Personal honors include President of the Northern European Speech and Debate Association as well as Speech Coach and Debate Coach of the year in New Mexico.
Susan is available to teach Public Forum debate, Original Oratory, and public speaking.
Tyler has extensive speech and debate experience, first as a competitor and later as a coach. He competed in speech and debate for 6 years, and for the past two years has served as the Assistant Director of Forensics at Casper College.
As a high school student, he competed in Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking, seeing massive success in all 3. As a senior at Natrona County High School, he qualified for the NSDA National Tournament in all 3 events he competed in, eventually receiving 5 th place of 293 teams at the 2014 NSDA tournament.
As a competitor at Casper College, he expanded his repertoire to events such as International Public Debate, Parliamentary Debate, Persuasive Speaking, Speech to Entertain, and Impromptu Speaking. At the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, over two years Tyler netted a bronze award in parliamentary debate, a silver award in extemporaneous speaking, and back to back gold awards in International Public Debate, even going 12-0 at the National tournament his sophomore year.
Tyler has served as a coach at both Natrona County High School and Kelly Walsh High School. During this time he coached national qualifiers in Public Forum Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation, and Program Oral Interpretation, as well as a National NSDA semifinalist in Congressional Debate.
He has spent 2 years as the Assistant Director of Forensics at Casper College. Here he coached all events offered on the circuit, and in his two year tenure as Assistant Director, coached 7 National Champions in multiple events.
Tyler is available to teach Public Forum debate, Original Oratory, and public speaking.
Richard Idriss is a debate and public speaking coach with 11 years of experience. As a competitor, Richard competed at Juan Diego High School in Draper, Utah in nearly every speech and debate event for 2 years – qualifying for nationals in Extemporaneous speaking and Lincoln Douglas debate, and placing third overall in the state of Utah in Original Oratory as a high school freshman. 2 years into high school Richard discovered a passion for Policy debate and abruptly transitioned into competing in the event. Within 2 years Richard and his partner: won the Utah 3A State Policy debate tournament, qualified to the Tournament of Champions held annually in Lexington, Kentucky, were invited to the prestigious Greenhill Round Robin showcasing 16 of the best teams from around the country, and Richard received the top speaker award in varsity Policy at the Cal Berkeley Invitational. Richard competed in Policy debate for UC Berkeley’s debate team for 2 years, qualifying for elimination rounds at numerous tournaments including the University of Kentucky’s “freshman breakout” showcasing some of the best incoming collegiate debaters, and received speaker awards, before choosing to coach debate rather than compete in it full-time during his studies.
Richard currently coaches debate at the collegiate level for Southwestern College, and he also coaches a high school team for the Davidson Academy of Reno, Nevada. Additionally, Richard is collaborating with the San Francisco Comedy College to design a humorous public speaking course for its students. Richard taught at the Sun Country Forensics Institute in St. George, Utah in its final year, working alongside the most competitive level of varsity debaters attending the camp, and delivering various lectures. Richard has coached students to qualify for the annual NSDA nationals tournament in Extemporaneous speaking, Congressional debate, Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, and Public Forum. Students of Richard have made it to the elimination rounds at nearly every major national tournament in the Western United States, including the Cal Berkeley Invitational and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Golden Desert Invitational, qualified for the annual Tournament of Champions, and have won or made it to late elimination rounds of both the California and Utah annual state debate tournaments.
Richard brings his passion for researching, writing, performing, and teaching into classrooms both physical and virtual every day with the intent of instilling in his students an appreciation for the hard-work required to be top-level competitors in whatever speech or debate event they compete in.
Richard is available to teach Public Forum debate, Original Oratory, and public speaking.
Christopher Jackson has been involved in debate for a decade as both a competitor and a coach. Prior to attending Wake Forest University to study for his M.A., he graduated from the University of Iowa (BA in political science), where he competed nationally in intercollegiate debate as a member of the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum. Jackson was a member of the first team from Ames High School (Iowa) to qualify to the Tournament of Champions, and also qualified to then-NFL Nationals.
Christopher has served as a faculty instructor at the Gonzaga Debate Institute for the last 3 years as the head of the Public Forum division. In this position, he was responsible for leading labs and conducting lecture sessions. In addition to his work in debate, he has taught numerous public speaking labs at Wake Forest University and served as a recommender for Wake Speaks.”
Christopher is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Logan has been actively involved in speech and debate competition for over 15 years. He currently coaches at the University of Georgia, where he is pursuing a doctorate degree in rhetorical studies. He earned a M.A. in communication from Wake Forest University and a bachelors degree in political science from Samford University. Competing on a debate scholarship for Samford, he reached the out-rounds of many major national tournaments, including the octafinals of the National Debate Tournament. As a coach, his teams have seen consistent success, reaching the late elimination rounds of the TOC and the NDT, including the 2019 NDT finals. Logan has taught public speaking and all forms of debate to students of all ages, leading instruction for public forum and policy debate workshops across the country. His students learn how to become confident and persuasive public speakers, and they have gone on to attend prestigious universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, Dartmouth, and Emory. In 2018, he was recognized by the University of Georgia with an award for outstanding teaching.
Logan is available to teach Public Forum debate and public speaking.
Sophia Sanders is an international development and nonprofit governance consultant with over a decade of debate experience as a participant and coach. As a high school debater, Sophia was consistently competitive, placing first at numerous tournaments and ultimately qualifying for State and Nationals all four years in debate and twice in oratory. She won the State Championship in Public Forum Debate the first year it was offered in the state of Oregon (2007). Next, she debated for Seattle University’s internationally-ranked debate team. Sophia again qualified for Nationals every year and placed in the top 10 speakers at 12 tournaments, including top 5 at Oxford.
Sophia served as Director of Debate at Seattle University where she coached a 26-person team in international debate and public speaking. Under her leadership, the team won over 20 first-place victories and placed in the top 10 every year at Nationals. Under her tenure, novice debaters’ participation and success increased two-fold. During this time, Sophia also served as a volunteer coach at two high schools, supporting their student-run debate teams.
Sophia holds a BA in Education and Humanities and an MA in International Development and Public Management. She was awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Kenya and is TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certified.
Sophia is available to teach Public Forum debate, Original Oratory, and public speaking.
Olivia Adams has been passionate about speech and debate since the 8th grade. As an educator, public speaking coach, and communication scholar, she has multiple areas of debate expertise. Olivia began her public speaking journey in 8th grade when she joined her first competitive public speaking team. Since then, she competed in every possible local, regional and national tournament with the NSDA in high school and the American Forensics Association in college. Forensics drove her to continue her studies in higher education receiving a degree in communications while simultaneously competing on her university speech team. For four years, Olivia was captain of her university’s team as well as team assistant. She has qualified for every national tournament during her college career, advancing to national quarter and semi-final rounds. On the team, Olivia gained experience coaching the events of Persuasive and Informative Speaking, Impromptu, Extemp, and Dramatic Interpretation. Olivia was the recipient of the 1st Place Overall Speaker Award 2 consecutive years at the Virginia is For Lovers Tournament in 2017 and 2018. In addition, she was the Recipient of 1st Place Speaker Award in the event of After Dinner Speaking at the Virginia State Forensics Tournament in 2015, making her a state champion. She qualified for AFA-NIET Qualifier each year in the events of Prose, Dramatic, Poetry, POI and Duo Interpretation and Persuasive, Informative, and After Dinner Speaking.
For the past several years, Olivia also has been coaching Club Debate and Public Forum with Capitol Debate Summer Camps.She coached public speaking for three years at the university’s communication center where she pursued research in treating public speaking anxiety among young adults with virtual reality therapy. Her research was presented at the national communication centers conference in 2018 and continues to influence her teaching pedagogy. As a teacher at Echelon Academy, Olivia integrates critical reasoning and public speaking into her teaching style. Using an individualized approach to learning, Olivia adapts her curriculum to best suit the learning styles of each student. Olivia has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies with a minor in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication from James Madison University.
Olivia is available to teach public speaking and all speech and debate events.
Kelsey Schott is currently the Assistant Debate Coach at Ball State University. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Simpson University and is highly experience in various forms of speech and debate events as both a competitor and a coach.
As a student and competitor, Kelsey had four years of competitive debate experience with Simpson College where she competed in Parliamentary Debate, Public Forum Debate, and various speech events including extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, broadcast journalism, and duo interpretation. Simpson College was the national champion team in debate sweepstakes at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals in 2016 and 2018 while she was on the team. While at university, she coached and judged for various high school teams in the area, primarily for Public Forum.
Kelsey has served as Debater in Residence at Eastbourne College in the United Kingdom where she coached debate, taught public speaking and American Government, and organized two travel and one internal Model United Nations conferences. The Eastbourne College debate team even qualified to Oxford Finals Day and hosted multiple debate showcase events for the school under her guidance. She also served as a debate teacher for ISSOS (International Summer School) hosted at Cambridge University, teaching the debate academic session for forty international students including an internal British Parliamentary Debate competition held at the Cambridge Debating Chamber.
Kelsey is experienced as a teacher and coach of Public Forum Debate, American Parliamentary Debate (NPDA), British Parliamentary Debate, Worlds Debate, Lincoln Douglas, Policy, NEDA, Mace Debate, Mock Trial, and Model United Nations.
Kelsey is available to teach all speech and debate events.
Annabelle Arney is the Director of Debate at Marquette High School. She has a large amount of experience as both a debater and a coach, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and Public Relations and recently graduated magna cum lade with her Master’s of Education.
In the past, she competed for over 7 years herself and assisted in judging and coaching for four years until she began coaching her own team. As a competitor, she was a finalist and champion in State Competitions as well as worked to found the team she competed on, which has since been to the Tournament of Champions and other national tournaments.
In her current role, Annabelle oversees, organizes, and is lead coach for a team of Policy, Public Forum, and Lincoln Douglas student debate teams. Her leadership has led to Tournament of Champions and National bids due to their great success at regional and national tournaments. As an NSDA-recognized team, the school competes nationally often and is recognized with the association. She is also a coach on the school’s Forensics Speech team as well in the debate off season.
Annabelle is available to teach all speech and debate events.
Jesse Meyer is an assistant speech and debate coach specializing in PF debate at Iowa City West High School in Iowa. He is currently entering his 18th year of debate as either a competitor or a coach, and was one of the first high school students to participate in PF debate when it first became an officially sanctioned NSDA event.
As a competitor, Jesse and his partner finished their season with a 72%-win rate which includes a quarterfinal finish at the national level Dowling Tournament and a semifinal finish at the Iowa State Tournament. He has degrees in US and World History and Communication Education. As a college competitor, he earned honors by winning the Macalester Policy Debate Tournament and placing at multiple others and qualifying for NFA Speech Nationals.
Jesse has been coaching since 2005: both debate and speech events, such as Original Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking. His teams routinely qualify and finish in late elimination rounds at large national circuit tournaments. To date, he has broken teams at nine different national level tournaments including Blake, Glenbrooks, Golden Desert, Stanford, and Millard North, won multiple local and regional tournaments, and qualified 33 students to NSDA Nationals in the past six years since becoming a teacher and coach full time. In addition to his present position, Jesse has served as an assistant debate coach at Waterloo East High School, Director of Forensics at Des Moines Lincoln High School, Director of Forensics at John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, and he is currently an assistant coach specializing in PF debate at Iowa City West High School in Iowa.
Jesse is also under contract with the NSDA to write advanced debate topic briefs and analysis packets for PF, LD, and Big Questions. He is the 2015 State of Iowa’s Speech and Debate Coach of the Year, the 2017 Raskin National Friend of Debate award winner, recipient of the Donald Crabtree Service Award, and member of the Iowa Forensics League Board of Directors. Jesse will receive his 2nd NSDA coaching diamond this upcoming spring.
Jesse is available to teach all speech and debate events.
Kelly Mazzeo is the Founder and Director of Echelon Academy, a private school serving grades K-12. She holds a master’s degree in Education from George Washington University. As an educator with over 30 years of experience, Kelly uses public speaking and debate as a vehicle to help her students refine their writing, researching and public speaking skills. Many of her students have gone on to debate with their high school and collegiate teams in Public Forum, where they have seen success in a variety of regional and national tournaments.
Kelly is the Executive Director of the Echelon Debate camp, where she oversees curriculum development and implementation, among other duties. She is also a Summer Instructor at the Mid-Atlantic Catholic Schools Consortium Summer Institute, where she teaches reading and writing courses to non-public teachers for state certification/recertification.
Kelly is available to teach all speech and debate events.
Rebecca is an English professor at Southern New Hampshire University and the Director of Novice Speech & Debate at Fort Atkinson High School. During her speech and debate career, she has helped coach teams to the quarter finals of NCFL Grand Nationals and led a new program of Public Forum debaters to their first ever State Tournament elimination rounds (2013). Since transitioning to Fort Atkinson, she helped launch a new debate program in 2017 and coached her policy debaters to a sweep of The Badgerland National Circuit Tournament. Recently, her debaters qualified for their first ever NCFL Grand Nationals (2019). Her teams regularly top the state finishing second and third in the first two years of a new program (2018, 2019). Her dedication to her team and the sport awarded her recognition as her state’s Coach of the Year. In 2019 she was also asked to coach coaches in the education of new debaters at the National Speech and Debate Conference. Along with debate, Rebecca has also coached forensics speech events for four years, leading teams to a conference title and one state finalist.
Rebecca is available to teach all speech and debate events.