Check Back Often for Staff Announcements for Summer 2019!
Tom Evnen, Executive Director
Swarthmore College, BA
University of Chicago, MA
Tom debated for four years for Lincoln Southeast High School in Nebraska. Tom twice cleared to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions. His senior year, he was a state champion and finalist at the TOC. Tom has coached debate at the Hockaday School (TX), University School (FL), Oxbridge Academy (FL), and La Jolla (CA). Tom’s students have cleared to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions thirteen times, including four quarterfinalists and two semifinalists. Tom has also coached two students to championships and one to finals at NFL/NSDA Nationals. In addition, Tom’s students have reached finals or won championships at Apple Valley, Blake, Bronx, the Bronx round robin, Emory, Greenhill, the Greenhill round robin, Harvard, Stanford, Valley, and Yale.
Becca Traber, Associate Director
Reed College, BA
Yale University Ph.D. Candidate
Becca is a coach for Lake Highland Prep as well for several independent students. As a debater for the Kinkaid School, she earned eleven career TOC bids, won Berkeley and was a finalist at TFA state tournament and the TOC. As a coach, she has coached 14 students to the TOC and 4 students to TOC outrounds. Her students have also excelled at local and regional competitions, winning two Florida State Championships and qualifying every year to both CFL Nationals and NSDA Nationals. She has taught a total of 10 top labs at TDC, NDF, and NSD. She has served as a board member and Director of Faculty Development at the Texas Debate Collective, a nonprofit debate institute committed to rectifying inequities in access to debate. Outside of debate, Becca is a PhD candidate at Yale University in political science, specializing in political theory. This will be her third summer with NSD.
Bowdoin College BA
Sam debated for 1 year at Trinity Prep, and for 3 years at Lake Highland Prep. As a debater he received 5 bids to the TOC his senior year. Throughout Sam’s time as a coach several of his students have made it to elimination rounds at TOC. Sam’s students have have also won Valley, The New York City Invitational, Yale Invitational, Florida Blue Key, Scarsdale (twice), Princeton, Strake Jesuit/TDC, Lexington, Basking Ridge, The Valley Sophomore throw down, The Valley Round Robin, and have gotten to finals and semi-finals at many many more.
University of Houston, BA
Chris has been the Head LD Coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, TX for 9 years. He has coached champions at Grapevine, UT Austin, Greenhill, Victory Briefs (now Harvard-Westlake), Bronx Science, and Berkeley. He has coached students to finals at every TOC bid tournament in Texas along with at least semifinalists at 8 different TOC Octafinal bids. Chris has worked for 17 years as a coach, judge, tournament director, and institute director. Chris was awarded the Bronx Achievement Award for his contributions to the debate community, and has recently coached the champions of St. Mark's in Dallas, TX, and the UT Austin Tournament.
New York University, BA'17
Columbia University, MA'19
Benjamin Koh debated at Loyola High School and qualified to the TOC and NSDA Nationals. He was the Head LD Coach at Byram Hills High School for three years, coaching finalists at Scarsdale, Yale, the Penn Round Robin, and TOC as well as championships at Walt Whitman, the Ohio State Tournament, and NCFL Nationals. He has coached 5 TOC outround appearances and 13 TOC qualifications. Now a MA candidate in American Studies in the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University, Ben is doing his academic work in the intersection of Asian-American Studies and Disability Studies. He is also on the planning committee for the Texas Debate Collective and is Director of NSD Philadelphia.
Macalester College BA
St. Cloud State University MS
Dave graduated from Apple Valley High School in 1993, where he was a state champion in speech and a national qualifier in Lincoln-Douglas debate. He co-founded the Macalester College Mock Trial team, winning JV Nationals and placing third at the American Mock Trial Association Grand Nationals in 1996. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English literature, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction. Also in 1996, Dave founded the Highland Park (MN) speech and debate team, which he coached for nine years. In 2005, Dave moved to California and coached the Lynbrook High School debate team. Currently, Dave is the head debate coach at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Dave’s students have reached the highest levels of debate success. Dave has qualified students to the TOC every year since 2000. He has coached students to the Top 10 at NFL nationals three times in eight years. His students have reached late elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including final round appearances at: Berkeley, Yale, Valley, Emory, and the Minnesota and California state debate tournaments, and tournament championships at: Apple Valley, Stanford, Cedar Rapids Washington, Omaha Westside, the Iowa state debate tournament, St. Mark’s, and the 2007 TOC. Dave also coached a finalist at the 2010 TOC.
Dino De La O
Millard North High School, NE ‘17
Swarthmore College, PA' ‘21
Grant Brown debated for Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He accumulated twelve career bids, reaching elimination rounds at Dowling, Iowa Caucus, Valley, Harvard, The Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, and Blake. He qualified thrice to the Tournament of Champions, clearing twice and reaching semifinals his senior year. He also cleared twice to elimination rounds at the NSDA National Tournament. Grant is currently an Assistant Coach at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. His students have closed out Valley, championed Bronx, Dowling, and the Valley Round Robin, and have reached late elimination rounds of Yale, Apple Valley, the Glenbrooks, Harvard, Lexington, the University of Texas, the University of Houston, Blue Key, the Sunvitational and Strake Jesuit, acquiring a total of 28 bids to the Tournament of Champions. He is currently studying Philosophy at Swarthmore College.
Stuyvesant High School, NY, '17
UC Berkeley, CA, '21
Katherine debated for Stuyvesant High School for four years and qualified to the Tournament of Champions her senior year. She has worked at NSD, NSD Philadelphia, and the Texas Debate Collective since 2017. She coaches students across the country. This year, her students have reached deep elimination rounds at the New York City Invitational, the Voices tournament, the Voices Round Robin, Greenhill, Scarsdale, and the University of Texas Longhorn Invitational, and have received top speaker awards at the New York City Invitational and St. Marks. They have amassed a total of 11 bids to the Tournament of Champions. Katherine is excited to work at NSD for her third summer because she loves helping students grow and challenge themselves.
Stephen Scopa debate for Pembroke Pines Charter, and graduated in 2017. As a debater, Scopa Championed Crestian, reached finals at blue key and FL states, placed 9th at nationals his Junior year, and reached several bid rounds. He currently coaches several debaters independently, as well as coaching for American Heritage Plantation. As a coach, he his students have championed several tournaments, including Crestian (and RR) twice, Blue Key (and RR), Valley, and Sunvite, and his students have recorded 15 bids and many bid rounds. He is currently studying Philosophy and Religion at Florida State. His main debate interests include strategy, framework, and high theory. “I can’t wait to teach at NSD again, it’s a great opportunity to help students achieve their goals in one of the best activities high school has to offer.”
Scarsdale High School, NY ‘17
Columbia University, NY ‘21
Zoë is excited to return to NSD for her sixth consecutive summer and third on staff! She debated for Scarsdale High School for four years and is now the Head LD Coach at Byram Hills High School. As a debater, she qualified twice to the TOC, accumulating nine career bids and clearing her senior year. She won or reached finals at Bronx, Princeton (twice), Columbia, the Hockaday Round Robin, the Valley Round Robin, and the NSD Camp Tournament. During her time coaching, her students have championed several national bid tournaments and cleared at the TOC. She taught top lab at NSD as a first year out and taught varsity labs at NSD and TDC her second year out. She strongly believes in creating an inclusive debate community and is an adult sponsor for W.in Debate, an organization that matches non-male debaters with peer mentors. She believes that NSD is truly a family where students are encouraged to be intellectually curious, and is excited to win the staff kickball tournament again but hopes to not get injured again in the process
Brianna Aaron is currently a student at Wake Forest University and she debated for Newark Science (NJ) for six years. Over her two and a half year participation in Lincoln-Douglas, she has amassed 10 LD TOC bids and has reached elims and finals of various national tournaments. Her most notable achievements are championing the 2017 Glenbrooks Invitational, GBX round robin, the 2017 Blake Invitational, and winning the Dukes and Bailey cup for year long excellence as the top LD debater in the country. She also currently debates at Wake Forest and has been listed as one of the top 16 debaters in the country. Outside of debate, she loves to volunteer, go on strange movie binges, and eat copious amounts of chocolate chip cookies.
Abhi debated for four years at American Heritage Boca/Delray and graduated in 2018. As a debater he championed the Florida Blue Key Round Robin, received 1 bid and attended the TOC his senior year. Abhi is currently a freshman at THE University of Central Florida studying finance. This will be his 3rd summer at NSD (1 as a student, 2 as an instructor), and he is excited to continue to help students improve.
Fort Lauderdale High School, FL ‘18
Columbia University, NY ‘22
Jayanne debated for Fort Lauderdale high school in Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate during her 4-year career. She won JV Harvard LD in 2016, Co-championed Blue Key 2017 in Policy, finaled Sunvite 2018 in LD, and finished 3rd place at FFL state in policy debate. Jayanne loves Antiblackness literature, good Topicality debates, and performance in debate. Her outside interests include: the color yellow, food, music, The Weeknd, origami, track&field, and Panic! at the Disco.
Lake Highland Prep, FL ‘18
Stanford University, CA ‘22
WDM Valley High School, IA ‘18
Knox College, IL ‘22
Carly debated for four years and currently coaches at West Des Moines Valley High School. She received one bid her junior year and qualified to the TOC her senior year, earning five career bids. She reached elimination rounds at multiple national bid tournaments, co-championing the Blue Key invitational and The Milo Cup at Millard North. She is also qualified to NSDA nationals and closed out the Iowa state tournament. Areas of expertise include: framework/philosophy, kritiks, and being the team mom.
Mountain View High School, CA ‘18
University of California Los Angeles, CA ‘22
Maya debated for three years on the local and national circuit for Mountain View High School in California and served as the team’s captain during her senior year. She consistently cleared at bid tournaments during her senior year, reaching bid rounds at Emory, Harvard-Westlake, and Stanford, and earning a bid at Berkeley. Her debate interests include theory/topicality and philosophy. She looks forward to teaching at NSD and sharing her love for debate!
Scarsdale High School, NY ’18
University of California Los Angeles, CA ‘22
Ananta Wadhwa debated for Scarsdale High School for 4 years and served as LD Captain & Novice Officer during her senior year. As a debater, she consistently reached late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments. She now attends UCLA where she studies molecular, cell, and developmental biology. She also coaches a few independent students during the school year. Ananta is super excited to be back at NSD for her second summer as a staff member and hopes to help students reach their full debate potential and have an amazing experience!
Kamiak High School, WA ‘19
Wake Forest University, NC ‘23
Niko Battle debated for a little over 5 years competing for Marist School, Mariner High School, and Kamiak High School; during their career they won numerous locals, a state championship, and qualified to the TOC four times, including double qualifying in both LD and Policy their senior year. So far, they have earned a total of 16 career bids (14 in LD and 2 in Policy). They will be debating for Wake Forest University starting in the fall, where they will compete in Policy Debate. Their expertise areas are mainly kritikal literature (Deleuze, Wilderson, Lacan, Warren, Sexton, and etc.); however, they also have expertise in LARP and theory debate.
Anderson High School, TX '19
Washington University in St. Louis, MO '23
Sesh debated for Anderson High School for four years. He qualified for TFA State every season, breaking as 4th seed his sophomore year. During his senior year, he received 4 bids at Glenbrooks, St. Mark's, UT, and Churchill. He championed the Strake Round Robin, the Winston Churchill Classic, and the Longhorn Classic, and received top speaker at the Strake Jesuit tournament, the Strake Round Robin and St. Marks.
His debate interests mainly include K's and theory, as well as some philosophy.
Quarry Lane, CA ‘19
Lake Travis High School, TX ‘19
Beckett Larcher debated independently at Lake Travis High School for 3 years. Beckett has received 5 bids to the Tournament of Champions, reaching the quarterfinals of the New York City Invitational and the Mid America Cup, Octafinals at both Greenhill and Apple Valley, and finals at the Lake Highland Round Robin. He was the 3rd speaker at both the Voices Invitational and the Lake Highland Round Robin, and was also the 5th speaker at the Mid America Cup. Beckett specializes in critical debate surrounding psychoanalysis and disability.
Stuyvesant High School, NY ‘18
West Broward, FL ‘18
Byram Hills High School, NY ‘19
Lindsey Perlman debated for Byram Hills High School for four years, serving as team captain for her junior and senior years. She qualified to the TOC three years in a row, reaching elimination rounds her junior year. In addition, she has championed the Yale Invitational, Princeton Invitational, the New York City Invitational, Scarsdale Invitational (twice), Lexington Invitational, and the Mid America Cup Round Robin. Outside of debate, she is part of her school’s construction crew and enjoys drilling and painting.
Lake Highland Prep, FL ‘18
Princeton High School, NJ ‘18
Conal Thomas McGinnis
WDM Valley High School, IA ‘18
Conal Thomas-McGinnis has received 5 bids to the TOC this year for 17 total over the span of his career. Conal’s debated since the 5th grade and specializes in theory, framework, and tricks. He’s particularly interested in writing and reading a prioris, Kantian positions, and theory. His interests outside debate include fantasy novels, Studio Ghibli films, and video games.
James Bowie High School, TX ‘18
Lake Highland Prep, FL ‘18
Julia Wu debated for Lake Highland Preparatory School for five years and was team captain her senior year. She qualled to the Tournament of Champions her sophomore, junior, and senior year, accumulating a total of 5 career bids so far. She championed the Florida Varsity State tournament and the New York City Invitational in addition to reaching late out rounds at other national tournaments. She was top speaker at the Mid America Cup and top ten speaker at Yale, Minneapple, Glenbrooks, and the Florida Blue Key. Her debate interests include philosophy, K’s, and theory.