Return Soon for More Staff Announcements for Summer 2019!
Benjamin Koh, Director of NSD Philadelphia
New York University BA in Social and Cultural Analysis
Columbia University MA Candidate in American Studies
Ben Koh debated for 4 years at Loyola High School in Los Angeles where he was the team captain his senior year. His junior year he qualified to Nationals in policy debate and to the TOC in LD his senior year. He was the Head LD Coach at Byram Hills High School for three years and coaches privately. He has coached finalists at Scarsdale, Yale, the Penn Round Robin, and TOC as well as champions at Walt Whitman, the Ohio State Tournament, and NCFL Nationals. In his three years of coaching, he's coached 5 TOC outround appearances, 12 TOC qualifications, and TOC outround participants three years straight. He is also on the planning committee for the Texas Debate collective and is the director for NSD Philadelphia.
Katherine Fennell, Assistant Director
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 receieved 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.
Zoe Ewing, Assistant Director
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. She bid and reached at least quarterfinals at every tournament she attended her senior year, and earned top 5 speaker awards at Valley, Blake, Lexington, and Princeton. She also won the New York State Tournament and was top seed at NCFLs. 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 now attends Columbia University, where she majors in Philosophy and is on the parliamentary debate team. 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
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.
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.
Pembroke Pines, FL ‘17
Florida State University, FL ‘21
Stephen Scopa debated 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.”
Notre Dame University, BA Liberal Studies
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, 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. They’re excited to be teaching at NSD this summer!
Quarry Lane, CA ‘19
Sai Karavadi debated LD on the national circuit at the Quarry Lane School for the past 3 years, breaking at numerous national bid tournaments. They also helped pioneer the LD program at their school, worked with younger debaters over the years, and was captain of their team their senior year. They earned 7 career bids and reached a total of 18 bid rounds. They were a semifinalist at the 2018 Presentation Invitational, quarterfinalist at the 2019 Bronx Invitational, co-championed the 2019 Newark Invitational, co-championed the 2018 MinneApple Round Robin, and were a double-octofinalist at the 2018 Tournament of Champions. They’ve also received multiple speaker awards, including 3rd speaker at the 2018 MinneApple Debates, top speaker at the 2018 Bronx Invitational, 13th speaker at the 2018 TOC, and top 10 speaker at multiple other tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Loyola, Greenhill, Presentation, and CPS. Sai also helped organize the Quarry Lane Womxn’s Tournament and worked with organizations to coach underprivileged debaters. Outside of debate, Sai enjoys singing, playing chess, and watching kdramas.
Stuyvesant High School, NY' ‘19
Claire Liu debated for Stuyvesant High School for four years and was team captain her senior year. She qualified to the Tournament of Champions her junior and senior year, accumulating a total of 4 career bids. She has championed the Scarsdale Invitational in addition to reaching late elims of other national tournaments. Her debate interests include kritiks and LARP. Outside of debate, she enjoys running and coding.
Lexington High School, MA ‘19
WDM Valley High School, IA ‘19
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.
Lake Highland Prep, FL ‘19
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.
Swarthmore College '23
Megan debated for Interlake for four years, roughly two of which were on the national circuit, and served as team President her senior year. As a senior, she received invitations to multiple round robins and advanced to elims at almost every tournament she attended. Since 2016, Megan has taught Interlake's LD team, coached middle school debaters, and worked as an instructor at a summer debate camp for middle schoolers in Seattle. Outside of debate, Megan enjoys art museums and is an intern at the University of Washington's Philosophy department, where she does research in comparative metaethics.