Georgetown Debate Seminar Faculty
Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky
Dave is the Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky. Since 2010 his teams at Kentucky have consistently been ranked in the top twenty nationally. On 15 separate occasions his teams have been ranked in the top 16 and three times he has coached the top ranked team in the country. Dave was selected the Ross Smith National Coach of the Year in 2009 and voted runner-up for Coach of the Decade. He was voted the 2015 American Debate Association coach of the year. He is the Director of five national college and high school tournaments including the Tournament of Champions. Before serving in his role at Kentucky, Dave was the Director of Debate at UC Berkeley for twelve years. He has over twenty years’ experience teaching and directing summer camps including Northwestern, Berkeley, Stanford, Kentucky, Gonzaga, and Emory.
Director of Forensics at North Broward Preparatory School
Shree Awsare is currently the Director of Forensics at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, FL and an assistant debate coach at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. He debated at Columbia University in New York City between 2007-2011, after which he attended Georgetown University Law Center and worked as an attorney in Washington, DC. Throughout his coaching career, Shree’s had the privilege of working with high school students who consistently qualify to the Tournament of Champions, closed out the Virginia State Championship, received Round Robin invites for Greenhill, Michigan, Pinecrest, and Scranton, and won awards at top tournaments like Wake Forest, Lexington, Harvard, NCFL, and others. Shree’s expertise is in helping students transition from strong regional competitors to heavyweights on the national circuit.
Assistant Coach at Georgetown University, Debate Coach at the Westminster Schools
Seth Gannon has won, coached, and judged national championships in debate. He is currently an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Debate Coach at the St. Marks School of Texas
Tim is the Director of Debate at the St. Mark’s School of Texas. As a college debater Tim advanced to the final round of 10 tournaments, winning seven of them. As a college coach his teams reached the elimination rounds at 9 consecutive CEDA National tournaments, and he qualified teams for the NDT every year after the merger. In his last year of college coaching, his top team was in the quarter finals of both the NDT and CEDA Nationals. His St. Mark’s teams have won or reached the final round of every major high school tournament including, Greenhill, Glenbrooks, Harvard, Berkeley, Westminster, TOC, NFL/NSDA, Emory, and the NDCA National Championships.
Director of Debate at Georgetown University
Mikaela is the incoming Director of Debate at Georgetown. She has previously coached nationally ranked college debate teams at Emory, the University of Georgia, and Wake Forest, and has worked with many successful high school teams including winners of the Tournament of Champions. Mikaela has also taught at the Dartmouth Debate Institute, the Emory National Debate Institute, and the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia in 2016.
Debate Coach at Emory University
Jason Sigalos is currently a debate coach at Emory University. In high school he attended Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia, where he was a two time state champion and top speaker at the NDCA and TOC. Additionally, he won the St. Marks High School tournament, the Pace Round Robin, and the NDCA National Championship. While debating for Emory, Jason was a three time first round qualifier and octafinalist at the NDT, winner of the 2016 Herbert L. James debates at Dartmouth, and top speaker at the 2015 Harvard tournament. In his junior and senior year, he and his partner were ranked as one of the top five teams in the country during the regular season.
Danielle Verney O’Gorman
Director of Debate at the U.S. Naval Academy
Danielle has been the Director of Debate and professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for twelve years. Her teams have reached elimination rounds and won speaker awards at all levels of debate. She particularly enjoys working with younger debaters to help them understand argumentation and develop their potential. She received the American Debate Association’s “Coaching Excellence Award” in 2016. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she taught at the Gonzaga Debate Institute, the Capitol Classic Debate Institute, and the Liberty Debate Institute.
Director of Debate at the Georgetown Day School
Hoya-Spartan Scholars Faculty
Associate Director of Debate at Woodward Academy
Director of Debate at Woodward Academy
This is Maggie’s fourth year working with the Hoya-Spartan Scholars. As debater for Dartmouth College, she reached the quarterfinals of the NDT, the semifinals of CEDA Nationals and received two first-round bids to the NDT. She is a 2012 inductee to the Key Coaches of the Barkley Forum at Emory University. Maggie has coached NDCA National Champions, the champions of numerous national tournaments including St. Mark’s, and the top speaker at the NDCA Championship and the Tournament of Champions. Her teams have twice won the Georgia State Championship. She is also the former Director of Debate at Chattahoochee and Lexington.
Head Debate Coach at Michigan State University
Will joined Michigan State University’s staff after coaching at East Lansing High School where his teams won several Michigan State Championships and the 1995 NCFL National Championship. Will’s success has continued in his college coaching career where he has catapaulted Michigan State to an era of national prominence and excellence,including national championships in 2004, 2006, and 2010. Will was named the 2000 College Coach of the Year.
Head Debate Coach at Pine Crest High School
Jeremy Hammond is the Head Debate Coach for Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jeremy Debate for Michigan State University from 2004-2008. Jeremy has coached numerous teams to elimination rounds of every major national tournament his school has attended including the Tournament of Champions. He has coached his teams to three Florida State champions and also won the Florida policy debate coach of the year award three times.
2018 GDS Lab Curricula
The Awsare-Sigalos lab will position you for maximum competitive success in your final year of high school debate. The following points of emphasis guide the lab’s curriculum:
The Arnett-Malsin juniors lab is focused on helping students take the next step in their debate career. A number of focal points guide our curriculum:
- Debating and Drills — Nothing is more important to this lab than debating. Students will be offered daily opportunities for practice debates, speech redos, and participation in various drills. You will begin giving speeches on your first day of lab. Speech redos will be required after each debate. An assortment of exercises e.g. extending a DA, answering a link turn, overviews, will be offered on a regular basis. Debating will be a constant of the lab experience even during heavy research times.
- Research — A sophisticated comprehension of key topic issues and the ability to produce complete arguments are crucial to making the transition to the elite level of high school debate. This lab will focus on both those goals. Students will be responsible for producing complete arguments individually or in small groups. Lab leaders will work with students on assignments at every step of the process giving daily updates and suggestions. The range of possible research topics will be flexible and students will have much input into this process. We will emphasize the core topic issues, which ensures that students will be prepared to debate primary topic controversies as they begin the season. Each part of the argument construction process will be taught including initial affirmative and negative waves, block writing, and updating arguments over the course of the workshop.
- Theory and Strategy – The last piece of this puzzle is teaching sophisticated approaches to breaking down the topic and debate. What makes a good affirmative? How to approach the beginning of the year from the negative perspective? Complex theory debates will be explored covering the spectrum of debate argument e.g. Kritik, Topicality, Counterplans. It is the goal of this lab to teach students to be their own coaches and be able to win a debate starting with the beginning brainstorming stage of argument production, moving to the block writing process, and finishing with in-round execution. Advanced theory and strategy will be woven in and out of the curriculum to help guide this aim.