Hoya-Spartan Scholars Faculty & Labs

NEW IN 2019: Innovative Advisory Model

Students attending the Hoya-Spartan Scholars will be assigned an “advisor” from the faculty, with whom they will work all seven weeks. The advisor will help the student set goals, assess initial skill level in a variety of areas, and help build a curriculum designed to facilitate that student’s specific areas for improvement.

This model enables small class sizes and guarantees that students will get to work with each of the talented faculty in the program.

The Hoya-Spartan Scholars will continue its tradition of holding practice debates every day while also developing critical research skills.

Faculty for HSS-Georgetown

Bill Batterman

Associate Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

Bill is one of high school debate’s most passionate coaches and summer workshop instructors. He has led the Hoya-Spartan Scholars program since its inception in 2012 and is returning to Georgetown for the seventh consecutive summer. Competitively, Bill has coached champions and top speakers at many of the country’s most prestigious tournaments. He has been honored with the WDCA Coach of the Year Award, the Acolyte Award, the NDCA Service Award, and the NDCA Educator of the Year Award and has served on the NDCA Board, the TOC Advisory Committee, and the boards of the WDCA and GFCA. He tries to coach debate like John Wooden coached basketball: by emphasizing hard work, preparation, character, and precise attention to the smallest details. Like Coach Wooden, he believes that “If you prepare properly, you may be outscored but you will never lose.” Students that have worked with him during the summer celebrate his enthusiasm, work ethic, topic knowledge, and complete dedication to their improvement.

Maggie Berthiaume

Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

This is Maggie’s seventh 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 High School.

Abby Schirmer

Debate Coach at the Marist School

Abby Schirmer is the head policy debate coach at Marist School in Atlanta, GA.  During her years of coaching, she has advanced students to the late elimination rounds or has won nearly every national tournament in the country including; Wake Forest, Greenhill, St. Marks, the Glenbrooks, MBA, Emory, Harvard and the NDCA.  She coached the National Debate Coaches’ Association Baker Award winners in 2013 and 2014.  In 2011, she was named Rising Star by the NDCA, an award given to the top debate coach in the country in their first through third years of coaching. Abby has worked at the Spartan Debate Institutes since 2004.  Prior to coaching high school, Abby debated for four years at Michigan State University.

Brandon Kelley

Assistant Director of Debate at Georgetown University

Brandon graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in 2017, and has been working as the assistant Director of Debate ever since. Brandon is widely considered to be one of the most talented young coaches in the activity; he coached a National Debate Tournament finalist and Top Ten First Round At Large bid team in his first year. He also teaches at the Debate Institutes at Dartmouth.

Anthony Trufanov

University of Kentucky Debater

Anthony Trufanov is one of the best college debaters in the nation. In his first year, he received a First Round At Large bid to the National Debate Tournament; he has been ranked in the top five teams both his sophomore and junior years. Anthony also coaches high school debate for Glenbrook North and has taught at the Northwestern Debate Institute in the past.

Ezra Serrins

Michigan State University Debater

Ezra Serrins is a sophomore studying International Relations and Social Relations & Policy at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. In his freshman year of debating at MSU, he qualified for the National Debate Tournament, reached elimination debates at the Hoosier Invitational Tournament and participated in the frosh breakout at the University of Kentucky Tournament. Ezra debated for four years in high school at LASA HS in Austin, TX where he reached the octafinals of the Tournament of Champions, was a co-champion of the Harvard tournament, and champion of the Texas Forensic Association State Tournament.