Jake Nebel is Executive Director of Victory Briefs and a PhD candidate in Philosophy at New York University. He holds an AB in Philosophy from Princeton and a BPhil in Philosophy from Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. As a debater for Trinity Prep (FL), Jake reached finals of Harvard (three times), Greenhill (twice), the Glenbrooks (twice), the New York City Invitational (twice), the Barkley Forum at Emory, Yale, the Bronx Round Robin, the MBA Round Robin, the VBT Round Robin, the Vassar Round Robin, the FFL State Championship, and NSDA Nationals—winning most of those. He was named Top Speaker at the Tournament of Champions, Greenhill, Harvard, the New York City Invitational (twice), the Bronx Round Robin (twice), Yale (twice), the Vassar Round Robin, the Crestian Classic, and the FFL State Championship. As a coach for the Greenhill School (TX), Jake's students have won the Tournament of Champions, the NDCA National Championship, the Dukes & Bailey Cup, the Glenbrooks, the Harvard Round Robin, the New York City Invitational, Emory (twice), the TFA State Tournament, and other national, regional, and local championships. This will be his twelfth summer at VBI.
Chris Theis is Executive Director of Victory Briefs. This is his eleventh year at VBI. He currently coaches for his alma mater, Apple Valley (MN). He has previously coached students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Winston Churchill (TX). As a coach, his students have reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions each of the past six seasons, and have placed in the top 6 of the NSDA National Tournament. His students have won nearly every major invitational tournament (some multiple times) including: Harvard, Greenhill, Stanford, the Minneapple, Emory, CPS, Lexington, Loyola, Damus, the Greenhill Round Robin, and others.
As a competitor, he was one of only two juniors to ever win the Tournament of Champions and is the only person to win it twice. He was the champion of Blake, Emory, the Iowa Round Robin twice, the Greenhill Round Robin twice, and St. Marks twice. Chris was also a semi finalist at Greenhill and the Glenbrooks, and a finalist at Berkeley. Chris was a four year qualifier to the NSDA National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas, U.S. Extemp Speaking, and Congressional Debate. This will be Chris's eleventh summer at VBI.
Director of Public Forum Debate
Abraham Fraifeld is the Director of Public Forum Debate at Victory Briefs. He is a rising Senior attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. In high school Abe competed in Public Forum at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL. Over the course of his career, he reached 6 final rounds and amassed 12 bids to the Tournament of Champions. Notably, Abraham was a two-time participant in Tournament of Champions elimination rounds, top speaker at the Glenbrooks, and the Florida State Tournament runner up. He has coached PF at Walt Whitman High School and Trinity Prep as well as multiple camps around the country. His students have won major invitationals across the country and have even closed out the Tournament of Champions. This will be Abe's third summer at VBI.
Director of Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Marshall Thompson is the Director of Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Victory Briefs. Marshall debated for four years at Walt Whitman High School, graduating in 2011. Since then he has graduated from Wheaton College having majored in philosophy. He is currently pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Florida State University with the hope of teaching at a collegiate level. Marshall has been successful both as a debater and coach; in recent years he has coached debaters to win major national tournaments (such as the Bronx Invitational) and reach late out rounds at many others (including finals of the TOC). Marshall is an experienced camp instructor having both taught and developed curriculum at multiple camps for years. This will be his seventh summer at VBI.
LD Curriculum Director
SunHee Simon is a LD curriculum Director at Victory Briefs. SunHee has participated in debate since the 7th grade and has been a championship debater in both Lincoln Douglas and Policy Debate. In 2015, she was one of only two people to qualify to the Tournament of Champions in CX and LD. SunHee won numerous awards at national tournaments in high school, including LD champion at the Greenhill Invitational and LD co-champion of the Cal Round Robin and the Cal Invitational at Berkeley. She is also a former member of the USA National Debate Team. Her freshman year at Stanford University--where she now attends--she earned the semifinal title at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national tournament. She current coaches James Logan High School in California and is very involved with the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. This is SunHee's third year with VBI.
PF Curriculum Director
Jami Tanner is returning to VBI for her third year and is a PF curriculum director at Victory Briefs. Jami debated for Klein High School in Houston, TX, where she was the team president. She is a four-time TFA State qualifier, a three-time NSDA Nationals qualifier, and was the first TOC qualifier in her school’s history. Jami was ranked #1 in the nation by the NSDA’s Points Record in 2014, accumulated the most state points in Texas two years in a row, and was in the top 15 teams in the nation at the 2013 NSDA National Tournament in Public Forum debate. While her focus is PF, Jami was also the UIL 5A Undefeated State Champion in Lincoln Douglas debate. She currently works as a private coach, while attending New York University.
LD Curriculum Director
Lawrence Zhou is a LD curriculum Director at Victory Briefs. Lawrence competed at Bartlesville HS in Oklahoma (2010-2014) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In high school, he was the 2014 NSDA LD National Champion. He was also a three-time finalist and two-time champion of the Oklahoma State Tournament and placed 6th at NFL Nationals his junior year. He now attends the University of Oklahoma where he is a member of the OU Ethics Bowl Team and debates on the OU Shannon Self Debate Program policy team. This will be his fifth year at VBI.
Director of Student Life
Kara Dreher is Director of Student Life for Victory Briefs. She holds an AB in Politics from Princeton University, an MSc in Child Development from Oxford University, and an MA in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. She is currently a member of the Upper School English Faculty at Ranney School in New Jersey, where she teaches 9th, 11th, and 12th grade, and serves as the Dean for the Class of 2020. Previously, she taught 8th grade Literature with Achievement First in New York, where she also served as a Course Lead and Curriculum Consultant for two years, crafting the network's 8th grade Literature curriculum and compiling resources for 6th-12th grade curricula. Prior to her role as Director of Student Life, Kara served as VBI's Instructional Development Director, and she continues to advise on pedagogy, curricular development, and teaching standards at VBI. This is will be her fifth summer with VBI.
Director of Operations
Nick Smith is Director of Operations at Victory Briefs. He studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He was the Director of Debate at Hopkins (MN) for four years and now coaches at St. Thomas Academy (MN) & The Visitation School (MN), in addition to privately coaching several students. His students have reached late elimination rounds at many major national tournaments, have received numerous round robin invitations, and have frequently qualified to the TOC, NSDA Nationals, NDCA Nationals, NCFLs, and the Minnesota State Tournament. This will be Nick's seventh summer at VBI.