Jake Nebel is Executive Director of Victory Briefs, a PhD candidate in philosophy at New York University, and (starting fall 2019) assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California. Before coming to NYU, he was an undergraduate at Princeton and a graduate student at Oxford. As a coach, his students have won the TOC, NDCA, the Dukes & Bailey Cup, the Glenbrooks, the Harvard RR, Bronx, Emory, TFA State, and other national, regional, and local championships. As a debater, he won the Glenbrooks (twice), Greenhill (twice), Harvard, Emory, Bronx, the Bronx Round Robin, the MBA Round Robin, the VBT Round Robin, and the FFL State Championship, was in finals of NSDA Nationals, and was top speaker at the TOC, Greenhill, Harvard, Bronx (twice), the Bronx Round Robin (twice), Yale (twice), the Vassar Round Robin, the Crestian Classic, and the FFL State Championship. He attended VBI three times as a student and has worked at 31 sessions.
Chris Theis is Executive Director of Victory Briefs. He currently coaches for his alma mater, Apple Valley High School (MN). He has previously coached students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Winston Churchill (TX). He currently sits on the National Debate Coaches Association’s Executive Committee, the National Speech Association Lincoln-Douglas Topic Wording Committee, and the Tournament of Champions (TOC) Lincoln-Douglas Committee.
As a coach, his students have consistently reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions, 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 three juniors to ever win the Tournament of Champions and is the only person to win the tournament 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.
Matthew Salah is the Director of Public Forum Debate at Victory Briefs. Matt Salah debated for four years at the Nueva High School in San Mateo, California. As a member of the first graduating class of his high school, Matt played a large role in founding and establishing the debate team at Nueva. Some of his most notable accomplishments include championing the Tournament of Champions (2017), the ASU Invitational (2017), and the Bronx Science Tournament (2015). Now, Matt coaches debate for Horace Mann High School, and studies political science and economics at Swarthmore college. He is returning to VBI for his third year.
Krithika is an assistant to the Director of Public Forum at Victory Briefs. She is a two-time qualifier to the Texas Forensic Association State tournament in both Public Forum and Domestic Extemp. She has competed in late out-rounds of every national tournament she has attended since sophomore year including the University of Texas, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Bellaire, ASU, Dowling and the International Tournament of Champions. She has received invites to round robins such as the Bellaire Round Robin (reaching semifinals her sophomore year), Kandi King Round Robin, Harvard Round Robin and Berkeley Round Robin. Her senior year she championed the Grapevine Classic tournament (in addition to winning top speaker with perfect speaker points), Colleyville Heritage tournament and the Myers Park Invitational and has been ranked as high as #1 in the nation by Debate Rankings. After attending VBI three times as a student, she looks forward to returning as an instructor!
Devon Weis is as assistant to the Public Forum Director at Victory Briefs. Devon graduated from New York University in the winter of 2017 as a Politics major with a double minor in Philosophy and History. At NYU he was a semifinalist of the Global Debate Competition, and served as the VP of the school’s American parliamentary debate team for two years. Devon has been involved with Public Forum Debate for almost 9 years, competing all four years at Suncoast High School in Florida, and coaching since then. In addition to working freelance with a number of teams from different states, Devon was the head Public Forum Debate Coach at Byram Hills High School for three years, coaching the schools first ever TOC qualifiers. Throughout his career, teams he’s coached have made it to late outrounds at tournaments like NSDA Nationals, CFL Nationals, TFA State, Princeton, Harvard, Penn, Lexington and the Sunvitational. This will be Devon’s fourth summer at VBI.
Sam Abrole debated for Half Hollow Hills High School East's Speech and Debate Team, where she was a state champion for 3 years in Lincoln Douglas Debate and state champion in Oratorical Interpretation. Now she attends Baruch College with a dean's scholarship and competes with her CUNY Debate Team for Congressional Debate. Last summer, she spent 6 weeks teaching public forum debate to debaters with Capitol Debate. She is looking forward to working at VBI this summer!
Philip is a senior at the Hackley School located in New York where has debated for 4 years and served as PF captain for both his junior and senior years. He has collected 6 bids to the tournament of champions, reaching late outrounds at Glenbrooks, University of Kentucky, Bronx, Princeton, Columbia and championing Scarsdale. During his senior year, he had been ranked as high as 7th in the country by NSD PF rankings
Ashley is a senior at Los Altos High School in California where she has debated for 4 years and served as a PF co-captain for two. She has accumulated 6 TOC bids and reached elimination rounds at tournaments like Stanford, Berkeley, and Presentation. She was 4th speaker at Berkeley, a finalist at her state tournament, champion of Milpitas, and at one point was ranked 17th in the nation(she doesn’t remember by who, just take her word for it). She’s super excited to coach at VBI this summer!
Kayla attended Newton South in MA where she was a co-captain of the debate team. As a debater, she advanced to out rounds at tournaments like Princeton, GMU, Columbia, and Lex, notably octafinaling at Harvard, finaling at UPenn, and championing Massachusetts States. Kayla is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley and has since worked as an assistant coach at the Nueva School, where her students have reached late out rounds at tournaments like the UK Season Opener and the Cal Invitational. She's excited to be at VBI this summer!
Ben is a senior at the Nueva School in San Mateo, California, where he has debated in Public Forum and Parli for 3 years. He has competed in late outrounds at a number of national circuit tournaments, including Presentation, Bronx, UK, and Berkeley. He qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice, advancing elimination rounds in his junior year. Most notably, he won both the Berkeley Invitational and Berkeley Round Robin in his senior year. Ben will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall and is excited to be working at VBI this summer!
Danny is a senior at Lincoln Sudbury High School where he’s debated for two years. In his junior year, he collected seven bids to the tournament of champions. He won the University of Kentucky tournament and the Manchester Invitational, reached finals at the New York City Invitational, semifinals at the Crestian Tradition, quarterfinals at the Harvard Invitational, and placed sixth at the NSDA National Tournament. He has been ranked as high as first on Vbriefly.
Chris Conrad debated for the Nueva School, where he amassed 5 bids to the Tournament of Champions in his senior year, won the Kandi King Round Robin, and reached finals of the James Logan Martin Luther King Invitational. Since graduating, he has primarily worked as an assistant coach for The Hill School in Pennsylvania. Chris is super excited to keep coaching at VBI this summer!
Ilana Cuello-Wolffe debated for The Dalton School for three years. She qualified to the Tournament of Champions her junior and senior year, and the NSDA National Tournament her senior year. She reached elimination rounds at many national circuit tournaments, including the New York Invitational, Princeton, Harvard, Ridge, and many others. She received many speaker awards including third speaker at Princeton, Ridge, Villiger, and top speaker at the Byram Hills Invitational and the Westridge Round Robin. She is very excited to teach at VBI this summer!
Malcolm was co-captain of the debate team at Newton South High School in Massachusetts. As a debater, he championed the Bronx Round Robin, finished second the Harvard Round Robin, finished second at Columbia, reached semifinals of the Yale Invitational, and reached quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions. Since graduating, Malcolm has worked as an assistant coach at Strath Haven High School in Pennsylvania. This year, Malcolm's students have championed the Bronx Round Robin, the Villiger invitational at St. Joseph's University, a The Lexington Winter Invitational, and reached elimination rounds at Bronx and Yale. Malcolm is very excited to work at VBI this summer!
Pia is a senior at the College Preparatory School in Oakland where she's debated for three years and has been a captain for two. She has qualified to the Tournament of Champions three times and received 8 career bids. She reached finals at Stanford and semifinals at both Alta and Minneapple, and made other outround appearances at many national circuit tournaments. She has received speaker awards including fourth at Stanford and Glenbrooks. Pia attended VBI the summer before her junior year and is excited to return as an instructor!
Sebastian is a senior at La Salle High School in Pasadena, California, where he has debated Public Forum for three years and currently serves as the captain of his team. He has competed in outrounds at many national circuit tournaments, including ASU, Emory, Bronx, and Berkeley, as well as NSDA Nationals. During his senior year, he broke at every tournament he attended, earning four bids and four speaker awards in six tournaments. Seb is thrilled to be working at VBI this summer!
Marybeth debated for Newsome High School, where she served as president of the debate team for two years. She was the first student from her school to reach elimination rounds at a national circuit tournament and the first to attend the TOC. Marybeth made late outround appearances at numerous tournaments such as Harvard, Glenbrooks, Emory, and NSDA nationals. Additionally, she earned multiple speaker awards at tournaments including Blue Key and Crestian. Marybeth is looking forward to teaching at VBI again!
Elisa Gonzalez is a senior at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA. Over the course of her six-year debate career, Elisa won several middle school parliamentary tournaments after leading her school’s first debate team. She went on to begin the first debate team at her high school where her and her partner received a Public Forum TOC bid and reached late-elimination rounds at Yale, Santa Clara, Jack Howe, La Costa Canyon, Fullerton, Peninsula and Chuck Ballinger. She has also taken top speaker at Peninsula and Chuck Ballinger while placing in the top 10% of speakers at every national circuit tournament attended. Elisa has coached novice, JV and Varsity debaters at Mayfield Senior School to varying successes over the past three years and is excited to share her experiences and perspectives with the next generation of debaters. She will be studying economics and computer science at Harvard College this fall and is thrilled to join the VBI family.
Max Hardt is the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. With 10 years of debate experience, his teams regularly reach late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments, including placing a team 9th at NSDA Nationals in 2018 and semifinals at tournaments such as Blake and Emory, amassing over 15 total bids in Public Forum in just two years. His students have also won Round Robins such as UK, Glenbrooks, Ivy Street, and others.
Andrew Huang has participated in Public Forum Debate for three years in high school at Lake Mary Prep in Orlando and is currently the Debate Captain. He and his partner semi-finaled at 2018 Yale Invitational and the 2018 Sunvitational, quartered at the 2018 NCFL Nationals, and championed the 2018 International Public Forum at NSDA, the Blue Key Round Robin, The Tradition Round Robin, and the Tradition Cypress Bay Tournament. He and his partner finished has been ranked as high as 1st on PF rankings. His individual accomplishments includes speaker awards at TOC, Stanford, Yale, University of Kentucky, and Blake. He is extremely excited to join VBI this summer!
Madi Hynson is from Atlanta, Georgia and is a sophomore in the Wharton School at UPenn. She served as co-captain and coach of her school’s PF team for three years, as well as co-founding their travel team with funds from local businesses. As a competitor Madi reached outrounds at tournaments such as the Florida Blue Key, Sunvite, and ASU invitationals, and was ranked as high as 33 in the nation. Additionally, she was the first from her school to gain a TOC bid, NSDA qualification and to win her varsity state tournament in over a decade.
Ryan is a senior at Corona del Sol High School in Arizona, where he founded the PFD program his freshman year. He has amassed 5 career bids to the Tournament of Champions, qualifying his junior and senior years. Most notably, he championed the Bronx Science Tournament, the Golden Desert Invitational, and both the Presentation and Millard North Round Robins. He also reached late out-rounds at Glenbrooks, Yale, ASU, and NSDA Nationals. Individually, he received speaker awards at numerous tournaments, including at the Tournament of Champions, Glenbrooks, and Yale. He has been ranked as high as 2nd in the country. Ryan is very excited to work with VBI this summer!
Amala is a senior at Hunter College High School where she is a president of the debate team. She has amassed 8 bids and one auto-qualification (from NCFLs 2018) to the Tournament of Champions and reached semifinals or further at Harvard, Princeton, and UPenn. She has also received top 5 speaker awards at Lexington, Harvard, Princeton, Ridge, and UK. Amala is excited to work with students at VBI this summer!
Ethan is a senior at Horace Mann high school in the Bronx, where he serves as a team president. He has reached octofinals at Columbia and Princeton, and quarterfinals at Bronx and Blake. He is also a three-time qualifier to NSDA Nationals, where he placed 14th his junior year, earning an auto-qualification to the 2019 Tournament of Champions and NSDA National Tournament. He looks forward to teaching at VBI this summer!
Emma is a graduating senior at Los Altos High School and served as LA vice president and PF co-captain for MVLA Speech and Debate. In her 4-year career, she qualified to the Tournament of Champions three times and advanced to elimination rounds at the TOC, Stanford, Berkeley, and Presentation. She was a finalist for California States and championed the Stephen Stewart Invitational. Emma will be a freshman at Carnegie Mellon in the fall and is very excited to coach at VBI!
David competed for Unionville High School, where he served as the PF Captain. He has recieved 6 bids in his career, becoming the first debater in his school's history to attend the TOC, where he reached elimination rounds and got a speaker award. Additionally, he reached quarterfinals at Emory and Upenn, semifinals at Lexington, and won Villiger. He also has experience in policy debate, where he finaled at Upenn his senior year. David is excited to coach at VBI this summer!
Anna Kate Lembke
Anna Kate Lembke is a senior at The Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama. She has competed in public forum debate for four years, serving as the captain her senior year, and throughout her career has reached outrounds at Apple Valley, Bronx, Carrolton, Yale, Blue Key, and others. In her senior year she qualified to the Tournament of Champions, championed Holy Cross, and has been ranked as highly as 15th in the nation. She is also the founder of Beyond Resolved, an empowerment website for girls in debate.
Cale McCrary is the Head Coach at Corona del Sol in Arizona, and an assistant for the Quarry Lane (CA) and Brophy Prep (AZ) debate programs. In his first two years as a coach, Cale’s teams have accumulated 15 bids to the Tournament of Champions, with finals appearances or championships at the New York City Invitational, Arizona State University Invitational, Barkley Forum at Emory, and Golden Desert UNLV Tournament. Cale debated at Saint Mary’s Hall in Texas for two years, where he was ranked in the top 30 for Public Forum in 2017.
Sajan Mehrotra is a senior at Horace Mann School in New York. He has qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice and reached late elimination rounds at a variety of national tournaments, including quarterfinals at Bronx and Blake. In addition, he was 6th speaker at Bronx, 8th speaker at Blake, and 10th speaker at Harvard. During his junior year, he placed 14th and received an autoqual at NSDA nationals and was ranked as high as 18th in the nation by VBriefly.
Oliver graduated from Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska where he competed for all 4 years of high school. Throughout his career, Oliver has been ranked as high as #7 in the country and collected 10 career bids to the Tournament of Champions. He has semifinaled at Blake and Golden Desert, championed the Mid-America Cup and the Silver TOC, and competed in outrounds of several other national tournaments such as Apple Valley, Badgerland, and the Gold TOC. Oliver will be a first year at Columbia University next year and is very excited to work at VBI this summer!
Kate Selig debated for The Bromfield School in Massachusetts, serving as team co-captain during her junior and senior years. She has broken at every tournament she has attended since junior year, reaching quarterfinals at Columbia and Harvard, making her the first debater from her school to qualify to the TOC. She was also named the top speaker at Yale and semifinaled at her state tournament. Kate attended VBI as a student three times and is very excited to return as an instructor this summer!
Alina is a junior at Loyola University Chicago. As a Public Forum competitor for Colleyville Heritage HS, she was a three time qualifier to the Texas Forensics Association State Tournament and the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament where she advanced to elimination rounds numerous times. She competed nationally and reached late elimination rounds at tournaments including the University of Texas, the Grapevine Classic, the Hockaday Invitational, Apple Valley, and the Berkeley Invitational. Due to her success, Alina was invited to several Round Robins such as the Berkeley Round Robin and the Kandi King Round Robin. As an instructor, Alina advocates for a narrative-based approach to debate. Accordingly, her teams have gotten to elimination rounds at the Barkley Forum, the Berkeley Invitational, TFA State, NSDA, and TOC.
Emily Steirman debated for the Nueva School in San Mateo, California. She has won the Harker Invitational, and reached outrounds at tournaments including Yale, Bronx Science, Stanford, and Berkeley. She has ranked among the top ten teams nationally, and attended the Tournament of Champions in her junior and senior years. Emily is looking forward to coaching at VBI this summer!
Andy Stubbs is the debate coach at St. John's School. He competed in Policy debate and advanced to late outrounds at NSDA Nationals twice and received a speaker award there in 2007. Andy has coached debaters into invites to the Stanford, Berkeley, Strake, and Kandi King Round Robins, as well as reaching late outrounds at NSDA Nationals and being ranked as high as tenth during the competition season. He also works with the Houston Urban Debate League and the Harris County Department of Education's CASE Debates initiative to bring debate to schools across Harris County.
Bradley debated at All Saints Episcopal School for two years and was Public Forum Captain his senior year. During his time he qualified to the Texas State tournament, and to the NSDA national tournament both years. He also broke at nearly every TOC tournament he attended this year and broke deep at tournaments such as Bellaire, Plano West, University of Texas, Hockaday, the TFA state tournament, and many more. He also won speaker awards at Bellaire and Colleyville. Finally, outside of PF, he qualified to the tournament of champions in extemporaneous speaking. He attended VBI before his senior season and is excited to return as an instructor.
Brianna Thomas is a recent graduate from Liberty University, receiving her degree in Music Education with a concentration in Choral Studies. She competed in public forum for three years in high school and has been a competitive policy debater throughout her four years at Liberty. She has consistently placed within the Top 10 speakers at national tournaments, appeared in over 9 Final elimination rounds across her career, and has won several tournaments including the Round Robin at Rutgers Newark and the Crowe Warken Debates at Navy. Brianna has qualified twice to the NDT, receiving a first round at large bid in 2019. As a debater and coach, she has experience in multiple formats of debate and various literature bases. She is excited to mentor young debaters learn about debate and develop new strategies!
Roshni competed in Public Forum for four years at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California, serving as Public Forum Captain and Vice President of Debate for three of those years. She reached late out rounds and received a total of seven bids at various competitive national tournaments, including the Stanford, Berkeley, and Glenbrooks invitationals, as well as winning the Voices invitational and advancing to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions.
Gigi competed in Public Forum for four years at Evanston Township High School. Throughout her career, she semifinaled at Blake, championed Middleton, the Millard North Round Robin, and the Glenbrooks Round Robin, and qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice, reaching outrounds her senior year. Her individual accomplishments include top speaker at the Tournament of Champions, Mid-America Cup, Millard North, and the Glenbrooks Round Robin. Gigi will be a sophomore at Columbia University next year and she is very excited to work at VBI this summer!
Grace debated in Public Forum for four years at The Nueva School in San Mateo. She has competed in out rounds at over a dozen national tournaments, including reaching quarter finals at Berkeley in her junior year. She has also attended both the Silver and Gold Tournament of Champions. Grace is very excited to work with students at VBI this summer!
Tucker is a senior at Hackley High School in Tarrytown New York, where he has debated for four years and has served as captain of the team for his junior and senior years. He has collected 5 bids to the Tournament of Champions, reaching Quarterfinals at University of Kentucky, Glenbrooks, and Bronx, as well as semifinals at Columbia and has championed the Scarsdale Invitational. He has been ranked as high as 19th in the country by Debate Rankings.
Carlyn debated two years for Plano West Senior high school and was a three-time state and national qualifier. Competing mainly on her state and local circuits, some of her achievements include 2nd at the University of Texas tournament and 3rd at the TFA state tournament. She currently works with Seven Lakes, where her teams have closed out local tournaments and reached elimination rounds at the Glenbrooks national tournament. Carlyn is looking forward to teaching at VBI this summer!
Sabrina is a sophomore at Cornell University and currently coaches for Klein. In high school, she competed in PF for three years at Byram Hills High School, where she was Varsity Captain her junior and senior year. In her high school career, she reached late out rounds at major national tournaments including Yale, Lexington, Blake and Harvard and ended her career ranked in the top 40 teams in the country. This will be Sabrina's second year teaching at VBI and she is so excited to return this summer!