Sarah Donnelly (she/her/hers) is the Head Coach at Natick High School in Massachusetts, where she has been coaching since 1996. Sarah caught her passion for Speech & Debate in the 1980s as a competitor for the team she now coaches, and was then a member of the Fulton Debating Society as an undergraduate at Boston College.
Over the years, Sarah has coached many students to late elimination rounds and even some championships at a variety of tournaments including Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NCFL, and NSDA. But she considers her greatest successes to be much quieter moments – the moments when she gets to help a student conquer a particular challenge or discover a new skill.
Sarah believes that her experience in Speech & Debate made her the person that she is today, and that she owes it to the Community to pay that back. In pursuit of that goal, she has served in many leadership roles including Vice President and At Large Member of the Massachusetts Speech & Debate League, Diocesan Director of the Worcester Diocese of the NCFL, District Committee Member of the New England District Committee of the NSDA, and she currently serves as Chair of the New England District. Sarah is also the Event Coordinator for the NCFL, where she serves as a bridge between the NCFL Board of Directors and the local host committees. She is excited to be a part of the NCFL Inclusion Committee, along with other members of the ISD faculty, and hopes to help promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice in our tournament experiences.
Unlike many coaches, Sarah isn’t a classroom teacher. When she isn’t coaching, planning a tournament, or doing other Speech & Debate things, Sarah is an Event Coordinator in the non-profit sector.
Sarah has worked at a variety of summer institutes throughout her career. She enjoys this experience as it allows her to work with students and faculty members from around the country in the pursuit of building our community. She is excited to join the ISD Faculty because she wholeheartedly believes in its model, and she looks forward to learning from its students and faculty.