Tess has been doing speech & debate for 5 years, with national titles including two-time Original Oratory champion at Glenbrooks, making the NSDA stage in Informative Speaking, and appearing in final rounds of Oratory, Info, and POI and both the state and national levels. She’s a climate communication nerd whose best experience in high school was coaching novices as team captain, and she’s thrilled to extend that experience at ISD.
Ryan is a senior at Fairmont Preparatory Academy and Captain of the Fairmont Debate Team. Across his four years in Public Forum debate, he accrued 14 gold bids and qualified to the Tournament of Champions four times. Ryan also championed ASU, Berkeley, and Alta, made finals at Glenbrooks, and made semifinals at Kentucky where he earned first place speaker. Outside of tournaments, he coaches a parliamentary debate program at a local middle school. And in his free time, Ryan likes to play basketball and read books at any parks he finds.
Colton Gilbert is a Debate Coach and Teacher at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. He has been involved in competitive speech and debate since 2004. In college, he competed at the University of Kentucky before transferring to Arkansas State University. In undergrad, Colton focused on Communication Studies with a minor in mathematics. In grad school, Colton received a Master’s in Communication Studies from Arkansas State University and a Master’s in Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Since 2014, Colton has been Arkansas’s delegate at NFHS Policy Debate Topic Selection; this summer (2022) he will serve as the chair of the wording committee. As a coach, Colton has coached debaters (both policy and LD) to out rounds at national tournaments and regularly qualifies students to the Tournament of Champions and NSDA. Colton prides himself on argument development and research practices. In his spare time, he enjoys video games on his Xbox and spending time with his beloved niece.
Mukta is a 2022 graduate of Durham Academy, where she competed primarily in Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative Speaking, and Original Oratory, and was Speech Captain her junior and senior year. She won 1st at the Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions, 2nd place and the President’s Bowl in International Extemp at the NSDA National Championship, and 2nd at the NCFL Grand National Tournament. She is a double finalist in Extemp and Info at the Tournament of Champions, an MBA Round Robin Invitee, and has finaled at many tournaments including Harvard, Yale, Glenbrooks, Emory, GMU, Sunvite, and UK. Her favorite parts of Speech and Debate have been cheesy extemp jokes, mentoring novices, and her teammates’ speech memes. She is excited to be a part of ISD this year!
Vishnu is a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. He has been ranked 1st in the nation by the National Debate Coaches Association and National Speech and Debate Association, qualified to the Tournament of Champions Gold division three times, reaching octos-finals his junior year and earning an auto-qualification to next year’s tournament. He has accumulated fourteen bids to the TOC, won the Yale tournament and Georgetown three-times, semifinaled at Columbia and Stanford. Outside of debate, he founded the International Youth Debate Initiative, a non-profit organization that breaks down the financial barriers in debate around the world; he has taught over 55 students from 10 countries. His hobbies include writing for his school’s newspaper, playing baseball and going on hikes. Vishnu is stoked to join the ISD staff and meet this year’s campers!
Tara L. McLellan, a NSDA Diamond Coach, is the co-head coach of Speech & Debate at Charlotte Latin School in North Carolina. In addition to coaching Lincoln-Douglas debate, she specializes in public speaking and individual events. Tara has previously coached at Decatur High School and Saint James School, her alma mater in Alabama. She served on the Lincoln-Douglas wording committee and the 2008 Birmingham Nationals committee. In 2006, she was awarded Alabama Forensics League Coach of the Year. Tara has instructed for LD and IE summer camps at Stanford, University of Iowa, and Samford University. Tara’s eight-year-old daughter, Neva, is a forensics “kid in training,” already demanding impromptu topics and cheering on the Latin team at competitions.
Carina is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School’s IB program and captain of the Potomac Debate Academy. She has been ranked as high as 1st in the nation by the National Speech and Debate Association in Public Forum, qualified for the Tournament of Champions four times, and in her junior year, won NSDA Nationals, accumulated seven gold bids, and reached semi-finals at the Harvard, Yale, and Stanford tournaments. She has also championed the Georgetown Invitational and Ridge Debates, founded her school’s national debate team to allow other students to participate at a national level, and leads Beyond Resolved’s Maryland chapter to alleviate gender, race, and wealth-based inequality in the activity. Outside of debate, Carina loves studying math and computer science, running, playing volleyball, and songwriting.
ISD helped Carina find her voice, and she’s incredibly excited to be an instructor this summer!
Christopher Vincent is the Director of Speech & Debate at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, LA. He has been involved in competitive speech & debate since 2004. Formerly, he was a competitor for the University of Louisville where he reached elimination rounds at several tournaments including both CEDA and the National Debate Tournament. He has also served as the Director of Forensics for Louisiana State University. As a high school coach, he has directed several programs and has coached students to elimination rounds at many regional and national tournament including Greenhill, Emory, Harvard, Berkeley, TFA, the Tournament of Champions, NSDA, and others. Chris is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Communication Studies Department at Louisiana State University, as well as a graduate minor in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, with a primary concentration in rhetoric and culture where he studies rhetorics of space from a queer and feminist perspective. As both a classroom teacher and communication professional, he emphasizes the importance of being adaptable, critically engaging with scholarship, being innovative in argument development, and learning the fundamentals.
Jared is currently studying at The Ohio State University and is an alumnus of Hawken School in Cleveland, OH. At Hawken, Jared served as the Interpretation Captain as well as the Vice President of Speech his senior year. Jared was ranked as high as 1st in the country in both HI and POI, and competed since 7th grade. Jared has reached late elimination rounds at many national tournaments including 2nd at Yale, 6th at Glenbrooks, 5th at GMU Patriot Games, 2nd at the Barkley Forum, Semifinals at the UK TOC, Top-60 at NSDA Nationals, and was a four time NSDA national qualifier. In addition, he championed the Sunvitational, the Stanford Invitational, the New York City Invitational, and was the 2019 OSDA State Champion in POI. Outside of speech, Jared can be caught dancing in public, talking in different voices at all the wrong times, and trying to put a smile on people’s faces. Jared is excited to continue giving back to the activity that gave him so much, and he can’t wait to welcome more Interpers into the ISD family in 2020!
Chase Williams is the 6-12 Director of Speech and Debate at Taipei American School and founder of The Institute for Speech and Debate. In his 13 years of coaching, Chase has coached students across all events to national success. In 2014, Chase was a member of the Hawken coaching staff that won two national championships (Congressional Debate and Public Forum Debate) and a national runner-up (Impromptu Speaking). His students have routinely placed in the Top-10 at nationals, advanced as far as Semifinals in PF at the TOC, and have championed or been in the final round at Yale, Minneapple, The Glenbrooks, Blake, The Sunvitational, Stanford, and Emory. At the 2016 NSDA National Tournament, Chase coached the national runners-up in World Schools Debate and his student placed 6th in the Senate, at the 2018 NSDA National Tournament, Chase’s student placed 9th in the House, and at the 2020 NSDA National Tournament, Chase’s students placed 4th in Policy Debate and Taipei American School was the first international school in the 95-year history of the NSDA to ever be recognized as a Debate School of Excellence (Top-20 in the nation). At the 2021 NSDA National Tournament, Chase’s students again won a Debate School of Excellence Award.
Before transitioning to education and coaching full-time, Chase was a political operative at the local, state, and federal campaign level. He has remained involved in the political arena as a volunteer and fundraiser.
To Chase, ISD is so much more than a summer camp, it is his extended family and he can’t wait to welcome more students into that family this summer!