Veer is a rising freshman at New York University and has debated at Durham Academy for four years. He has been ranked as high as 2nd in the country in PF, amassing nine gold bids to the TOC across his career. In his senior year, he won Princeton, Duke, and Yale while reaching late elimination rounds at the Barkley Forum, Mineapple, Bronx, and Sunvite. He won the state championship as a junior and placed 14th at NSDA Nationals as a sophomore. When not debating, Veer enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing basketball, and listening to music. He’s looking forward to meeting everyone this summer!
McKinley Paltzik will graduate from Phoenix Country Day School in 2023, where she competed in Extemporaneous Speaking, Congressional Debate, Impromptu Speaking, and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. She is the 2022 National Champion and President’s Bowl Winner in International Extemporaneous Speaking, the 2022 MBA Champion, and the 2022 TOC Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking. She is the first competitor to ever win the Yale Invitational 3 consecutive times, and has championed the NYC Invitational twice. She’s reached final rounds at both Harvard and Glenbrooks too. McKinley is also the Director of the Extemper’s Bible, an organization dedicated to making Extemp resources ubiquitously accessible. She is excited to be joining the ISD family and can’t wait to meet everyone this summer!
Bradley Wascher is the extemporaneous speaking coach at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida.
Amber is honored to be joining her friends on the ISD team and to be taking over Interpretation of Literature this summer in Florida!
Being a trained and practiced dramaturg/director, Amber uses her professional experience around performance to contextualize the Speech experience for her students. Studying interpretation with Amber is about more than events and competition, it’s about learning artistic and collaborative processes that will jumpstart your journey into a season of incredible storytelling.
To get a taste of Amber’s style of work, check out some performances she was able to help bring to life for the NSDA Final Stage:
-“Alabama Story” 2022 Runners-Up in Duo Interpretation
-“Defacing Michael Jackson” 2021 Runner-Up in Humorous Interpretation
-“Surviving America” 2020 Runner-Up in Program Oral Interpretation
-“Defending Your Life” 2017 Champion in Humorous Interpretation
-“A Step from Heaven” 2013 Runners-Up in Duo Interpretation
-“Crafty” 2012 Runner-Up in Dramatic Interpretation
Parker De Deker
Parker is a senior at Neenah High School in Wisconsin and is currently the President of his Speech & Debate Team. Parker offers a diverse, six-year Speech & Debate experience to ISD, ranging from Original Oratory, Impromptu, Extemp, and Program Oral Interp to Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Congressional Debate. In his career, Parker has championed the Wisconsin State Tournament in Impromptu and Finaled in Extemp. Additionally, he has broken to out rounds at Florida Blue Key, Harvard, and Barkley Forum, Finaled at Glenbrooks, Princeton, Blake, and Cabot, Championed the Plano Classic, Was the National Runner-Up at NCFL Grand Nationals in D.C. and Championed the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Congressional Debate: House, was the Final Round Presiding Officer, and House Leadership Bowl Winner in June of 2022. Through accumulating 16+ Lifetime Bids to the UKTOC, 4 to NIETOC, and 3 Qualifications to both National Tournaments and work experience with political and governmental organizations, Parker is excited to emphasize the importance of external application of Speech & Debate skills in the real world.
Jenn Melin is excited to be joining the Institute for Speech and Debate for the summer of 2022. Jenn has previously served as Director of Mean Green Comet’s LD and World Schools Divisions and Directed the National Symposium for Debate’s Texas Campus. She has also directed curriculum for the University of Texas National Institute for Forensics and Victory Briefs Lincoln Douglas debate camps dating back to 2010.
As an LD coach, Jenn has been active in the national and Texas debate communities for over fifteen years. Her students have advanced to elimination rounds of virtually every major national tournament. Most recently she has served as the Assistant Coach at Harrison High School in New York where her students have championed the following Tournament of Champion bid tournaments: The Minneapple, The Glenbrooks, Harvard, Princeton, Holy Cross, Isidore Newman, and Newark. They were runners up at Blue Key, Stanford, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. They were Octafinalists at the TOC in 2021, two NDCA Quarterfinalists (2021), and closed out the Novice division of NDCA 2022. Previously, she has coached champions of the Grapevine Classic, University of Texas, Blue Key, Blue Key Round Robin, Strake Jesuit, Strake Jesuit Round Robin, Colleyville, and Voices Round Robin. In addition to coaching semi- finalists at St. Marks and Greenhill. Jenn has specialized in working with students from small Texas programs and has qualified a significant number of those students to the TOC and NSDA Nationals over the years. The 2019-2020 LD TOC Bid Leader was one such student. She has qualified almost every student she’s ever coached to TFA State; culminating in a record setting fourteen LD qualifications in a single year. Jenn is the coach of the 2020 TFA State Champion in Lincoln Douglas. Her students have participated in out rounds of both TOC and TFA. Jenn has also coached a UIL 5A State Champion and last year’s UIL 6A runner-up.
Jenn is also an active member of the Texas World Schools community. She co-coaches Team Texas. In their first year, they championed the Isidore Newman tournament, earned top seed at the Harvard World Schools Invitational, and were semifinalists at Blake. Additionally, they earned top 32 honors at the EurOpen, one of the largest WSD tournaments in the world. She has coached the Lone Star District World Schools team since the inception of the event at the National Tournament. Her students have reached elimination rounds of that tournament the past three years, including clearing a record three teams at the 2019 National Tournament. Her team, Lone Star Green, championed the 2020 NSDA Nationals in World Schools.
Jenn directs the Grapevine Colleyville ISD Middle School Debate Club and assists the Greenhill Middle School Debate club and Coppell Debate Academy.
Reya Brahmbhatt is the senior captain of the congressional debate team at Ridge High School in New Jersey. By the end of her junior year, Reya placed 3rd at the NCFL nationals, reached the final round at the NSDA Senate nationals, and the semifinal rounds at the NSDA House nationals and the Tournament of Champions. She is a 3 time-qualifier to the TOC with 16+ bids. Additionally, she championed the Blake Round Robin and Villiger along with top-six finishes at Sunvite, Blake, and Pennsbury. She also competed in several semifinal and final rounds including Yale, Harvard, and GMU.
Reya enjoys congressional debate not only for its unique structure and argumentation but also because of the invaluable experiences it has given her. She’s very excited to be coaching at ISD this summer!
Katheryne debated at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, where she served as President of Speech and Debate and Inclusivity Captain of the PF team. She has competed in PF on the national circuit for three years, earning thirteen career gold and three silver bids to the Tournament of Champions. Over her career, Katheryne earned numerous speaker awards, including 1st speaker at Lexington, Lakeland, and the Harvard Round Robin, 3rd speaker at Valley and Blake, 4th speaker at the Blake Round Robin, and 5th speaker at Bronx. Also notably, she semifinaled the TOC, won Valley Mid-America Cup twice, finaled the Harvard Round Robin, semifinaled Blake (2021) and the Blake Round Robin, quarterfinaled Harvard, Blake (2020), and Stanford, and reached late outrounds at several other tournaments. Outside of competing, Katheryne is the President of Beyond Resolved, where she works to combat many forms of inequity and make debate a more safe and accessible activity.
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.
Jenesis Williams has competed in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking for the past four years at Cypress Bay High School, where she is the captain of the speech and debate team. She’s performed in the final rounds of the Florida Blue Key Invitational, the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament, and the Harvard National Forensics Tournament, and she was a 2020 FFL State Champion. Jenesis is a four time NSDA national qualifier, placing 5th in 2019 and 9th in 2020 at the NSDA National Tournament in Informative Speaking. When she’s not competing, you can find her on the hunt for really good food, reading, or re-creating Swan Lake in her kitchen. Jenesis can’t wait to be a part of the ISD difference this summer!