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.
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.
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!
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!
Rachel West is super excited to be apart of the ISD difference! She has been coaching collegiate and highschool speech for 3 years. During her time at Western Kentucky University, she assisted in coaching Several Persuasive National Outround competitors, the top 3 National Finalists in After Dinner speaking for 2017, and the ADS National Runner Up in 2018. As the Assistant Director for Speech and Debate at Cypress Bay Highschool last year Rachel coached several Blue Key, Glenbrooks, Sunvite, Harvard, TOC, and NSDA Finalists and Champions. As Director at Cypress Bay this season, she hopes to continue helping students craft and refine their messages and can’t wait to do the same at ISD.
Brittany Stanchik is in her eighth year coaching Congressional Debate at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, AZ and is the new Director of Forensics at DV. Over the course of her coaching career, she has coached numerous TOC qualifiers, including 7 finalists, 18 NSDA National Finalists, and 7 National Semifinalists. In 2014 alone, Brittany coached five students to the Final Round of Congressional Debate at NSDA Nationals.
Brittany understands the need to preserve the tradition and educational aspects of Congressional Debate but has learned the progression that naturally comes with the event; she teaches students how to adapt in a quickly changing environment by having them focus equally on three pillars: argumentation, presentation, and refutation.
During her personal career, Ms. Stanchik was in the 2009 NSDA National Congress Final and the 2010 NSDA National Quarter finals for Public Forum Debate. She graduated from Arizona State University where she majored in Communication and Justice Studies. She can’t wait to spend another summer with her ISD Family!
Jay Rye first became involved with Speech & Debate as a high school competitor in 1985, and has served as the Director of Speech & Debate at The Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama, since 1991. As a competitor for and graduate of the University of Alabama, Jay was the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from Delta Sigma RhoTau Kappa Alpha, the collegiate honor society for speech education. As a five-diamond coach, he served as the District Chair of the Deep South District from 1999 – 2017 having received the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards for District Chair Service as well as being named District Chair of the Year in 2009. In 2007 he was elected a Key Coach of the Barkley Forum at Emory University in Georgia and in 2009 was the recipient of the Bronx Achievement Award by the Bronx High School of Science in New York. In 2013, Jay was the recipient of the Brother Polowy Coaching Award by Holy Cross in Louisiana and in 2014 was named the Jenny Cook Mentorship Award by the University School in Florida.
Jay has coached 142 individual state champions along with 134 National Speech & Debate Association qualifiers in all events, including the 2006 National Champion in Dramatic Interpretation. Jay served as the Chair of the Host Committee for the National Tournament of the National Speech & Debate Association in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He is an inducted member in the Alabama Speech & Debate Coaches Hall of Fame and the National Speech & Debate Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2014, Jay was elected to the Board of Directors for the NSDA and served in that capacity until his term concluded in June, 2018.