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.
Nicole teaches English and is the Director Emeritus of Speech and Debate at Providence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over fifteen years of coaching, Nicole coached multiple NSDA and NCFL national qualifiers with students advancing to outrounds, semis, and finals. At ISD, Nicole is incredibly honored to document the brilliant energy and joy of camp life as our resident photographer. When not at ISD, Nicole enjoys taking her camera on adventures, spending time with her family and her pups, and pursuing her Masters of Education at Clemson University. Go Tigers!
Alexandra Sencer is the Director of Speech and Debate at Collegiate School in New York, New York. Over the past decade, Alexandra has coached dozens of students to late elimination rounds in Congressional Debate and other events at invitationals across the country, including Harvard, Blue Key, Yale, and the Glenbrooks as well as NCFL and NSDA Nationals. She credits her success to her perpetual commitment to helping students discover their authentic selves. In the arena of Congressional Debate, this translates into ensuring that a commitment to constituent advocacy bolsters each speaker’s technical proficiency.
Alexandra, herself, is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students. As a tab director at some of the nation’s largest tournaments, she has made instituting systemic changes in support of these values a priority. Before her time at Collegiate, Alexandra coached at Cary Academy, Lake Mary Prep, Lake Highland Prep, Boca Raton High, and Wellington High. Alexandra can’t wait to work with students at ISD: Florida and help them find their voice in this life-changing activity!
Maryrose Kohan is the head coach and a full-time speech and debate educator at George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado, where she has coached for the past 12 years. She is the coach of the 2010 TOC PF Champions and her students placed 13th at NSDA Nationals in 2014. Additionally, she has coached students to late elimination rounds in Public Forum and other events at invitational tournaments around the country including Bronx, UC Berkeley, Alta, Glenbrooks, and Stanford. She can’t wait to work with students this summer at ISD: Colorado!
Chase Williams is the head debate coach at Taipei American School. In his ten 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 brought home two national champions (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 and at the 2018 NSDA National Tournament, Chase’s student placed 9th in the House.
Before transitioning to education and coaching full-time, Chase was a political operative at the local, state, and federal campaign level. To Chase, ISD is more than a summer camp, it is his family – he can’t wait to welcome more students into that family this summer!
Maggie Woodward coaches Original Oratory and Informative Speaking at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York, and has been involved in forensics as a competitor & a coach for 15 years. As a student, she was the Tennessee State Champion in Original Oratory, and a national finalist in 2008. During college, she competed for Western Kentucky University Forensics. She has taught or directed Oratory at multiple summer institutes, including WKU’s Summer Forensics Institute and the Florida Forensics Institute. Students she has coached have been finalists or champions at Wake Forest, Yale, Harvard, Emory, Bronx Science, TOC, and NSDA. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Mississippi and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Southern California. She is very excited to work with the students in ISD’s new Original Oratory program 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!
Rhonda coached speech and debate for 21 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, spending the last ten years of her career at Plano West Senior High School. She coached students at the local, state and national levels in LD debate, Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. In Extemporaneous Speaking, she coached multiple champions at the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin, the Capital City Extemp Round Robin, The Harvard High School Tournament, The University of Kentucky TOC, and the ETOC at Northwestern University, as well as multiple finalists and champions at the NSDA National Tournament.
She is proud of the accomplishments of her team including multiple state awards and achieving the School of Outstanding Distinction Award for 5 straight years at the NSDA national tournament.
Rhonda retired from coaching but continues consulting with students who are competitive on the state and national extemp circuit. She is excited to join the ISD faculty in 2020 in both Florida and Carolina.
In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys spending time on her ranch in Texas with her husband of 30 years, where she raises goats and Red Angus cattle.
Yatesh Singh is the Co-head coach for Speech at Lakeville North High School in Minnesota. With more than a decade of coaching experience in various debate and speech events, his students have won or reached late elimination rounds of a variety of national tournaments including Blake, Bronx Science, the Extemp TOC, Glenbrooks, Harvard, MBA, NIETOC, & NSDA Nationals. He was the recipient of the 2017 Community Service award at the Extemp Tournament of Champions, and he credits his better half and fellow coach, Liz Vieira Singh, with continuously inspiring him to provide his students the most rewarding forensics experience possible. Yatesh is very excited to share the #ISDDifference with students this summer!