Jenn Melin

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.

Colton Gilbert

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.

Tara McLellan

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.

Rachel Mauchline

Rachel Mauchline is the Director of Debate for Cabot Public Schools. She coaches students in all debate events from 7th to 12th grade. Rachel serves on a number of different Arkansas Debate Committees. Rachel received an NSDA District Commendation in 2020 for her work with Tabroom in her state and serves the NSDA as a Tabroom Superuser. Rachel founded her own nonprofit debateARkansas which is aimed at providing more equitable debate experience to students. Rachel cannot wait to work at ISD 2022!

Christopher Vincent

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.

Chase Williams

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!

Maggie Woodward

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

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.