Brittany Stanchik

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 Smith

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

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!

Jay Rye

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.

Gabe Rusk

Gabe Rusk is currently the Director of Debate at the Fairmont Preparatory Academy in Anaheim, California. In his first year as director Fairmont Prep became the national TOC gold bid leader in PF. Fairmont qualified eight teams to the TOC in 2018 alone. Gabe has been a coach in Public Forum Debate for close to a decade and has taught over a thousand students in that time. Gabe has been the director or senior instructor at over a dozen camps and institutes. During high school Gabe was a PF competitor himself winning the 2010 Tournament of Champions in Public Forum Debate. After taking a debate scholarship to attend college he was awarded 4th place at the 2014 national university parli competition. Gabe then attended the University of Oxford as a graduate student with a focus on religion and the law. He graduated in 2016 where his dissertation focused on the history of the First Amendment and pluralism in the United States. At Oxford he was offered a place on the competitive traveling team, won best floor speech at the Oxford Debate Union, and was appointed the LGBTQIA+ Officer for the world’s oldest debating society. Gabe was also elected as the international students officer representing over 7,000 students during his time at Oxford. He cannot wait to join the ISD Faculty and spend another summer working with students!

Tanya Roundy

Tanya Roundy is starting her 15 year of teaching. She competed in speech and debate in high school and over the last 14 years has coached at North Sanpete HS in Utah, Mission San Jose HS in California, Alta HS in Utah, and currently coaches at Summit Academy HS in Utah. She has had students qualify to the NSDA National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, POI, Original Oratory, Congressional Debate, Dramatic Interp, and Informative Speaking. She currently sits on the NSDA Public Forum Topic Wording Committee and recently presented at the NSDA National Education Conference. When she isn’t coaching or running debate tournaments, she is directing theatre productions and writing.

Angelique Ronald

After 15 years of coaching, Angelique Ronald has refocused her attention to advocating for matters of equity and inclusion in the world of speech and debate. Through publications (including Rostrum winter 2017 article “Women In Competitive Forensics”), national conference presentations (2018: “Fostering Inclusivity and Safe Spaces at Tournaments: Best Practices” and 2019: “Gender Inequity in Speech and Debate: A Solutions-Focused Discussion”), and advocacy in California and beyond, Angelique promotes solutions-based, culture-wide changes to make forensics a more accessible, open, and safe space for all.

Angelique currently serves as the State Tournament Director / Vice President of Activities of the California High School Speech Association, the co-President of the Southern Valley Forensic League, and a member of the Sierra District Committee for the National Speech and Debate Association.

Natalie Polanco

Natalie is the Director of Forensics at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. With a wide range of experience in the activity, she has overseen the growth of Packer’s first-ever Speech & Debate Team to include more than 25 active competitors in under three years, ranking in the top 10% of comparable programs nationwide. Her students were Quarterfinalists in Public Forum Debate at the 2019 NCFL Grand National Tournament; Co-Champions in Varsity Public Forum and Finalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum at the 2019 Westchester Classic; and Finalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum at the 2019 Georgetown Fall Invitational. In addition to qualifying for the Tournament of Champions and NYSFL State Championship in Public Forum Debate, her students have advanced to elimination rounds at national-circuit tournaments and earned a variety of speaker awards. Natalie currently serves on the National Speech & Debate Association’s Public Forum Wording Committee, after previously serving on the Public Forum Ad Hoc Committee. She looks forward to spending another summer at ISD!

Jonathan Peele

Jonathan Peele is now in his twentieth year as a coach and his seventh year as Director of Speech and Debate at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC.  His Public Forum teams at East Chapel Hill HS, Manchester-Essex Regional HS, and Charlotte Latin have advanced to the late elimination rounds at Wake Forest, Yale, Glenbrooks, Myers Park, Pine Crest, Emory, Harvard, Harker, the TOC, and NSDA Nationals.  His students have also reached NSDA finals in Dramatic Interpretation twice and in Congressional Debate six times.  In 2018, his student Luke Tillitski won the NSDA National Championship in Congressional Debate – Senate.

Mr. Peele specializes in Congressional Debate and Public Forum instruction in the areas of weighing (argument comparison), evidence evaluation, and application of political psychology research to judge adaptation.  He has coached continuously at various summer debate programs since 2006.

When not coaching, Mr. Peele enjoys traveling to football games at UNC – Chapel Hill (his alma mater). He is excited to be a partner in the Coaches Group and to have found a summer home at the Institute for Speech and Debate for years to come.

Becca Marks

Becca teaches English and Humanities at Hawken Upper School in Cleveland, Ohio. While she chaperoned the Hawken team’s trip to Harvard in 2016 simply to visit friends from grad school, she quickly fell in love with Speech and Debate and the hardworking, passionate students who channel their voices through the activity. At Hawken, she primarily coaches Extemp and Congress and her students have reached semifinal and final rounds at UK, Yale, Minneapple, Glenbrooks, Princeton, ASU, Durham, Emory, Stanford, Harvard, the Ohio Speech and Debate Association state tournament, UKTOC, NCFL Grand Nationals, and NSDA Nationals.  She coached back-to-back Congressional Debate state champions in Ohio in 2019 and 2020.  She loves Congress and ISD, and can’t wait for another fantastic summer (and specifically banana pudding milkshakes from Cookout).