Speech and Debate USA coaches are respected and accomplished speech and debate alumni from across the country.
In the land before time, before NCFCA existed, there was HSLDA debate. Rounds could end on a topicality
ruling after the constructives, teams had more prep time, and a tournament with 25 teams was considered
big. It was in this world that Renee got her start, debating income taxes and looking ridiculous in over-sized
blazers at age 12. Times changed, HLSDA turned into NCFCA, and Renee continued to compete in team
policy debate for 6 years as part of the Clash debate club, earning several top awards before graduating in
2005. During that time, she qualified to and broke at the national tournament every year except her novice
year. Some of the accolades accumulated at the National tournaments include 5th place in team policy
(2002), 12th place Team Policy speaker (2004), 4th place combined sweepstakes (2002), Impromptu
champion (2004), and Extemporaneous champion (2004, GSAACS & AACS, but not NCFCA). She also
competed in college parliamentary debate, quarter-finaling at the NCCFI Nationals (2007) and earning
3rd at the Biola invitational (2007).
Though she enjoyed competing, Renee quickly found that coaching was more rewarding. She served as a
student coach from 2002 to 2004, when she joined CFC/ICC as a touring staffer. Since then, she has taught
at several Masters conferences, summer debate institutes, and Santa Clara workshops. Renee has now been coaching for 13 years, most recently serving as the 2012 Team Policy debate coach for IGNITE Chicago.
Originally from California, Renee has returned to her home state, after receiving her undergraduate
degrees, to earn her PhD at the University of Southern California, where she is now a teaching assistant.
Alexandra, from Illinois, competed in NCFCA at the national level in Apologetics, Impromptu, Persuasive, and Original Oratory and at the regional level in Team Policy debate. Her accomplishments include going 6-0 at the first Region VI qualifying tournament of her second year, winning first place in Persuasive at a regional qualifier (2011), and receiving multiple Team Policy speaker awards. She also served on the 2010-2011 Chicago CHARGE student leadership team. Alexandra enjoys constructing debate cases that can be real-world policy solutions, and she has had several years of experience studying and working with government. Alexandra believes that experience gives her "the perspective to be able to help students not only win rounds with their debate cases, but also to maximize their learning experience."
Alexandra’s love of policy led her to become a student at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, studying International Politics with a concentration in International Security. At Georgetown, she leads the alumni oral history project for the School of Foreign Service Centennial Committee, and is a Carroll Fellow. As a sophomore, she was one of fifteen students selected as Krogh Scholars to perform research on the effectiveness of international institutions. She also interned for the House Armed Services Committee. She is fluent in Polish and plans to minor in Russian and Eastern European studies. Her academic interests include strategic studies and Central Europe’s integration into NATO. This past fall, Alexandra, who is now a junior, worked at the American Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, after studying over the summer at Jagiellonian University, in Krakow. While working at the Embassy, she authored a chapter of a book written by the U.S. Ambassador to Poland. She is now studying at King's College in London, England. “Every day, I use the speaking skills and confidence that I developed in speech and debate,” says Alexandra, “and I would like to help students develop these skills.”
Eddie—who hails from the great state of Ohio—competed in NCFCA in Team Policy debate and almost all of
the speech categories (they kept changing them, otherwise he would have got them all) from the ages of 11 to
18. He qualified to Regionals all four years that he competed in Apologetics, and during his last year he
qualified to Nationals. He refrains from citing specific awards, because they are all stashed in the proverbial
box competitors hear about in devotions. Apologetics helped give Eddie a platform on which to test many of
his beliefs about God, Man, and the nature of the world. He owes his achievements in Apologetics to his older brother’s example and to his mother, who tirelessly coached him through his years in NCFCA.
Since he loved his time competing in NCFCA Apologetics, Eddie is excited that—as an Apologetics coach for Speech and Debate USA—he will have the opportunity “to serve my God and give back the NCFCA
community at the same time.” Eddie tends to “advocate for an apologetics speech that goes in-depth into
the issues at hand, instead of going for emotional appeal on a surface level.” His working knowledge of Latin and Biblical Greek is an asset in this area. Eddie loves to read books about apologetics, theology, and the Christian life. Currently, he studies Classics at Xavier University. He is also training to become an Army
officer through Xavier's ROTC program. This summer he completed Army Airborne School, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes on five occasions.
Haley lived and breathed speech and debate during her three years in NCFCA. The awards she received include 1st place Impromptu, Nationals 2011; 4th place Apologetics, Nationals 2011; 1st place Impromptu, Region IX Regionals 2012; 1st place Extemporaneous, Region IX Regionals 2012; and 3rd place Lincoln Douglas debate, Region IX Regionals 2012. Haley also coached Lincoln Douglas debate and 1st year speakers at club IMPACT in Maryland, where she is from. The joy of seeing others improve their communication skills is her motivation for coaching Impromptu for Speech and Debate USA: “I love
giving back to other speakers,” she says. “NCFCA improved my communication in so many ways and I
love seeing other speakers cultivate their skills.” She credits her unique speaking ability to her dad’s excellent coaching in limited preparation delivery.
Throughout her years in NCFCA, she honed her communication abilities, developed relationships with other mature homeschoolers, and learned an incredible amount about how to win graciously and how to lose gracefully. Currently, Haley is studying violin performance at the University of MD, Baltimore
County (UMBC), and she loves continually recognizing new and positive ways that competitive speech
and debate have impacted her life.
Throughout her five years in NCFCA competition, Rebekah—who hails form Pennsylvania—has won over 100 awards in both speech and debate. Her placements include 1st place Lincoln Douglas debate speaker at Regionals, 1st place sweepstakes at Regionals, 1st place Illustrated Oratory at the Qualifying, Regional, and National Open levels, two time Ironman (five or more Individual Events and debate competitor) at Nationals, and national finalist in several Individual Events. For Rebekah, however, the most important part is the way NCFCA changed her life. The league, the competition, and the friends transformed her from a shy, insecure pre-teen to a young woman who is now confident and capable to share her beliefs to all audiences. She now wants to give back in whatever way she can, by helping others take a stand for what they believe.
Rebekah feels blessed to have an incredible family who was her greatest support system throughout her entire speech and debate ‘career.’ Being the youngest by quite a few years, Rebekah and her parents did many tournament road trips together. Rebekah will continue debating in college this fall, as part of Patrick Henry College’s British Parliamentary debate team, which competes in the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). At Patrick Henry, Rebekah will be majoring in government. “He Who has called me is faithful,” she says, “and I am excited to see where the rest of this journey leads!”
During her four years in NCFCA competition, Elyssa, who is proudly from the state of Utah and from
NCFCA Region III, has won over 100 awards in both speech and debate. Her placements include 1st
place Lincoln Douglas debate, at Regionals in 2012; 1st place Team-Policy debate, at Regionals in 2013;
1st place sweepstakes, at Regionals 2013; 2nd place Extemporaneous, at the Regional level; 2nd place
Impromptu, at the Regional level; and qualifying to nationals in both styles of debate and seven
different types of speeches, over the course of her NCFCA career. The most important part of NCFCA
for Elyssa, however, is the way that it impacted her life. The competition and the friends gained in her
journey have prepared her to be confident and capable in sharing her thoughts and beliefs with all
audiences. “I loved participating in forensics in high school," says Elyssa, "and I want to pass on my
knowledge to others who want to learn how to excel in academic speech and debate."
Besides competing in speech and debate, Elyssa served as a coach in Team Policy debate, Platform
speaking, and Impromptu, with her Utah club, The Forum. She was also the Captain of The Forum Extemporaneous club for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. Elyssa is debating in college this fall,
as part of the varsity section of Patrick Henry College’s Moot Court team, which competes in the
American Moot Court Association (AMCA) and is this year striving for a 6th consecutive national championship title. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with others and can’t wait to see
where the Lord takes her in the next few years.
John has competed in NCFCA and Stoa home school speech and debate for the last four years and
loved every single minute of it. His notable achievements include winning 1st place, at the 2013
NCFCA national championship in Team Policy Debate; 1st place Team Policy and Extemporaneous,
at the 2013 Region VIII Regional Invitational; 1st place in Team Policy debate, at the 2013 Jonesboro Qualifier; 1st place in Extemporaneous, at the Columbia Qualifier; and 9th place in Parliamentary
debate, at Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions (NITOC) 2013. His goal as a coach
for Speech and Debate USA is to give back to others what he has gained: “I’ve benefited enormously
from my time in NCFCA and Stoa, and I want to help give back to the home school speech and debate community,” John says.
John’s dad works for the US State Department, so he finds himself living abroad frequently; presently he lives in Ukraine. John is a bookworm and can generally be found with a work of theology or political philosophy. His knowledge gained in this pursuit makes John a unique Team Policy coach for Speech and Debate USA. He believes his “extensive reading of political philosophy will be very useful this year,” as the Team Policy resolution covers federal election law. Likewise, one of John’s passions is teaching Team Policy students to integrate aspects of the Value style of debate into their presentation and argumentation. John is a Senior in high school, and he hopes to eventually attend seminary. Ultimately, he seeks to use the skills he learned in speech and debate to glorify God.
Although Clayton was born in Colorado Springs, CO, he has lived in Purcellville, VA for almost his
entire life. As the eldest of five children, he was never bored for long at home. Throughout highschool,
he spent most of his time studying history and Arabic, competing in speech and debate, and convincing
people that he had a life apart from academics. During his six years of speech and debate competition,
Clayton’s accomplishments include 2nd Place Persuasive at NCFCA Nationals (2012), 3rd place Persuasive
at Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions (NITOC, 2012), 5th place Persuasive at NITOC
(2013), 1st place TP Stoa speaker from Virginia (2013), 8th place NITOC Apologetics (2013), 12th place
NITOC Extemporaneous (2013), and Ironman Marathoner at NITOC (6 speech events and two forms of
Debate, 2013). Clayton also served as the Extemporaneous captain and Apologetics coach for his VECTOR
Speech and Debate Club, and he currently serves as an Alumni Parliamentary and Team Policy debate coach.
Clayton desires to coach Speech and Debate USA students in order to share his gifts. “I have been
blessed by the Lord with this speaking ability—and I would much rather use my learning to turn right
around and teach others.” To him, teaching others to speak well is crucial to serving the Lord: “Living
in this world and spreading the message of Christ isn’t an individual competition—it’s a team effort; unless all
the members of the body are equipped for use, all efforts will fail,” he says. Clayton is currently a freshman at
Patrick Henry College, hoping to major in Government. When he is not studying, he stays active in a variety of activities, from participating in the Patrick Henry teams in the National Parliamentary Debate Association
(NPDA) and the National Model United Nations (NMUN), to competing on the soccer team.
Danielle, from Oregon, spent two years competing in NCFCA speech and debate and competed for one tournament in STOA, where she placed first in Parliamentary Debate. Among her competitive accomplishments are 5th place Team Policy debate team at NCFCA’s 2013 Region II invitational tournament, where she qualified to Nationals and also received 14th place speaker; 13th place Team Policy team at the Boston National Open in 2013; qualifying to Regionals in Apologetics and Impromptu both years; qualifying to NCFCA nationals in Duo Interpretation; and qualifying to NITOC in Team Policy debate, Parliamentary debate, Impromptu, Apologetics, and Duo Interpretation. Danielle also was a research team leader in her club her novice and varsity years, and she has coached at multiple debate camps, including the Rainmaker Debate Camp in Portland, OR, and the EPIC Debate Camp in Bellingham, WA. These experiences make Danielle a versatile coach: “I understand how to break down ideas for the novices, delve deeper into ideas for the varsity, and [I] have the ability to give constructive feedback on not only arguments and briefs, but speaking as well.”
Speech and debate has been an essential part of Danielle’s life, and she believes everyone should be a part of it at least once for all it can teach. Danielle is currently taking college classes from home and working for Ethos Publications LLC and economist Gregory Rehmke. Danielle is excited to coach for Speech and Debate USA, since she sees the value of an on-line club: “I have been friends with many speech and debate students who felt alienated from their league because either they did not have a club near them, or they didn’t have the opportunity to attend their local club…I believe Speech and Debate USA is a fabulous opportunity for those students to get a club to learn from and connect with.”