Meet Our Staff

Triumph debate camp instructors

Lincoln Douglas Instructors

Andrea Chow

Andrea has been coaching summer debate camps for the past two years. In high school, she was a 4x California state qualifier, West LA Student of the Year, and district champion. She also quarterfinaled at the TOC as a sophomore and finished in the top 30 at NSDA Nationals as a senior. She is currently studying ethnicity, race, and migration at Yale University where she will continue to debate and coach middle and high school teams. She also volunteers with Speech and Debate Stories to make debate more equitable and accessible for people of all backgrounds. Her favorite part of coaching is having fun with debaters. Outside of debate, she loves hiking, painting, and cooking.

BRYCE EDISON

Bryce competed in debate for three seasons before graduating from Boardman High School in 2019. In both his freshman and sophomore year, he competed in Public Forum debate before switching to Lincoln-Douglas his senior year. In his senior year, Bryce broke at the OSDA state tournament and qualified in LD for the NSDA national tournament. Currently, Bryce studies philosophy at Case Western Reserve University and also coaches LD and PF at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

Jo Spurgeon

Jo Spurgeon competed in Speech and Debate for 3 years, competing in HI, OO, ADS, Prose, and LD. Sophomore year, Jo finaled in Humorous Interp at the OSAA State Tournament. Junior year, she was a finalist in After Dinner Speakingthird in Humorous Interp, and second in Lincoln Douglas debate at the OSAA State Tournament. Throughout her career she also won top speaker at several regional tournaments including the Jerry Hudson and Jean Ward Invitationals. Jo also qualified for the NSDA National tournament in Original Oratory in 2019 and in Lincoln Douglas debate in 2020. Senior year she was voted the 2020 Southern Oregon Student of the Year by regional coaches for her success across both speech and debate. Her senior year she also finished as the 2020 NSDA Lincoln Douglas National Champion, making her the first Oregonian to win that title in the history of the tournament. She is currently attending American University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience.

Katie Humphries

Katie Humphries joined Speech and Debate her sophomore year as the first ever LDer at her school. In her two years in LD, both years she qualified to the OSDA state tournament and the Northern Ohio World Schools team, where her team broke to double octa-finals at NSDA’s. After graduating in 2017, she now attends the University of Akron, where first year, she joined Akron’s Speech and Debate team and won the OFA State Tournament in IPDA. In 2018, she left the team to fully invest in coaching for her alma mater, Liberty High School. Coming from a low-income school and competing on a team with little to no funding, Katie co-founded Triumph Debate with the purpose of making debate more accessible.

Matt Slencsak

Matthew Slencsak graduated from Howland HS in 2013, after competing in Lincoln Douglas debate for 4 years. After High School, Matt obtained a degree in IT. Since, Matt has been coaching Speech and Debate for 7 years. Matt has coached students to making stage at both the Ohio Speech and Debate Tournament as well as the NSDA Tournament. After observing problems in the Speech and Debate community, Matt co-founded Triumph Debate with the goal of creating a more welcoming and equitable space for all.

OLIVIA DAL PRA

Olivia Dal Pra competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for four years. She qualified to the OSDA State Tournament two times, her senior year bidding out. Her senior year she made quarters at the NSDA qualifying tournament. Throughout her career she placed at over a dozen local tournaments and advanced to elim rounds at many larger Ohio competitions including GlenOaks, Sylvania and the OSDA State Tournament. Olivia will be attending KSU in the fall of 2020, where she will be studying Sociology with a minor in LGBTQ Studies. Olivia continues her involvement in Speech and Debate through coaching at Liberty High School and working with Triumph Debate to help disadvantaged students.

TIA SPEECE

Tia Speece competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for three years at Kenston High School. During her first year, she semi-finaled at the state competition. In her senior year, she made it to finals at States, qualified to the NSDA National competition, and became the first female public-schooled student to compete in and win the City Club debate. She also competed in World Schools debate for three years. Tia now privately coaches students and competes in British Parliamentary at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where she is studying philosophy.

VINAMRA AGRAWAL

Vinamra coached for Revere High School and now coaches for Mason High School where he debated for three years in Lincoln-Douglas debate. His students have gone on to be OSDA and NSDA qualifiers and rank in the top 14 in Extemp Debate at Nationals. Vinamra was the Lincoln-Douglas Event Leader in his senior year. Vinamra was an NSDA qualifier in Worlds Schools Debate and a two-time OSDA qualifier in LD. He currently attends Ohio State University where he is majoring in data analytics in business.

Policy Debate Instructors

SEAN LAVELLE

Sean is a Policy Debate coach at his alma mater, St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland.  During his four years of high school competition, he won the Ohio Speech & Debate Tournament twice, qualified to the National Speech and Debate Tournament three times, and received a bid to the Tournament of Champions. He competed in college at Michigan State University before transferring to Ohio State where he studied political science. Sean’s passion for coaching has now led him to pursue a teaching degree at Cleveland State University. Sean’s students have seen great success including a top 32 finish at the NSDA tournament, as well as a finalist and top speaker at the OSDA tournament.

SOPHIA DAL PRA

Sophia Dal Pra has done Policy Debate for four years, qualifying to the state tournament all four years. Her sophomore year she made octafinals at the state tournament, and was first alternate to NSDA nationals. Her junior year she made finals, and qualified to nationals where her and her partner broke, advancing to elimination rounds. Her senior year she advanced to semi-finals at the state tournament and qualified to NSDA nationals. She was debate captain, and had been coaching middle school team members since her freshman year. Sophia plans on continuing her debate career in college at the University of Kentucky, where she will be studying Political Science, Foreign Language & International Economics.

Matt Slencsak

Matthew Slencsak has been coaching Speech and Debate for 6 years. He graduated from Howland HS in 2013, after competing in Lincoln Douglas debate for 4 years. After High School, Matt obtained a degree in IT and is currently pursuing a bachelors in Integrated Social Studies, hoping to one day coach at the school he teaches for. Matt has coached students to making stage at both the Ohio Speech and Debate Tournament as well as the NSDA Tournament. After observing problems in the Speech and Debate community, Matt co-founded Triumph Debate with the goal of creating a more welcoming and equitable space for all.

Katie Humphries

Katie joined Speech and Debate her sophomore year as the first ever LDer at her school. In her two years in LD, both years she qualified to the OSDA state tournament and the Northern Ohio World Schools team, where her team broke to double octa-finals at NSDA’s. After graduating in 2017, she now attends the University of Akron, where first year, she joined Akron’s Speech and Debate team and won the OFA State Tournament in IPDA. In 2018, she left the team to fully invest in coaching for her alma mater, Liberty High School. Coming from a low-income school and competing on a team with little to no funding, Katie co-founded Triumph Debate with the purpose of making debate more accessible.

Bryce Edison

Bryce competed in debate for three seasons before graduating from Boardman High School in 2019. In both his freshman and sophomore year, he competed in Public Forum debate before switching to Lincoln-Douglas his senior year. In his senior year, Bryce broke at the OSDA state tournament and qualified in LD for the NSDA national tournament. Currently, Bryce studies philosophy at Case Western Reserve University and also coaches LD and PF at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.  

Tia Speece

Tia Speece competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for three years at Kenston High School. During her first year, she semi-finaled at the state competition. In her senior year, she made it to finals at States, qualified to the NSDA National competition, and became the first female public-schooled student to compete in and win the City Club debate. She also competed in World Schools debate for three years. Tia now privately coaches students and competes in British Parliamentary at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where she is studying philosophy.

Vinamra Agrawal

Vinamra coached for Revere High School and now coaches for Mason High School where he debated for three years in Lincoln-Douglas debate. His students have gone on to be OSDA and NSDA qualifiers and rank in the top 14 in Extemp Debate at Nationals. Vinamra was the Lincoln-Douglas Event Leader in his senior year. Vinamra was an NSDA qualifier in Worlds Schools Debate and a two-time OSDA qualifier in LD. He currently attends Ohio State University where he is majoring in data analytics in business.

Olivia Dal Pra

Olivia Dal Pra competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for four years. She qualified to the OSDA State Tournament two times, her senior year bidding out. Her senior year she made quarters at the NSDA qualifying tournament. Throughout her career she placed at over a dozen local tournaments and advanced to elimination rounds at many larger competitions including GlenOaks, Sylvania and the OSDA State Tournament. Olivia will be attending Kent State University in the fall of 2020, where she will be studying Sociology with a minor in LGBTQ Studies. Olivia plans to continue her involvement in Speech and Debate through coaching and working with Triumph Debate to help disadvantaged students, an issue she is passionate about.

Sean Lavelle

Sean is a Policy Debate coach at his alma mater, St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland.  During his four years of high school competition, he won the Ohio Speech & Debate Tournament twice, qualified to the National Speech and Debate Tournament three times, and received a bid to the Tournament of Champions. He competed in college at Michigan State University before transferring to Ohio State where he studied political science. Sean’s passion for coaching has now led him to pursue a teaching degree at Cleveland State University. Sean’s students have seen great success including a top 32 finish at the NSDA tournament, as well as a finalist and top speaker at the OSDA tournament.

Sophia Dal Pra

Sophia Dal Pra has done Policy Debate for four years, qualifying to the state tournament all four years. Her sophomore year she made octafinals at the state tournament, and was first alternate to NSDA nationals. Her junior year she made finals, and qualified to nationals where her and her partner broke, advancing to elimination rounds. Her senior year she advanced to semi-finals at the state tournament and qualified to NSDA nationals. She is currently debate captain, and has been coaching middle school team members since her freshman year. Sophia plans on continuing her debate career in college at the University of Kentucky, where she will be studying Political Science, Foreign Language & International Economics.

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