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Paras Kumar PhD Student | UC Berkeley Graduate School of EducationPrivate Prep-Sharing Team Advisor | Lead Drill Instructor | Founder Lincoln-Douglas Debate changed my life. I had the opportunity to compete from 2008-2011 at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California. LD debate taught me how to work hard, think critically, write persuasively, ask smart questions, research effectively, and speak confidently in public, skills I find myself using regularly in the “real world”. As a competitor, I received 5 bids my senior year, won a semis bid, was top speaker and finalist at a quarters bid, and finished 9th at the 2011 TOC. Since then, as a coach, I have ran over 1500 hours of one on one drills with students of all ages and backgrounds. My students have received hundreds of bids and finished 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 9th at the Tournament of Champions (TOC), the consensus national championship. They have also been ranked the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th best speakers at the TOC, in addition to winning countless other major national, regional, and local championships. As an educator, I am passionate about teaching and helping students learn difficult concepts. Because I was mostly self-taught in debate, I am comfortable using a variety of teaching tools and tailoring my methods to the individual needs of each student. As a result, over the last 7 years, the best debaters all over the country have consistently approached me to help them think through their strategies in their respective areas of expertise to gain a leg up on their competition. Areas of expertise: util, theory/topicality, strategy/time tradeoffs, non-metaethical framework approaches, effective CX, perceptual dominance and strategic case writing“Drilling with Paras is why I won the TOC…I think Paras understands debate at a deeper level than anyone else on the circuit. He is a subject matter expert at theory, util, and debate strategy. Drilling with him not only helped my technical skills on every layer, but Paras also made sure to push me on the other aspects of debate that I often forgot. He made sure I was persuasive, coherent, strategic and word efficient. Many other coaches can help you become technically efficient (although I'd still argue Paras is the best), but Paras goes the extra step and makes sure this tech can actually win rounds…If you drill with him, do it seriously and work hard—you will improve, rapidly.” –Parker Whitfill, 2017 TOC Champion
Raffi PilieroPrep-Sharing Assistant Coach | Drill InstructorAs a competitor, I debated for Harrison High School for four years, where I was in elimination debates of the TOC twice and won the Greenhill Invitational + the Greenhill Round Robin, in addition to advancing to deep elims at virtually every major national invitational I attended my senior year. I now do policy debate at Georgetown University, where I qualified to the National Debate Tournament in my first year. As a coach, my students have received 20+ bids, won the TFA State Touranment and Lexington Invitational, in addition to reaching deep elims of CPS, Glenbrooks, Valley, Berkeley and Harvard and receiving countless speaker awards. This will be my second-year coaching on the Debatedrills Dropbox. I love teaching kids how to try their best for competitive success, but I am even more passionate about making sure that the skills they take from debate can be applied to the real world.
Katherine FennellDrill InstructorKatherine debated for Stuyvesant High School from 2013-2017, and served as the team’s novice director and captain during her junior and senior year. She advanced to elimination rounds at virtually every tournament she attended her junior and senior year, including reaching quarters of the Harvard Invitational, semis of the Glenbrooks Invitational, finals at the New York State Championships and championing the Byram Hills Round Robin. She also received speaker awards at Lexington, Scarsdale, Yale, Newark, Blake, Glenbrooks, and Harvard. Katherine has worked as a lab leader at the National Symposium for Debate and the Texas Debate Collective. One of the things she values most about debate is its openness and lack of static structure, which allows students to experiment with and engage in a variety of branches of literature. Because of this, she enjoys working with students on many different styles of argumentation, including theory, util, framework, and Ks. She also enjoys working on debate strategy, i.e. learning to come up with optimal strategies and time allocation against different opponents and judges. As a debater and coach, my main knowledge base has been in critical philosophy, ranging from performance identity positions and postmodern literature, to pessimism arguments and structural violence based positions.
Amit KukrejaPrep-Sharing Head Coach | Drill InstructorI was a four-year member at Science Park High School, competing both locally and nationally. I also competed for the 2015-2016 National USA Debate team. As a competitor, I won the Harrison, Newark, Byram Hills, Bronx, and California round robins. During my senior year, I was a semifinalist at Emory and NDCA, a finalist at the Berkeley Invitational, and won top speaker at Greenhill, Emory, and NDCA. While having a primary focus in LD, I also received a policy bid to the TOC, and won the New Jersey State Championship in policy. I now attend Rutgers Business School and major in Marketing & Business Analytics and Information Technology. As a coach, my students have achieved unprecedented success. Receiving 45+ bids thus far, they have won or reached finals of the TOC, Yale, Lexington, Stanford, CPS, Voices, Berkeley, Cal Round Robin, Kandi King Round Robin, LHP Round Robin, in addition to advancing to deep elimination rounds at Greenhill, Glenbrooks, Bronx, Emory and Harvard-Westlake. They have also received top 5 speaker awards at virtually every prestigious invitational in the country. I am passionate about invoking a sense of voice within students and giving them the confidence to publicly speak while nurturing their technical skills in the game aspects of debate to achieve success on the highest levels. Areas of expertise: critical debate, ethos, CX, ideal theory v non-ideal theory framework debates
Jong Hak WonPrep-Sharing Assistant Coach | Drill InstructorAs a senior in high school, I earned seven bids to the Tournament of Champions and cleared to double-octofinals there after earning no bids as a junior. My best tournament finishes include finals at Stanford and semi-finals at Berkeley. I was also invited to the Voices and Berkeley Round Robins and earned top 10 speaker awards at Loyola and Greenhill. I am now currently a policy debater at Georgetown University. As a coach, my students have received 20+ bids, won the TFA State Touranment and Lexington Invitational, in addition to reaching deep elims of CPS, Glenbrooks, Valley, Berkeley and Harvard and receiving countless speaker awards. As an educator, my general approach is that it is not my role to impose any form, style, or model of debating onto a student but to provide support and a platform for testing the arguments and strategies that they choose to pursue. My biggest emphasis is figuring out how to tailor a student’s arguments and performance to adapt to the changing nature of the debate game. I believe heavily in the value of good, rigorous research and believe even more strongly that an emphasis on such research is the key to competitive success. I enjoy coaching because it’s a unique opportunity to test the boundaries of the game while working with a sample of some of the brightest students in the country. Having come from a barely-existent debate program in high school, it’s especially rewarding to be able to work with students who don’t have well established debate teams at their own high schools and are therefore cut off from many traditional sources of coaching and support. I had the great fortune of working with an amazing set of coaches and so this represents an opportunity to give back to the next generation of debaters. For the kids that I coach, the biggest thing I would like for them to gain is to be able to enjoy debate as thoroughly as I did in high school. Debate was the defining activity of high school and now in college, precisely because it was both intellectually rewarding and competitively challenging.
Connor DavisDrill InstructorConnor founded the BASIS Scottsdale LD program, and having only done national circuit debate for two years, he qualified to the TOC his senior year, winning a Finals Bid (SWSDIT) and finishing third at Alta. Connor also coached the middle and high school debate programs at his alma matar, where his students won several tournaments including the Arizona State Invitational. Though focusing in LD, he also earned a bid in Oratory. Currently, Connor attends Michigan, studying mathematics and philosophy.Areas of expertise: performance debate (especially Irony), writing all analytic frameworks, substantively answering skepticism, lay debate, transitioning to circuit debate
Christian QuirozPrep-Sharing Assistant Coach | Drill InstructorChristian Fernando Quiroz is going into his fourth year at Rutgers as a philosophy major where he also debates. He is a McNair and HLLC scholar and debates for Rutgers where he attended the NDT as a freshman.In high school, Christian debated for Newark science where he attended the TOC twice, finishing 3rd his senior year, 5th his junior year, and receiving the top speaker award his senior year. He was also named co-champion at Berkeley and Scarsdale. Additionally, he finished in late elimination rounds at virtually every tournament he attended his senior year, including Harvard, Glenbrooks, and the NDCA.As a coach, Christian’s students have qualified to the TOC, NSDA Nationals, and NCFLs, where they also broke to elimination rounds and secured speaker awards. He has coached students to attend and win prestigious round robins such as the Greenhill Round Robin, the California Round Robin, the Kandi King Round Robin, and the Harrison Round Robin. He’s also coached students to get to late elimination rounds at virtually every major prestigious invitational, including Greenhill, Bronx, Blake, Emory, Berkeley and the Glenbrooks. Christian is a staunch believer in critical pedagogy, viewing debate as a place for students to learn critical philosophy and become agents of social discourse and change. While his background largely favors existential/continental philosophy he remains open-minded and challenges his students to do the same. Areas of expertise: critical debate, performance debate, perceptual dominance
Dino De La ODrill InstructorI debated for four years at Law Magnet in Dallas and graduated in 2016. As a competitor, I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years. During my senior year, I received 7 TOC bids and advanced to the elimination rounds of every tournament I attended. As a coach, my students have championed Columbia, Lexington, the LHP RR, the Sunvitational, the Valley RR, Yale, and have cleared at the TOC. My students have also received 31 TOC bids this season.I came from a debate program that was not well established in the national circuit so I had to motivate myself a lot to keep up. I strongly believe every student deserves the resources to succeed if they put in the work, and I want to help hard working students achieve their highest goals.Areas of Expertise: critical debate, framework debate
Nina PotischmanDrill InstructorNina Potischman debated for Hunter College High School, earning 11 TOC bids throughout her career. Her senior year, she reached finals of the TOC, where she was the top seed and top speaker. She won the Yale Invitational, the Mid-America Cup Round Robin, the Harrison Round Robin, the Lexington Invitational, the Penn Round Robin, the Harvard Invitational, and was a two-time champion of the Mid-America Cup. She was a finalist of the Big Apple Round Robin, a semifinalist of the Princeton invitational, and the top speaker of the Lexington Invitational and Harrison Round Robin. During high school, she enjoyed debate's emphasis on critical thinking, research skills, and mastery of fascinating but highly complicated bodies of literature. As a coach, she hopes to instill in students the same love for intellectual growth and discovery that drove her involvement in the activity.
Parker WhitfillPrep-Sharing Assistant Coach | Drill InstructorI competed locally and nationally from 2013-2017 for Phoenix Country Day School. As a competitor, I reached deep elimination rounds or received a top 5-speaker award at Voices, Greenhill, Apple Valley, Harvard Westlake and the TOC. I qualified to the TOC twice, winning it my senior year and receiving the 3rd speaker award. As a coach, I am really looking forward to working next year for Debatedrills. I’m excited to get to know the debaters on the team and help them improve at philosophical debate and debate at large. I’m very excited to see debaters improve throughout the year, which brings me to my coaching philosophy. I’m dedicated to improving debater’s competitive and long-term outcomes by making them better at thinking critically and more well-read, rather than just telling them what to do. I want to give debaters the tools to success and improvement, so that they can carry these skills with them for the rest of their lives.
Prince HyeamangDrill InstructorCurrently, I am a student-athlete at American University in Washington, DC. I am majoring in interdisciplinary studies: Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG). Upon graduation, I intend on going to law school. As a debater, I competed at Apple Valley (MN) both locally and nationally for 3 ½ years. While my primary emphasis was in Lincoln-Douglas debate, I also debated congressional debate. I qualified for the LD Tournament of Champions both Junior and Senior year with a winning record senior year (4-3). I also received invites throughout my career to numerous prestigious round robins, including Valley, Sunvite, Minneapple, Kandi King, and Debate LA. As a drill instructor, I draw from a diverse set of experiences to provide the motivation and insight needed for my students to achieve competitive success. My background competing nationally in NCAA Division 1 wrestling, as well as in high school circuit LD tournaments, have helped me develop a greater appreciation and understanding for the process that is preparation AND the art that is competition. I bring an intensive focus to every drill session. I expect the same from my students. I work to make the most out of every minute spent with a student because I value their time, energy, resources, as well as, the opportunity cost that comes with choosing to work with me over other instructors. I don't care about previous success, just that my students are willing to commit to working hard to improve and achieve competitive greatness. As a coach, my students have qualified for TFA state, NSDA nationals, and the Tournament of Champions, with an elimination round finish at NSDA nationals.Areas of Expertise: Mental preparation, Strategic crafting, Topicality, Theory, Policy arguments, Impact Calculus, Weighing, C-X, and Perceptual dominance
Devansh ChauhanSocial Media and Outreach ManagerDevansh debated for four years at Princeton High School in New Jersey, serving as a captain for one year. As a competitor he had success nationally and locally, consistently making it to elimination rounds at bid tournaments and qualifying to NJ States all 4 years. As a mentor to debaters on his team, he has already helped coach debaters to elimination rounds at major national tournaments, including a qualification to the TOC. He will be attending the University of Chicago and plans to study economics.