Best Academic Summer Camps

Our goal is to enrich the lives of students through public speaking and debate. To do that, we gather expert staff, with a diverse group of students, and select excellent facilities and locations to create fun, safe, and supportive environments.

Capitol Debate Headquarter Staff

    Ron Bratt has given his life to developing debate skills in children because he has seen how it enhances their intellectual growth. He has been involved in creating high school debate and college deba…  Read More »

Ron Bratt

CEO of Capitol Debate

    Brian Fish started as a debater in high school. From his freshman year in 2002 to his senior year in 2006, he participated in various tournaments across California competing in Policy Debate. He accre…  Read More »

Brian Fish

Student Advisor & Outreach Coordinator

    For over 15 years, Victor Gazio has utilized his passion by working with youth organizations. Victor has been involved with Capitol Debate since its inception. Prior to working full-time with Capitol …  Read More »

Victor Gazio

Chief Operations Officer

    Felippe Gazio joined Capitol Debate full time in 2017 as the Contact & Technology Coordinator. Felippe had previously worked for Capitol Debate over summer as a media specialist. He is originally from…  Read More »

Felippe Gazio

Content & Technology Coordinator

    John Gibson joined Capitol Debate in 2016 as a Talent Acquisition & HR Associate. He is now the manager of the Human Resources department. He is passionate about working with people and for people- he…  Read More »

John Gibson

HR & Operations Manager

    Nanci Gurgis came to Capitol Debate after a 28-year career in dealer/institution bond trading with a major brokerage firm as a limited partner and a ten-year hiatus to raise her son. She loves working…  Read More »

Nanci Guris

Finance & Logistics Coordinator

    Kendall Reid graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has a passion for helping children and teenagers grow and become the bes…  Read More »

Kendall Reid

Executive and Operations Assistant

Summer Camp Directors

  • Daniel Austin

    High School Social Studies Teacher

  • Daniel Austin is a high school social studies teacher in Piscataway, NJ, where he frequently incorporates debate and public speaking activities into the US History curriculum. A lifelong New Jersey re…  Read More »

  • Savon Ayodeji

    Lead Debate Instructor

  • Savon Ayodeji debated for 3 years with Capitol Debate as a student in high school, advancing to elimination rounds at many nationally ranked tournaments before debating for 4 years at Liberty Universi…  Read More »

  • Stan Banks

    Director of Forensics for West Orange High School in Florida

  • Stan Banks is committed to giving back to the debate community that provided him with a transformational experience as a student. He believes debate doesn't just teach valuable communication and a…  Read More »

  • David Dejesa

    Teacher and Coach

  • David Dejesa is the advisor and debate coach of record for the Riverside Speech and Debate Team in Greer, SC. He has twice served as the South Carolina Speech Coaches' Association President and is…  Read More »

  • Brad Hicks

    American Government & Economics Teacher, Williston High School

  • Bradley T. Hicks has been a teacher for 20 years and currently teaches Government and Economics in Williston, Florida. He holds a B.A. from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Inspired by those se…  Read More »

  • Chuck McCarthy

    AP American History Teacher at Wall Hall School

  • Chuck McCarthy has held multiple roles at Wall Hall School in Wall, New Jersey from AP American History Teacher to National Honors Society Faculty Advisor to Social Studies/ROTC Department Chairperson…  Read More »

  • Gail Nicholas

    Co-Coach of Bob Jones Academy Speech & Debate and Social Studies Department Head

  • Gail Nicholas has coached speech and debate for over 30 years at Bob Jones Academy where she teaches American Government. For over a decade she has served as the district chair for the National Speech…  Read More »

  • Chuck Nicholas

    Co-Coach of Bob Jones Academy Speech & Debate

  • Since 1985 Chuck has coached all forms of debate as well as High School & Middle School Mock Trial. He also directs plays. At the 2016 NSDA SLC Nationals , he co-coached the 8th place South Carolina…  Read More »

  • Ryan Rigda

    Lecturer of Communications at Saginaw Valley State University

  • Dr. Ryan Rigda has been with Capitol Debate for 4 years working as a Camp Director and Instructor. He currently works as a Lecturer of Communication at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. In …  Read More »

  • Terri Robinson


  • Terri Robinson has been with Capitol Debate for 3 years, since 2016. She formally taught at East View High School in Georgetown, Texas where she has been actively involved in the speech & debate commu…  Read More »

  • PJ Samorian

    Speech and Debate Department Chairperson at American Heritage School in Boca/Delray Florida

  • P.J. Samorian has served the speech and debate community for 30 years. He is currently the Speech and Debate Department Chairperson at American Heritage School in Boca/Delray Florida. He is an NSDA tr…  Read More »

  • Kinny Torre

    Communications Instructor and Debate Coach at Western Washington Uni & Director at Wesley Academy

  • Kinny Torre competed in policy debate for three in high school, where he was the captain of his policy team and won several tournaments in the Washington State Area. In college, he competed in Parlia…  Read More »

  • Dan Wadley

    Biblical Ethics Instructor, Mock Trial Head Coach, and Model UN sponsor at The McCallie School

  • Dan Wadley has been teaching Biblical Ethics at The McCallie School for the past thirteen years. He has a total of 39 years in teaching career at two different schools. During his current time at McCa…  Read More »

Summer Camp Life & Wellness Staff

  • Olivia Adams

    Teacher- Echelon Academy

  • Olivia Adams is a middle-high school teacher at The Echelon Academy in Burtonsville, Maryland. After 8 years of speech and debate on the high school and collegiate levels, it's safe to s…  Read More »

  • Hailey Cruz


  • Hailey Cruz earned her Bachelor's Degree in English Education in May 2015 at Kean University. She spent one year oversees in Wenzhou China, where she taught English to Chinese students, …  Read More »

  • Colette Dorsey


  • Colette Dorsey lives in Aberdeen, Maryland. She is proud to be involved in secondary education for 28 years. Colette sponsors the Speech and Debate Club at Patterson Mill High School. She al…  Read More »

  • Ajene Robinson-Burris

    Doctoral Student at University of Colorado

  • Ajene Robinson-Burris is originally from Michigan and an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently a Philosophy PhD student at the University…  Read More »

  • Lauren Scoggan

    2019 Master's Candidate at the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin

  • Lauren Scoggan is originally from Alabama and is an alumnus of The University of Alabama. Lauren taught 5th Grade in San Antonio, Texas for four year…  Read More »

Summer Camp Instructional Staff

  • Chris Ahern

    12th-grade English teacher

  • Chris Ahern has been teaching 12th-grade English in New Jersey for 24 years. During his tenure, he has been the high school debate team coach while integrating debate into his instruction. H…  Read More »

  • Daniel Bronson

    High school social studies teacher and debate coach at Dover High School

  • Daniel Bronson is currently a high school social studies teacher and debate coach at Dover High School in Dover, New Jersey. He teachings Advanced Pla…  Read More »

  • Jessica Davis

    Secondary English teacher

  • Jessica Davis, a full-time secondary English teacher, has motivated and prepared students to compete in Model United Nations and Public Forum as a Head Debate Coach for the past year. Before…  Read More »

  • Matthew Doggett

    Assistant Professor and Director of Debate at Hillsdale College

  • Matthew Doggett is an Assistant Professor and Director of Debate at Hillsdale College from 2010-present, Ph.D. in Communication from the University of…  Read More »

  • Serena Fitzgerald

    University of Oregon debate coach

  • Serena Fitzgerald has been involved with debate for over eight years, since she first found her passion for the activity in 8th grade. She works as a debate coach at the Unive…  Read More »

  • Boka Golubovic

    Teacher of Philosophy , Logic, TOK and Debate

  • Bojana Golubović is a teacher of logic, philosophy, and TOK at Gimnazija “Svetozar Marković” Niš and instructor of debate at The City of Nis Debate Club, Serbia. During…  Read More »

  • Deitrick Goodwin

    Teacher at Holy Angels Catholic school of Baltimore and Former debate coach with the Baltimore Urban Debate league

  • .…  Read More »

  • Debby Haren

    Debate consultant and judge

  • Debby Haren is an experienced teacher and debate coach. She loves working at summer debate camps because it gives her a chance to do what inspires her most: work with students who have a sin…  Read More »

  • Krista Lang

    English Teacher at Boone High School in Orlando, FL

  • Krista Lang is a high school English II teacher in Orlando, FL, where she strives to find ways for her students to create real life connections to the…  Read More »

  • Omar Moore

    Travel Instructor

  • Omar Moore served as Debate Captain & President of the Advanced Technologies Academy Debate Team in Las Vegas, NV. Throughout his four years of high school, he primarily competed in Public F…  Read More »

  • Paul Narey

    Debate coach and professor of communications at the University of Wyoming

  • Paul Narey is a debate coach and professor of communications at the University of Wyoming this school year. Before this, he taught debate in Korea and…  Read More »

  • Ruby Nunez

    Programs and Operations Associate at Denver Urban Debate League

  • Although her focus of study is in the sciences, Ruby Nunez has been involved with the debate community throughout her academic career. While in high s…  Read More »

  • Erin Pack


  • Erin Pack is excited to join Capitol Debate! Currently, she is the policy debate and extemp speaking teacher/coach at Green Canyon High School in North Logan, Utah. The Central Texas native …  Read More »

  • Richie Panuyas


  • Richie has been a professional educator for over seven years. He has worked with all populations at every grade (K-12) and every level (Special Ed to Gifted). He has worked at summer program…  Read More »

  • Oliver Parker

    Debate Coach at Spain Park High School

  • Oliver is a teacher and a debate coach at Spain Park High School in Birmingham, Alabama. His teams have reached late rounds at major tournaments and qualified multiple times f…  Read More »

  • Lauren Pauls

    Western Regional Director- Club Debate

  • Lauren Pauls has been debating for eight years and coaching for five. She was the top speaker at the North American Women's Debating Championship in 2017, the US Universit…  Read More »

  • Marissa Pena

    Director of Speech & Debate

  • Born & raised in South Texas, Marissa Pena has been teaching high school speech & debate in the Houston area since 2015, specializing in individual events and Congressional Debate. She has …  Read More »

  • Michael Perry

    Substitute Teacher Crowley ISD, Debate Judge UIL, NSDA, and TFA tournaments

  • As a member of the Instructional Team at Capitol Debate, Michael Perry is passionate in his desire to help students develop important life skills that…  Read More »

  • Mona Rigdon


  • Mona got her Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice at Saint Leo University but found a passion for teaching, so she changed careers. Currently, she teaches the gifted and talented …  Read More »

  • Gabe Rusk

    Director of Debate

  • Gabe Rusk has spent the vast majority of his life dedicated to speech and debate. As a debater in high school he won the most competitive national championship in Public Forum debate AKA the…  Read More »

  • Jonathan Savoy

    Communication Faculty Graduate Assistant, Bob Jones University

  • Jonathan Savoy got his start in competitive speech and debate while in high school and quickly built up experience in public speaking, mock trial, and…  Read More »

  • Josh Schulster

    Student at Florida State University Honors College

  • Josh Schulster spent four years debating with Boca High and quickly developed a passion for Public Forum debate. As a sophomore, Josh was the captain of the Public Forum divis…  Read More »

Summer Camp Counselors

  • Katelyn Applegate

    Camp Counselor

  • Katelyn Applegate is a freshman at Florida State University where she is double majoring in Communication Sciences & Dis…  Read More »

  • Josie Banks

    Nursing Major at Westminster College

  • Though Josie Banks competed in Public Forum Debate, her background is primarily on the public speaki…  Read More »

  • Grace Findley

    Sophomore at Florida State University

  • Grace Findley is currently a Sophomore at Florida State University where she studies Political Scien…  Read More »

  • Collin Frazey

    Freshman at Washington and Lee University

  • Collin is the Public Forum captain on the Corona del Sol High School debate team…  Read More »

  • Ben Hanson

    Sophomore at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky

  • Benjamin Hanson is currently attending Western Kentucky University…  Read More »

  • Ryley Hartwig

    Communications major at Florida State

  • Ryley Hartwig is finishing his second year at Florida State University, majoring in Political Scienc…  Read More »

  • Kyle Holub

    Studying engineering at Texas A&M

  • Kyle Holub started debate as a sophomore in high school, and it completely changed his life. Debate …  Read More »

  • Adrienne Houpt

    University Student

  • Adrienne Houpt is currently a Counseling major at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. While in high scho…  Read More »

  • Delaney Hurley

    Club Debate Instructor

  • Delaney Hurley is an undergraduate student studying Government and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Harvard Uni…  Read More »

  • Mackenzie Jackson

    Camp counselor

  • Mackenzie Jackson has been apart of the West Orange High School debate team for 3 years, serving as Public Forum Captain…  Read More »

  • Cyrena Kokolis

    Student, George Washington University

  • Cyrena Kokolis is beyond excited to experience her first summer with Capitol Debate! She is currentl…  Read More »

  • Josh May

    Camp Counselor

  • Josh is a sophomore at Cornell University studying applied economics and management. He has years of debating experience…  Read More »

  • Katherine McCann


  • Katherine McCann is a senior in high school at Bob Jones Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. Throughout high school …  Read More »

  • Julian Melendi

    Camp Counselor

  • Julian Melendi is a graduating senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in New Jersey, where he is currently the Presid…  Read More »

  • Julia Murray


  • Julia Murray is a student at Purdue University studying clinical psychology. She was co-captain of the Riverside Speech …  Read More »

  • Ryan Parimi


  • Ryan Parimi is a rising sophomore at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is a double major in Busines…  Read More »

  • Mit Patel

    Camp Counselor

  • Mit Patel is from Greenville, South Carolina and was co-captain of Riverside's speech and debate team. He currently …  Read More »

  • Amelia Peck


  • Amelia Peck is currently an instructor for Capitol Debate's Club League. She has competitively debated for six years…  Read More »

  • Calli Pesina

    Camp Counselor

  • Calli Pesina is a current senior at a high school in Texas and will be graduating in June of 2019. Throughout her high s…  Read More »

  • Sid Puranik

    Camp Counselor at Babson College

  • Sid Puranik is a senior at Tompkins High School in Houston, Texas and is an avid debater and activis…  Read More »

  • Olivia Sailors

    American Studies and Educational Studies double major, Macalester College '20

  • Olivia Sailors competed in Policy Debate and Foren…  Read More »

  • Nicole Sandoval

    Camp Counselor

  • For the last four years, Nicole Sandoval has competed in Public Forum debate. She has attended multiple national tournam…  Read More »

  • Sal Sandoval

    Attending Bates College, Class of 2019

  • Sal Sandoval competed in Public Forum for four years at Cypress Woods High School in Houston, Texas.…  Read More »

  • Josh Slocum

    Camp Counselor/NA

  • Josh is a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications at Missouri State University with plans to attend l…  Read More »

  • Thadeus Smith

    Camp Counseler

  • Thadeus Smith has been active in the Speech and Debate community for close to seven years. He has achieved success on th…  Read More »

  • Selma Tabakovic

    Camp Counselor

  • Selma Tabakovic competed in Public Forum for 3 years at Lakeland High School in Westchester, New York. Selma debated at …  Read More »

  • Callie Teague

    International Studies Major at the University of Oregon

  • Callie Teague is a first-year student at the University of Oregon majoring …  Read More »

  • Mike VanderLinden

    Camp Counselor

  • Mike van der Linden is a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham where he is majoring in Business adminis…  Read More »

Ready to Give your Student the Experience of a Lifetime?

With over 40 camps in 2020, Capitol Debate will transform thousands of lives this year. Capitol Debate has a proven track record of producing champions & Ivy League scholars.

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