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MEET OUR

Coaches

NICOLE DALTON

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH

Nicole has been part of the speech & debate community for 20 years. She competed all 4 years of high school in TN, and along with winning numerous local awards, she also earned two TN State Champion titles, 1st Place at the Emory Barkley Tournament, and a 3rd Place National finalist title in Humorous Interpretation at NSDA. Nicole then went on to receive a scholarship for speech & debate at Seton Hall University. While earning her BA, she earned a 5th Place National finalist title in Prose Interpretation at NFA along with quarter final rounds in After Dinner Speaking and Dramatic Interp at AFA. 

Nicole went on to attend Brandeis University for a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting. While in Boston, she began coaching a high school team, and discovered her joy for coaching. 

After receiving her MFA, Nicole moved to Los Angeles and began coaching students of all ages, ranging from elementary to college. Over the years, her students have gone on to win several final, semi final, and quarter final rounds at some of the biggest tournaments in the nation like, the Berkeley Invitational, Yale Invitational, Glenbrooks Invitational, New York Invitational, Arizona State Invitational, State championships in CA, MA, WA, and FL, the NIETOC, the TOC, and the National Speech & Debate Tournament.

Nicole is also proud to be the head coach of the award winning speech & debate programs at Flintridge Preparatory and Westridge School. Where she has a 3rd place 2019 National International Extemp student and  a 1st place 2020 State Champ in Original Advocacy. 

In 2023, Nicole coached TWO National Championships in Impromptu and Extemp Commentary and a State Championship. Flintridge Preparatory School placed in top 10 schools out of 1,200 at the NSDA.

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ARTHUR HARRIS

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH & WRITING TUTOR

Arthur got involved in Speech & Debate in 2013, and has continued to be part of the community competing, coaching, or judging for the last 10 years. In high school, he competed in several different events, including Congressional Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum Debate, and Extemporaneous. He also participated in numerous school plays, making him quite qualified to coach interpretation events. Throughout his time in high school, he earned multiple final round trophies in his specialty events: Impromptu and Congressional Debate. In 2017, Arthur competed in the California State Championship Tournament in Impromptu and at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Congressional Debate.

Arthur's focus shifted from competition to other endeavors after graduating from Flintridge Prep and moving on to Grinnell College. He proudly participated in and took leadership of the DAG organization. He graduated, attaining his BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. 

Arthur has assisted in coaching at Flintridge Preparatory School, Westridge School, and other after school programs. He has tutored in writing since 2016 and has coached with SDI since 2020, helping several Elementary, Middle, and High School students into the finals rounds of Impromptu, SPAR, Oratory, Congressional Debate, and Storytelling. He is happy to be working alongside his former coach and is excited to share his love of speech & debate at the Speech & Debate Institute.

Book Private Lessons: https://calendly.com/coach_

 

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MAGGIE WOODWARD

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH & WRITING TUTOR

Maggie has been involved in the Speech & Debate community since 2004. As a high school student, she competed in several different events such as Original Oratory, Duo Interp, and Lincoln Douglas Debate. She attained numerous final round trophies from local and national tournaments around the country. Maggie was the 2008 Tennessee State Champion and a National Speech & Debate Association semi finalist in Original Oratory.

While completing her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing & English, she competed in Persuasion and Informative for Western Kentucky University's nationally-ranked collegiate Speech & Debate team. In 2017, she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi and in 2022 earned a 2nd Masters in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California. 

During the summer, Maggie works as the Director of ISD's Oratory and Informative Speaking division.

Students she have coached have been finalists or champions at some of the biggest tournaments in the Nation in events such as Congressional Debate, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous, and Informative at Yale, Harvard, Emory, the Tournament of Champions, Wake Forest, Bronx Science, and the grand Nationals Speech & Debate tournament. In 2019, Maggie coached the NSDA Champion and TOC Champion in Congressional Debate. In 2020, she coached the CA State Champion in OA. Maggie is proud to be an assistant coach at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada, CA and at Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, CA. 

Book Private Lessons: https://calendly.com/maggieewoodward

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FRIDA RAMIREZ

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH

Frida began participating in Speech and Debate in 2013, when she competed for 3 years in high school and 2 more years in college. The events she participated in include Impromptu, Declamation, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic interpretation, Public Forum Debate, and Lincoln Douglas Debate.

Coach Frida put her speech & debate skills to real life experience as she worked as Pasadena City College Vice President of External Affairs. She trained students on analyzing and researching policy and lobbying for those causes. In these efforts she traveled alongside the students to Sacramento and Washington DC to advocate for policy that would benefit and improve students educational success.

At her time at Pasadena City College she earned 3 Associate Degrees; in Social and Behavioral Science, Humanities, and Political Science. In 2023, Frida earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. Since her departure from the competition circuit, she has consistently continued her participation in the Speech and Debate community through judging tournaments and coaching classes. She is currently the head coach at Saints Felicitas & Perpetua, and assists other programs in the area as well. She is excited to help the new generation of speakers find their voices and share with the world around them.

Book Private Lessons: https://calendly.com/ramirezfrida99

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ALY HAMEL

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH 

Aly first joined the Speech and Debate world in 2020.  She began judging tournaments online, contributing to making tournaments possible at the height of the Covid -19 pandemic. Through judging, she gained an appreciation for Speech and Debate.

While Aly continues to judge in tournaments and gain more knowledge on speech and debate categories through the other staff she is also continuing her education. She moved to Los Angeles in 2022 to continue her education and joined the Speech & Debate Institute. 

Aly earned her Associates degree in Child Development while working simultaneously in child care facilities leading up to her last year while she worked as a lead preschool teacher. She has three years of experience in working with young children from infancy to six years of age. Her education and experience with young children makes her a perfect fit for working with our First and Second Grade Speech and Debate Students. 

Aly creates an environment to build confidence and help our youngest group get comfortable with public speaking. She prides herself on her patience and ability to connect with young children to make them feel seen and heard in an educational setting. 

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EDWARD RUMBOS-PEREZ

ONLINE SPEECH & DEBATE COACH 

 

Edward has been involved with Speech and Debate since he joined his middle school’s MSPDP team in 2014. Edward continued competing for Claremont High School where he focused on Parliamentary Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. While there, he also competed in Impromptu Speaking, Original Oratory, Congressional Debate, Public Forum Debate, World Schools Debate, and Big Questions. In both his Junior and Senior years of high school, he qualified to the California State Tournament, NSDA National Speech & Debate Tournament, and NPDL Tournament of Champions.

While in high school, Edward volunteered as a coach and judge for his former middle school. He also took part in Claremont High School’s summer Speech and Debate bootcamps from 2017-2019. These experiences developed his passion for coaching which led him to join the Flintridge Preparatory and Westridge School coaching staff in the fall of 2021. He has since coached students to State and National Qualifiers in Lincoln Douglas debate and Parliamentary Debate.

Edward currently attends the University of California, Berkeley where he’s working on degrees in Legal Studies and Hispanic Linguistics with a minor in History. On campus, he’s a board member for the Student Immigration Relief Clinic. Edward also works as a legal assistant in San Francisco with aspirations of attending Law School in the future.

He looks forward to working with you as part of the S&D Institute crew.

Book Private Lessons: https://calendly.com/edward_rumbos-perez 

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TIFFANY DUNIA

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH 

 

First introduced to speech & debate in 2011, Tiffany has been actively involved in the community ever since. After competing for 7 years in speech & debate, she has spent the last 6 years coaching and judging for various programs. During her competition years, Tiffany competed in a wide range of events including Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Parliamentary Debate, Duo Interpretation, Storytelling, Impromptu, Original Oratory, and Dramatic Interpretation. 

As a competitor, Tiffany reached the final round in speech with the NCH all 4 years of high school and won multiple debate awards as well. Most notably, she placed twice among the top 3 speakers at Nationals. Additionally, in her senior year, Tiffany achieved a 6-0 preliminary record in Lincoln Douglas Debate at Nationals. 

Tiffany served as an assistant coach for her team, working to train students who were new to competition. Since then, she has coached students from elementary age through high school. Her specialty would be teaching debate students how to properly communicate to their judges their arguments.

Whether in one-on-one coaching, team practices or teaching and lecturing in a classroom, Tiffany strives to equip her students with effective communication skills, a logical approach to their arguments, and deep confidence. She is a firm believer that speech & debate, at its core, is a simple concept that anyone can understand, participate in, and enjoy. She is excited to help more students discover this joy at the Speech & Debate Institute. 

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Maya Origel

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH 

Maya has been involved in the speech & debate community since she was in 8th grade, nearly a decade! She began immersing herself completely into forensics as a competitor at Gabrielino High School, focusing on DI and POI. She maintained her spot as the top DI’er from her school for the majority of her high school career before branching out into theatrics. Maya has participated in several plays, participated in numerous on screen acting intensives, and is classically trained in opera. She uses the skills she’s acquired from these programs to strengthen and diversify her teaching approaches. She’s competed in both State and National tournaments within the high school and college circuit and went on to receive 3rd place at the NFA tournament, received silver at the PHI RO PI National Tournament, and received 3rd place at the State Championships tournament in college.
Maya went on to pursue her academic endeavors at San Francisco State University studying Communicative Disorders and receives her undergraduate degree this year. After recognizing her passion for teaching through becoming a lead preschool teacher and an assistant speech and debate coach at Westridge School, she plans to get her MFA in Teaching soon after completing her degree. She has worked as an aide for children with special needs and has focused on enriching young individuals lives through art, music, and performance.
Maya prides herself on being able to connect with students from all walks of life and seeks to find ways to celebrate the intricacies of the human condition through performance and education.

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