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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 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 competed in college speech and 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, 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 tournament, Yale tournament, Glenbrooks tournament, Arizona State tournament, State championships, the NIETOC, 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 National International Extemp student and a 1st place State Champ in Original Advocacy. 

In 2023, Nicole coached 2 National Championships in Impromptu and Extemp Commentary and 1 State Championships. She successfully coached her team from Flintridge Preparatory School to place in top 10 schools out of 1,200 in Nationals.

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ARTHUR HARRIS

SPEECH & DEBATE COACH & CREATIVE WRITING COACH

Arthur got involved in Speech & Debate in 2013, and has continued to part of the community competing, coaching, or judging for the last 8 years. In high school, he competed in several different event, including Congressional Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum Debate, and Extemporaneous. He also participated in several school plays, making him qualified to coach interpretation events as well. Throughout his time in high school, he earned multiple final round trophies in his specialty events: Impromptu and Congressional. 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. Recently, he graduated, attaining his BA in English, with an emphasis in creative writing. Through all of this, his love of Speech Debate never changed. 

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 judged numerous speech & debate tournaments over the past 6 years. He is happy to be working alongside his former coach and the rest of the staff 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 & CREATIVE WRITING COACH

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 she is currently pursuing a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California. 

During her time in college, Maggie started to explore her passion for coaching. She worked as an instructor and curriculum director at multiple summer forensics institutes, and currently spends her summers as the Director of ISD's Oratory and Informative Speaking division.

Students she have coached have been finalists or champions 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. Maggie is proud to be an assistant coach at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada, 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 joined the summer before her freshman year of high school. She competed for 3 years in high school and 2 in college. The events she participated in include Impromptu, Declamation, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic interpretation, Public Forum, and Lincoln Douglas. In her brief break from speech and debate, she worked as Pasadena City College Vice President of External Affairs where she trained students on analyzing policy and lobbying. 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. Frida earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside in the Spring of 2023. Since her departure from the competition circuit, she has consistently continued her participation in the Speech and Debate community through judging tournaments. 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 has moved to Los Angeles to earn a Bachelor's Degree in counseling. 

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. Aly is continuing to learn and grow with the children she coaches through the support of the Speech and Debate Institute and its more experienced  staff.

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Edward Rumbos-Perez

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.

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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