Desert

Meet The SWSDI Administrators:

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    Mary Joseph

    (They/Them)
    ASU

    Staff Bio:
    Mary Joseph is the Assistant Director of Forensics at ASU. After 4 years of competing both in speech and debate and achieving a few national rankings, Mary now focuses on encouraging public speaking in the next generations. They served as a coach with the American Debate League in New York as well as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Central Florida, where they obtained their M.A in Communication. While their specialty lies in interpretation events, they also excel in coaching other speech events as well as various formats of debate. Mary is excited to make this year's SWSDI as awesome as possible!
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    Adam Symonds

    ()
    Arizona State University

    Staff Bio:
    Director of Forensics at Arizona State University. Extemp and Policy Debate competitor in high school and college. 1999 Cross-Examination Debate Association Nationals Champion. 2013 Val A. Browning Coach of the Year. Proud Papa.
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    Richie Glover

    (He/Him)
    McClintock High School

    Staff Bio:
    Richard "Richie" Glover is an NSDA/NFL 3-diamond coach at McClintock High School in Tempe, and an assistant debate coach at Arizona State University. Richie has served as an advisor, senior lecture fellow, instructor, and board member at SWSDI since its inception. He considers his work with SWSDI over the past 15 years to be one of his greatest accomplishments, and he is proud to be the Associate Director of this camp.

Meet The SWSDI Staff:

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    Agatha Attridge

    (She/Her)
    ASU

    Staff Bio:
    Agatha is the former Director of Forensics at Cal State LA and currently is a speech coach with Arizona State University. She studied English Lit in undergrad, and Communication and History in grad school, so she loves good books, bad books, and history fun facts. The real trophies were the friends we made along the way. If you want to make her sad, eat Chick-fil-A. Seriously y'all. It's mid chicken.
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    Kay Karlin

    (They/Them)
    ASU/McClintock High

    Staff Bio:
    Kay is an ASU MLFTC Student studying secondary education and history. They have participated in Speech and Debate for eight years, including six as a competitor and four as a judge and coach. They are excited to be back at the Southwest Speech and Debate Institute for a second summer!
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    Aniyah Judkins

    (she/her)
    McClintock High School

    Staff Bio:
    Aniyah is a recent graduate of McClintock High School where she participated in Speech in Debate for the past 2 years. During her time on the team, she placed first 6 times and was a DI quarterfinalist at the 2023 National Speech and Debate tournament.
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    Taylor Mittelstedt

    (she/her)
    Phoenix Country Day School

    Staff Bio:
    Taylor has been coaching Public Forum debate for the last five years. She actually started her coaching career at SWSDI the summer after she graduated high school. Now she coaches students on both the local and national circuit, most notably coaching students to become National Qualifiers and to reach out rounds at the Tournament of Champions. Outside of PF, Taylor coaches a variety of events (as most coaches do). Most recently, she coached Arizona’s World Schools Debate teams at Nationals. Taylor absolutely loves watching students who come to her as young, scared freshmen turn into confident, poised debaters throughout their speech and debate career. She is incredibly excited to be back at SWSDI, and she can’t wait to meet the campers!
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    Gerard Grigsby

    (He/Him/G)
    GGA-Gerard Grigsby Academy

    Staff Bio:
    Gerard Grigsby is an experienced and highly decorated Policy Debate coach, having directed competitors on the national circuit for more than 25 years. He has coached multiple generations of successful Championship Debaters over the course of his career, including State and/or National Qualifier Champions in Arizona, Wisconsin, and California. Additionally, his teams have achieved tremendous success, reaching late elimination rounds including semifinals or better in tournaments in California, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Kentucky, New York and Massachusetts. Gerard’s Debaters have achieved great success including being invited to several prestigious National Round Robin Tournaments, generally reserved for the nation’s top teams including the USC Round Robin, The California-Berkeley Round Robin as well as The Baylor Round Robin and The Harvard Round Robin both of which included Second Place finishes. His teams have won several national tournaments including The New York Championship at The Bronx High School of Science, The University of California at Berkeley, Stanford, UC Fullerton, UC Long Beach Omaha Westside, And The Sophomore Hoe-Down at The St. Mark’s School of Texas. His Teams have also earned Second Place honors at The Harvard Round-Robin, The Baylor Round Robin, New Trier, and The University of Redlands. Gerard has coached several teams to compete at the NSDA Nationals, The National Catholic Forensic League Nationals, and The National Tournament of Champions. Gerard has also previously instructed at 9 debate institutes, including The Stanford National Forensic Institute and the California National Debate Institute at The University of California at Berkeley. He has also worked with The Bay Area Urban Debate League which offers debate training to highly motivated but under resourced student populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Highlights of his career include being nominated for The Acolyte Award, given to the top high school assistant coach/argument coach in the country.
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    Jonathan Crowley

    (he/him)
    Western Washington University

    Staff Bio:
    Jonathan is a 3rd year undergraduate student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. He has 6 years of competitive experience in policy debate and 2 years in CARD. This year, as a coach with Bellingham and Sehome High Schools, he helped a team qualify to the tournament of champions in policy debate. He has connections to debate in the Southwest via the lovely folks at ASU and Albuquerque Academy.
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    Tramanh Dao

    (She/Her)
    Arizona State University

    Staff Bio:
    Tramanh graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from Barrett, the Honors College at ASU in May 2024. Tramanh has two years of experience debating in Collegiate Advocacy, Research, and Debate (CARD) and received the honors for Top Senior Debater for the 2023-24 academic year. Tramanh also placed second in oxford-style debate in the 2024 Regents' Cup.
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    Maanik Chotalla

    (He/Him)
    Brophy College Prep

    Staff Bio:
    I'm currently entering my eighth year as a coach and twelfth year overall involved in speech and debate, my career highlights include winning state in LD and Original Oratory as well as top 30 placement in LD and top 10 placement in Original Oratory at nationals. Currently a social studies teacher and studying to get my MA in sociology at ASU this upcoming fall. Huge Phoenix Suns fan and probably wearing pajamas this very moment.
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    Seep Chubrich Seep

    (She/her)
    N/A

    Staff Bio:
    Have coached, assisted, and/or directed every SWSDI since its inception. It’s my very favorite thing.
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    Isaac Mottern

    (He/Him)
    University of Southern California

    Staff Bio:
    I recently graduated from Arizona College Prep, where I found my passion for Speech and Debate. I have debated for over five years, with experience in multiple other events including congress, platform, and ad-lib. Notably, I am 3rd place State Champion in Public Forum and National Qualifier in US Extemp. Most importantly, I love teaching novices debate as my school captain for two years. Next fall, I will attend USC for a Bachelor of Science in Physics and will participate on the school's Policy team. Excited to debate with you all!
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    Kristin McMahan

    ()
    Student

    Staff Bio:
    My name is Kristin McMahan and I am currently a junior at Arizona State University- Barrett, gaining a bachelor’s in business law. At ASU I am the President of the speech and Debate Forensics Team. While being a full time student I work at one of the Great Hearts Academies as the Alumni Coordinator and Science Department Teacher’s Assistant. I am also writing a speech and debate curriculum for Great Hearts.
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    Courtney Walsh

    ()
    McMinnville HS

    Staff Bio:
    Courtney is starting her 24th speech and debate coaching season this fall at McMinnville HS in Oregon. She is a 2 diamond NSDA coach, 2018 Oregon Speech and Debate Educator of the Year, 2019 NSDA District Coach of the Year, and has coached 28 individual state Champions over 2 decades. She specializes in interp events, as she holds BS in Theatre/Directing from Oregon State University. She is excited to be a part of the SWSDI family.
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    Isabel Matos

    (She/Her)
    McClintock

    Staff Bio:
    Isabel is a recent graduate of McClintock High School, where she competed in speech and debate for all four years and served as co-president of the team her senior year. She competed in LD, Extemp, Congress, and Duo throughout her career. She qualified twice to NSDA Nationals in US Extemporaneous Speaking and will be attending Yale University in the fall.
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    Donald Steiner

    (he/him)

    Staff Bio:
    Don has been active in speech and debate as a competitor, coach, judge and parent for over 40 years. He was an AFA NIET finalist in Impromptu speaking in 1980 (7th) and 1982 (2nd). He left for the private sector and returned to coach Wilson (now Wells) High School in 2012. He is a 2 Diamond Coach in the NSDA, and his team ranked in the top ten percent of programs nationwide in 2018. Don is currently a coaching consultant for Wells and actively involved in the reboot of the team. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.