Meet our elite team
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After filling out our coaching request form, you will receive a reply within 48 hours to confirm your request and offer you a quote for the services you requested! Our hourly rates vary from coach to coach and from event to event. You will have an opportunity to meet your coach virtually before submitting any payment.
Ian Mikkelsen is pursuing his doctorate in Economics at the University of North Carolina. He competed in high school and collegiate speech and debate for 7 years at the National level. In high school, Ian won the 2011 Kansas State Championship in Lincoln Douglas debate and concluded his high-school career as the National LD Runner-up at the NCFL 2011 championship. Ian also competed on the National Congressional Circuit in both the House and Senate NFL qualifying tournament, progressing the Super Session of both in his district. In speech, he made it to finals every year of competition in both Impromptu and Extemporaneous at the Kansas State Tournament, winning the State Championship his senior year and qualifying to nationals in Extemporaneous speaking for the NCFL championship. In college, Ian competed in Parliamentary Debate winning multiple National Invitationals and took 2nd and 3rd place in the 2014 and 2015 National Championships, including second at the National Parliamentary Debate Association Tournament. After graduation, he aided in founding the Belmont Abbey Parliamentary debate team where he serves as the assistant coach. Ian also coached several top high-school competitors, helping the Seaman High School team close out the Public Forum National Qualifiers, win its second LD State Championship, and break to late outrounds in Public Forum at Nationals. He also helped the school return to 3 consecutive years of placing in the top 3 sweepstake finishes at the State Tournament, win 3rd and 4th in the state in Extemp, and coached multiple national competitors in Oration, Extemp, Impromptu, and Informative Speaking, with all competitors advancing deep into elimination rounds. Recently, he coached students to double-octafinals in LD at NSDA Nationals, and several to qualifying bids to the TOC Policy Tournament. In collegiate debate, his students won the NPDA and NPTE National championships in 2017, as well as the 2016 IPDA National Championship. He also worked with multiple high school Congressional debate teams, including national finalists for the NSDA Congressional tournament, writing multiple pieces of legislation for the national tournament, and the qualification of half of the total Congress qualifiers for the NCFL tournament in various years. Ian serves as a private coach for DFWSD where he enjoys working with students to help them excel in both speech and debate competition!
Jeremy Christensen is completing his PhD in English at the University of South Dakota, and has coached debate for more than twenty-five years at both the high school and collegiate levels across seven major debate formats: Lincoln-Douglas (high school and college’s policy version), high school team policy, Public Forum (high school and college), NDT- CEDA (post-merger), NPDA, IPDA, and US BP/World Schools debate. His debaters have won more than one-hundred tournaments, twenty state titles, and three national championships in IPDA and NPDA debate and have reached the Sweet Sixteen or better at a dozen more national tournaments. His students have been in hundreds of elimination rounds, won more than forty squad sweepstakes honors and more than fifty top speaker awards. Mr. Christensen has held posts as professor and Director of Debate at the following institutions: The University of South Dakota, Hillsdale College, Central Wyoming College, Alderson Broaddus University, Belmont Abbey College, and Eastern Wyoming College. Additionally, Mr. Christensen has served as a judge, invited coach, and paid consultant for Washburn University since 2012, including during their 2017 NPDA national championship, a tournament two Washburn teams closed-out in the final round, a first in NPDA history.
Emily Mikkelsen is the Director of Debate at Belmont Abbey College in NC and has over a decade of experience in forensics. She completed a Political Communications bachelor’s degree at Cedarville University in 2014 and graduated with her M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2016. Emily competed in Dramatic and Duo Interpretation, Prose and Poetry, Original Oratory, Oratorical interpretation, Congressional Debate, and Parliamentary Debate. She placed at the OHSSA State Tournament three years in a row in Congressional Debate. She was also top-ranked regionally for Duo Interpretation in her junior year. In college, she and her debate partner were ranked 2nd in the country for the National Parliamentary Debate Association in December 2013, winning 1st place speaker and 1st place honors at several tournaments. Emily also coached fact, value, and policy debate for younger team members, helping Cedarville University place 2nd in the nation overall during her senior year. Before accepting her current position as Director of Debate, Emily helped to establish Appalachian State University’s national debate team, which qualified to the exclusive National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence within their first year and thus had students ranked within the top 50 individual teams across the country by March. Emily coaches the Belmont Abbey College team, which won the JV IPDA National Tournament in 2016 and advanced to semi-finals at the IPDA National Tournament for team debate in 2017. She also coaches speech, LD, Policy, and PF at the high school level. As a part of her campus outreach, Emily has the opportunity to work with a local high school team that took 2nd place in the state last year; her advising focuses primarily on LD and PF competition. She also works with Moot Court students on campus. Emily enjoys coaching students at all levels, helping them to solidify tournament strategies and refine the practical skills which are garnered through speech and debate!
Stefanie Klaves is studying political science at Grove City College. She competed in team policy debate for four years, placing 3rd and 2nd at the 2014 and 2015 National Championship respectively. Stefanie also finished 1st in Team Policy debate at the 2016 NC National Open, 2016 Kentucky Regional Qualifier, and 2014 Regional Ohio Regional Qualifier. She placed in the top 10 Team Policy debate speakers at the 2015 National Championship, 1st place speaker at the 2016 Kentucky Regional Qualifier, and 1st place speaker at the 2016 Ohio Regional Qualifier. In addition to debate, Stefanie qualified to Nationals in apologetics, persuasive, informative, and biographical narrative. She won numerous speech events, including apologetics at 2016 Regionals and persuasive at the 2014 Minnesota National Open. Stefanie has worked with debate sourcebook companies and interned as a legal assistant at the Hildebrand Law Firm LLC for over a year. She enjoys coaching! She is known for her enthusiasm for research and her passionate speaking style, and is dedicated to helping her students to excel in competition.
Stephen Sutherland earned a B.A. from Hillsdale College and an M.A. from Binghamton University. During his undergraduate studies, he studied at Oxford University. His training has provided him with an excellent foundation in the liberal arts. Stephen brings extensive experience to our coaching team where he serves as a writing tutor. He is an experienced teacher both in the classroom and in one-on-one tutorials. He has worked with middle school and high school students at all stages of the writing process, helping them to develop the confidence needed to write and reason persuasively, especially as they prepare for college entrance exams. Through instruction, practice and constructive feedback, Stephen’s students have refined their critical thinking skills as they learn to evaluate a topic, craft a strong thesis, and compose organized and well reasoned essays.
Noah Foster is a college freshman with 6 years of speech and debate experience. In 2015, Noah won the NC National Open in Lincoln-Douglas (LD) Debate and qualified to the 2015 National Championship. In 2016, Noah became one of the first competitors to win a National Open in both styles of debate, when he and his partner took first place in Team Policy at the San Diego National Open. In 2017, after a year of interning with DFWSD, Noah’s students took all four of the Regional Championship semifinal spots. Noah also won Extemporaneous, IE Sweepstakes, LD Speaker, and LD Debate at the 2017 Regional Championship. He qualified to the Nationals in 5 speeches and 2 debate styles. In 2018, Noah became the first competitor in his league to win a national tournament in all three styles of debate. Before Noah jumped head-first into speech and debate, he was an avid Taekwondo student, earning his 3rd degree black belt before taking a break to pursue speech and debate. During his free time Noah enjoys reading and playing any and every sport, but mostly Ultimate Frisbee. He is looking forward to being the Policy Debate Camp Assistant this summer, and mentoring students across the country as they strive to better their critical-thinking skills and succeed in debate and speech competition.
Jordan Brown is pursuing her degree in history and political science at Lee University in Cleveland, with the goal of being a full-time teacher, speaker, and motivator. She competed in speech and Team Policy debate for 4 years. Her speech on the power of storytelling won 1st place at both the North Carolina and the Oklahoma National Opens in 2016, and 2nd place in Wisconsin, and 4th place at the 2016 National Championship. That same year, Jordan took 4th place in Team Policy debate at the National Championship. Jordan also placed 3rd in Open Interpretation, and 1st in Biblical presentation at the 2016 Regional Championship. She is passionate about helping students to achieve their goals by overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. When Jordan is not working or studying, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, and watching health documentaries. As a private coach, she is excited about helping students to achieve their goals!
James Russell is the Assistant Director of DFW Speech & Debate, and a very gifted teacher and coach. While still competing, James led Baton Rouge Speech and Debate as a policy head coach. During his time with the club, it became a nationally competitive organization. He was one of the top Team Policy speakers in his region, receiving multiple 1st place speaker awards including 1st place speaker at the 2013 AL National Open (the largest tournament at that time in league history). James is also an accomplished speech competitor, qualifying to the National Championship in Duo interpretation three years in a row, winning the 2012 Houston National Open, placing 2nd at the 2013 AL National Open, and placing 4th at the 2013 National Championship. He is an accomplished limited prep speaker, winning the 2013 AL National Open and Regional Championship in Impromptu, and going on to place 4th at the 2013 National Championship. James started competing in Extemporaneous in 2014, winning the Memphis qualifier and placing 2nd at the NC National Open. He went on to place 11th in extemporaneous at the 2014 National Championship. James has coached hundreds of students at camps and privately, including students who have competed in finals at the national level. He is a driven coach that expects a high level of excellence from his students!