Bryan WeberDirector of Debate
  • Award-winning speech and debate coach with over 25 years of experience coaching elementary, secondary, and university students
  • Recipient of the National Speech and Debate Association's Diamond Award and Donus D. Roberts Coaching Excellence Award, two of their highest honours, and recognized as Teacher of the Year in Houston, Texas
  • Coached teams to multiple championships and speaker awards at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and numerous other accolades.
  • Former director of the Houston and Minnesota Urban Debate Leagues, which produced both state and national champions.
 
Vancouver Debate Academy private debate coach Stormee Massey
Stormee MasseyHead Coach - US Formats
  • NSDA Diamond Coaching Award 2022
  • NSDA Donus D. Roberts Coaching of Excellence Award Recipient 2021
  • VDA Coach Of The Year 2021
  • NSDA Lone Star District New Coach of the Year Recipient 2020
  • Recipient of the HEB ISD Education Foundation Award of Excellence 2018 & 2020
  • Coached Speech & Debate at Grapevine High School and Trinity High School in a variety of formats

Our Talented Team

Jackie Massey
Experience : Highly decorated debate coach with almost four decades of experience
Description :
  • Founder and former director of the University of Oklahoma debate program, where his teams won four national championships, multiple top speaker awards, and numerous other top finishes.
  • Coached at the University of Vermont and Eastern New Mexico University, where his team won the national championship.
  • Experienced in a wide variety of debate formats, including Public Forum, British Parliamentary, Lincoln Douglas, and Cross-Examination.
  • Author of the critical debaters handbook.
Adrian Lask
Experience : 7+ years of competitive debate experience & 5+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Former UBC Debate Society President
  • 2019 Coach for Team Mexico for the World Schools Debating Championship
  • 2019 Coach for Team Mexico for the World Universities Debating Championship
  • Semifinalist at West Coast Novice Championship
  • 2019 Semifinalists at the Seattle IV Tournament
  • 2016 Champion & 6th Best Speaker at Pan-American  (Spanish stream)
  • 2015 Finalist & 2nd Best Speaker at US Nationals 2015
Alex Gagne
Education : UBC Bachelor of Arts in International Economics
Experience : 6+ years of competitive debate experience & 5+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Top 100 at World University Debate Championships
  • 2019 Semi-Finalists at the Seattle IV tournament
  • 2018 Quarterfinalist at US Nationals
  • 2018 Semifinalist at Seattle Intervarsity
  • 2016 Quarterfinalist at Texas State Championship
  • 2016 Octafinalist at Harvard Forensics
Coaching Style : Topic-Oriented, Competitive, Engaging Lecturer
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Alice Gilman
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Education :  University of British Columbia Bachelor of International Relations + Master of Management
Experience : 4+ years of competitive debate experience & 3+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Regional Manager at World Scholars Cup (2018-2020)
  • Organized debate tournaments in over 25 countries
  • Speech and acting coach at a film production school (2018)
  • Co-manager of a Central Asian Debate league
  • Almaty International School Debate Team student Founder and Coach
  • Chosen out of 10,000 to speak at Yale Tournament of Champions
  • Leading debater in Central Asia in Lincoln Douglas Debate and Public Forum Debate
Bishal Podder
Experience : 7+ years of competitive debate experience & 7+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • 2022 Hart House Intervarsity (HHIV) debate competition Semifinalists
  • 2020 National Team Coach for World Schools Debate Championships Team Bangladesh
  • 2020 Novice Champion at USC IV
  • 2020 Finalist at Lord Discord Cup
  • 2019 Finalist & 2nd Best Speaker at West Coast Novice Championship: Finalist & 2nd top Speaker
  • 2019 2nd Top Speaker at Hugill Cup
  • 2018 Quarterfinalist at World Schools Debate Championships
  • 2018 Finalist & 3rd Top Speaker at Asian-British Parliamentary
  • 2018 Quarterfinalist at Kolkata NAT University of Juridical Sciences
Coaching Style : Communicative, Trusting, Strict When Needed
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Bobo Wong
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Education : UBC: Bachelor + Master of Management Dual Degree
Experience : 4+ years of competitive debate experience & 2+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Co-Captain & Coach of Sir Winston Churchill Debate Club (2018-2019)
  • UBC Debate Society: Vice President External (2020-2021)
  • 2022 Hart House Intervarsity (HHIV) debate competition Semifinalists
  • 2020 University of Calgary CP ProAms: Champion team, top Novice speaker + 3rd Open speaker
  • 2020 USC IV: Novice Champion team 
  • 2020 Lord Discord Cup: Novice Finalist
  • 2020 UBC Fundraiser Open: 2nd Novice speaker, 10th Open speaker
  • 2020 Doxbridge IV: 20th breaking team & Open Octofinalist
  • 2019 West Coast Novice Championship: Finalist & 3rd speaker
  • 2019 Hart House IV: Novice Finalist team and 6th Novice speaker
  • 2019 Hugill Cup: 3rd Novice speaker
Coaching Style : Adaptable, Detail-oriented, Drills>Lectures
Brooks Howell
Education : New York University-Political Science
Experience : 4+ years of competitive debate experience & 1+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Qualified to NCFL Nationals, NSDA Nationals, and the Gold TOC
  • Varsity Public Forum Semifinalist at Princeton University
  • Varsity Public Forum Semifinalist at Lexington Invitational
  • Varsity Public Forum Octofinalist at Yale University
  • Varsity Public Forum 3rd Best Speaker Award at Emory
Coaching Style : Fun, Engaging, Focused
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Debojyoti Biswas 
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Education : UBC Bachelor of Science in Physics
Experience : 6+ years of competitive debate experience & 2+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Quarterfinalist at World Schools Debate Championship WSDC, 2018
  • High School Champion and Best Speaker, Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championship 2018
  • Captain of Team Bangladesh in WSDC 2019
  • Semi-Finalist and 2nd Best Speaker NUJS Parliamentary Debate Tournament 2019, India
  • Octo-Finalist and team captain of Asian World Schools Debate Championship 2019
  • 10+ National Level Speaker Awards in Bangladesh
  • Coach of Notre Dame College, Bangladesh for 1 year
  • Coach of Sunnydale School, Bangladesh for 2 year
Coaching Style : personalized, relaxed but also strict if needed, highly encourage responses
Diggory Waddle
Education : Simon Fraser University: Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
Experience : 3+ years of competitive debate experience & 2+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • 2022 Oxford IV university level Semi-Finalist & 12th best individual speaker
  • 2022 Hart House IV university level Champion
  • 2020 Deputy Chief Adjudicator of PAC Cup
  • 2020 Deputy Chief Adjudicator of SFU Worlds Tournament
  • 2020 Champion at Monash University Open
  • 2019 Champion at SFU IV
  • 2019 Finalist at Gary Gillespie Cup
  • 2019 Semifinalist and 3rd Top Speaker at Hugill Cup
  • 2019 Finalist at Seattle IV
Coaching Style : Relaxed, Forgiving, Demanding
Eliz Zhou
Experience : 3+ years of competitive debate experience & 1+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • 2020 Puget Sound Invitational Quarterfinalist & 6th top speaker
  • 2019 Vice President and Coach of Richmond Christian Secondary Debate Team
  • 2019 Champion & 4th Top Speaker at Stanford Invitational Debate Tournament
  • 2019 Lower Mainland West Regionals Tournament 10th Top Speaker
  • 2018 6th Top Speaker at NSDA Nationals in Wuxi
  • 2018 Champion & Best Speaker at SFU PF
Coaching Style : Detail-Oriented, Encouraging, Collaborative
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Emily Chen
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Education : Studying at UBC; Bachelor of Commerce
Experience : 5+ years of competitive debate experience (CNDF, PF, Worlds and BP) & 2+ years of coaching
Description :
  • UBC Debate Society Novice Representative 2022
  • 2022 Harthouse IV Novice Semi-Finalist
  • LMS Regionals 3-years Champion 2020-2022
  • Qualification to Canadian Nationals 2022
  • 2020 Harvard Invitational Semi-Finalist
  • 2020 Bluebonnet Octofinalist
Coaching Style : Approachable, Fun, Adaptable
GeorgeAlarcon-DebateCoach-VDA-VancouverDebateAcademy
George Alarcon
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Education : Bachelor and Master in Economics from the University of Florida. Currently pursuing J.D. at University of Maryland
Experience : 2+ years of coaching experience
Description :  
  • Obtained 10 TOC bids in Public Forum
  • Blue Key- Public Forum (Semifinalist)
  • Emory- Public Forum (Octafinalist)
  • Harvard- Public Forum (Quarter Finalist)
  • Florida State Qualifier- Public Forum (Champion)
  • Florida State Tournament- Public Forum (Quarter Finalist)
  • Crestian Round Robinn- Public Forum (Finalist)
  • Crestian- Public Forum (Semifinalist: Bid)
  • Glenbrooks- Public Forum (Octofinalist: Bid)
  • Sunvitational- Public Forum (Semifinalist: Bid)
  • Broke at Nationals
Coaching Style : Competitive, Fun, and Energetic
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Grace Jia
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Education : University of Arts London: BA - Fashion Design
Experience : 3+ years of competitive debate experience & 2+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Coached Provincial Qualifiers (2021) and French Nationals Qualifiers (2020)
  • 2020 Stanford Invitational Quarter Finalist
  • 2020 Bluebonnet Octofinalist
  • 2020 Georgetown Vancouver Quarter Finalist
  • 2019 SFU High School Public Forum Tournament 7th Speaker
Coaching Style : Fun, Supportive, Adaptable
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Joseph Mai
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Education : First-year at the University of Toronto in Economics and International Relations
Experience : 4+ years of debating experience in Worlds, CNDF, and PF; 1+ year of coaching experience
Description :
  • First breaking team at Semiahmoo Worlds
  • 4th place UBC Falls 2019
  • Qualified to Provincials
  • Qualified to NSDA Nationals in PF twice
  • Only undefeated team and first seed at NSDA Nationals 2022 with 12 ballots in prelims
  • Five bids to the Tournament of Champions
  • 5th seed at Harvard in Varsity
  • Quarterfinalist at Florida Blue Key in Varsity
  • Co-Champion at Georgetown Spring in Varsity
  • Double-Octofinalist at Stanford in Varsity
  • International Champion at Yale in Varsity
  • 20th Seed at UK in Varsity
Coaching Style : encouraging, fun, detailed
Judy Jiang
Education : Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree at the University of Southern California
Experience : 5+ years of competitive debate experience & 3+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • 2019 8th Top Speaker at Lower Mainland North Regionals
  • 2018 Semi-Finalist & 5th Top Speaker at UBC Summer
  • 2018 7th Top Speaker at SFU PF Tournament
  • 2018 8th Place Team at British Columbia Provincials
  • 2018 4th Place Team at Lower Mainland West Regionals
  • 2017 Best Diplomat Award at the University of Alberta High School Model United Nations
  • 2016 Gold Medalist for Poetry in the Provincial Speech Competition
  • 2015 Bronze Medalist at the United Nations Pilgrimage Speech and Debate Competition
Coaching Style : Communicative, Efficient, Friendly
Olin Becker
Education : University of British Columbia Bachelor of Commerce
Experience : 5+ years of competitive debate experience & 3+ years of coaching experience
Description : Leadership Roles:
  • UBCDS VP External (2021)
  • UBC High School Tournament Equity Officer (2020)
  • William Aberhart High School Debate Team Founder and Coach (2019)
Debate Awards:
  • Novice Finalist at Pacific Cup (2021)
  • Cambridge Intervarsity Top 10 Novice Speaker (2020)
  • Hugill Cup Top 5 Novice Speaker (2020)
  • Fall Open Western Novice Championship Champion and Top 3 Speaker (2020)
  • Represented UBC at the North American University Debating Championship (2020)
  • Alberta Debate Provincials Second Place Team and Top 5 Speaker (2019)
Coaching Style : Flexible, Drill-Oriented, Encouraging
Reid Marcus
Education : University of Cambridge: Master of Philosophy in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
Experience : 10+ years of competitive debate experience & 8+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • Twice represented UBC at the World Universities Debating Championship (Berlin 2013, Kuala Lumpur 2015)
  • 2015 Semi-Finalist at the Canadian National British Parliamentary Debating Championship
  • 2015 Chief Adjudicator of the UBC Spring High School Tournament
  • 2014-2015 Training Director of the UBCDS (2014-2015)
  • 2012-2013 Vice President External of the UBCDS
  • 2012, 2014 Co-Director of the UBC Fall High School Tournament
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Tina Yong
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Education : University of British Columbia: Political Science Honour
Experience : 7+ years of competitive debate experience & 4+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • President of UBC Debate Society 
  • Represented UBC at the World University Debate Championships 
  • Champion of Hugill Cup 
  • Top Senior Speaker at Lower Mainland South Regional Championships 
  • Finalist at Yale IV
  • Fleetwood Park Debate Association president and coach
  • Stanford Championship double-octofinalists (2018)
  • UBC Fall High School Tournament Champion (2018)
  • FPSS Senior Speech Meet Champion (2018)
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Todd Pengelly
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Education : Hampshire College - BA in Literary Journalism, Minor in Race Relations
Experience : 4+ years of competitive debate experience & 3+ years of coaching experience
Description :
  • 2016 National Speech and Debate Tournament, Third Place in Worlds School 
  • 2016 Georgia Student Congress State, 2nd Place
  • 2015 Georgia Student Congress State, Finalist 
  • 2015 National Qualifier at Catholic Forensic League Nationals in Public Forum
  • Received recognition of Special Distinction by NSDA, top 5% in nation, top 3% in district
  • Debated and coached at Midtown High School, 13-year reigning champions for Speech and Debate Sweepstakes in the state of Georgia
     
Coaching Style : Fun, Supportive, Adaptable
vancouver debate academy debate coach Vidit Desai headshot
Vidit Desai
vancouver debate academy debate coach Vidit Desai headshot
Education : Fourth Year Honours Political Science and Spanish Student at Western University
Experience : 8+ years of competitive debate experience & 4+ years of coaching experience
Description :

Leadership:

  • Vice President of Training at UWO Debate Society
  • Former Vice President of the White Oaks Debate Team
  • Three years as a competitive coach and eight years as a competitive debater

Achievements as a Debater: 

  • Semi-Finalist and 6th Ranked Speaker at the North American Championships
  • Champion of the New York University - AD Tournament
  • Champion at the Hart House Novice Final
  • Champion at the Canadian National Novice Final
  • Grand Finalist at the Zimbabwe Debating League
  • Grand Finalist and Top 10 Speaker at the Colgate Open
  • Grand Finalist at the Chancellor’s Cup
  • Grand Finalist (two times) and 3rd Speaker at the Centennial Cup
  • Semi Finalist at the Central Novice Debate Championship and 3rd Speaker
  • Quarter Finalist at the Alberta Australs Tournament
  • Top 10 Teams at the King's College London Open

Achievements as a Judge:

  • Breaking Adjudicator at the Harvard Worlds Invitational
  • Breaking Adjudicator at the Yale Public Forum JV Competition
  • Chief Adjudicator of the Central Canadian Championship
  • Chief Adjudicator of the Western IV
  • Chief Adjudicator at numerous Western High Schools Tournaments
Coaching Style : Innovative, Passionate, Encouraging

Join Our Coach Team!

Current Openings

ABOUT US

Vancouver Debate Academy is a talented team of students and educators working to expand speech and debate opportunities across British Columbia and Canada. We pride ourselves in training students for the highest levels of international competition and have a proven track record of success, including championships and top speaker awards at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and Georgetown, as well as top finishes at the TOC and NSDA Nationals.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Head Coach is a strong educator and competitor with a history of team leadership in multiple debate and speech formats. They will maintain and enhance the academy’s reputation for high-quality education and competitive success.

This is a full-time position with responsibilities including but not limited to:

  • Coaching between 16 to 24 hours of debate and/or public speaking per week;
  • Developing and implementing curricula for debate and speech classes;
  • Attending competitions in the US, Canada, and abroad as a coach.

QUALIFICATIONS

The Head Coach will work closely with the Director of Debate and other coaches to develop curricula, plan tournaments, and communicate with both students and families to serve our community. 

The Head Coach:

  • Demonstrates a proven record of coaching success at national and international circuit debate tournaments, including in events like public forum (PF), world schools debate (WSD), British parliamentary (BP), policy debate (CX), and Lincoln-Douglas (LD), among others;
  • Holds a minimum of a bachelor’s degree;
  • Has a minimum of three years experience in a comparable leadership position;
  • Has classroom experience teaching and developing curricula;
  • Is comfortable with a flexible schedule that includes the ability to work weekends;
  • Has excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, verbal, listening, and presentation);
  • Is driven, self-motivated, and results-oriented;
  • Has a strong sense of organization and the ability to lead a team.

BENEFITS & COMPENSATION

The Head Coach is compensated with an annual salary ranging from $65,000 to $80,000 CAD, commensurate with experience, and may be eligible to receive performance-based incentives. The position will also include paid tournament travel as a coach. 

LOCATIONS & START DATES

The Head Coach will work primarily at Vancouver Debate Academy offices in Vancouver, BC. Immigration and permit assistance is available if needed.

Desired start date: September 1, 2022.

APPLY

To apply, please email info@vancouverdebate.ca with the following:

  • Personal statement of why you feel you’d be an ideal fit for this position;
  • Curriculum vitae with relevant experience;
  • Any additional information you feel would help us learn more about you, from a record of your team’s successes to videos of your teaching abilities, or anything else that helps tell your story.