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© 2019 by Climb the Mountain Speech and Debate Foundation.

Contact us at jim@climbthemountain.us

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Climb Speech & Debate Camp
Staff Bios

Directors

Jim Hanson, Camp Director

Executive Director of Climb the Mountain Speech and Debate Foundation, Jim Hanson is one of the most successful coaches in the history of speech and debate in the United States. He has won four different Coach of the Year awards, two awards for environmental protection with paperless debating, and a Mellon grant for diversity. He has directed six different national championship teams/squads, 167 teams that advanced to CEDA or NPDA elimination rounds or qualified to the NPTE or NDT (an all time record), a national champion finalist at US Universities and he is the author of nationally acclaimed debate and individual events textbooks. He currently serves as director of the Seattle University debate program and teaches a variety of communication courses.

 

Kai Daniels, Camp Assistant Director

Kai is ready to help make your camp experience outstanding. Kai won 1st Speaker in Policy Debate Washington State, 3rd Place in Policy, TOC Qualification (2 bids), NSDA Nationals Qualification, Championed multiple Policy Debate tournaments (Gonzaga, UPS, etc), along with being recognized with the Erik Helppie Debater of the Year Award in 2019. 4 Years of experience and attended 3 summers of debate camp (Michigan 2x, Wake Forest University). Coached multiple debate teams nationally (Kamiak, Interlake, Garfield, Barstow, West, etc).Kai won 3rd Place in Washington State for Interpretive Reading his freshman year before leaving to focus on Policy Debate. However, he still assisted Kamiak debate in individual events with coaching novices and helping with public speaking for his debate career. Kai has coached Kamiak's Junior team to 3rd Place in Policy Debate his senior year, assisted both Garfield and Interlake with resources and lectures for the past two years, specifically in kritikal argumentation. Furthermore, helped coach a West (UT) LD team in a TOC bid tournament.Kai has worked extensively in assisting the City of Mukilteo's public policy and legislative efforts through his work as a secretary and committee member of the Mukilteo Youth Advisory Committee (see resume). Founded a middle school debate program at a Harbour Pointe Middle School that currently has a well functioning debate team consisting of 12 students.

Ethan Phillips, Camp Assistant Director

Ethan has been involved in administrative work, fundraising, organizational, and outreach work for the FIRST Robotics Competition team, and the Iron Riders. Ethan brings those talents to the Climb camp for a second year. Ethan has a great memory and helps with laptops, photography, afternoon snacks, and camp attendance. He is friendly and ready to help.

Debate Programs

Angie Tinker, Bellevue MS Parli 3 on 3, PLU Policy-CX Lab Leader

Angie is the assistant debate coach at Pacific Lutheran University, where she has coached teams into finals consistently. She has taught at debate camps for two years, both at the Women's Debate Institute and at Climb the Mountain. During her time as a debater, she has cleared consistently at highly competitive tournaments, notably the Remy Wilcox tournament, Berkeley Invitational, and Idaho state debate championship in high school level policy debate. At the collegiate level, Angie has cleared and defeated top teams in the National Parliamentary Debate Association format at the Mile High Swing, and in British Parliamentary debate, she has regularly been in finals elimination rounds and won the Mark O. Hatfield Invitational.

Tate Adams, PLU Policy-CX Lab Leader, Seattle MS Parli 3 on 3

Tate is headed into an 8th year of competitive debate. Tate has debated and broken in CX, LD, PF, and BP formats; was the 2015 WA State Champion in Public Forum; and was a volunteer assistant coach for Capital High School for the 2015-2016 season. Tate has competed in each of the regularly available IEs at least once.  Tate focused on Impromptu, Extemp, and Original Oratory and took 2nd place in 2015 for WA State Extemporaneous Speaking (3A). Tate regularly places in the top teams at BP tournaments in college.

Tyler Julian, Public Forum and Extemp Lab Leader

He graduated in 2014 from Newport High School with 2,724 NFL points. He has done every debate event, although the most success was in PF. Qualified 4 times to nationals (IX x2, PF x2) including once as a Freshman. He helped the Bear Creek Schools nats team from 2015-2016. Currently he is the assistant coach at Newport High School (2017-present).In IE's he Qualified twice to nationals in IX. Lead the district in impromptu state bids in 2014 and State finalist in impromptu in 2014.While He is a new assistant coach with the Newport Debate program. He has taught Bear Creek Debaters and Extempers in the past. He still has plenty to learn and is willing to learn.As the Newport Team president in 2014, He was involved in running the annual banquet fundraiser for the team. He also was involved in the team's t-shirt fundraiser. In college he also was involved in the NAU debate team's outreach work, packing up thanksgiving day meals for impoverished families.

Tiffany Wilhelm, Bellevue and Seattle Middle School 3 on 3 Debate, Bellevue Congress, Speaking Lab Leader

Tiffany is ready to work with middle school debaters. In her first round of coaching (1995-2002) she coached both policy and LD at Auburn High School. Her students won first place in LD at The Glenbrooks, The Barkley Forum, and Berkeley, with numerous LD students qualifying for Nationals and TOC. Her top finishing LD debater took 13th place at Nationals. Now back to the activity, she currently coaches Student Congress, qualifying a student to state in 2015, while hoping to encourage students into Lincoln Douglas. While at Auburn from 1995-2002, she coached many IE students. Highlights were sending a Duo Interp team to Nationals as well as many successful Oratories. Now, at South Kitsap, she has been responsible for the program moving beyond Congress into IE's including earning state bids the last two years and also a state finalist in LD debate. 

Alex Williams, Bellevue Middle School 3 on 3 Parli Debate Lab Leader

Alex has been involved with debate for seven years now, as both a competitor and coach. They debated Public Forum for five years during which time they won state and attended the NSDA national tournament. Alex is currently a British Parliamentary debater at PLU where they have placed in the finals of regional tournaments and attended nationals two seasons running. In addition to continuing involvement with their high school team as a judge and coach, this is Alex’s second year with Climb leading the Middle School Parliamentary labs. 

Alia Memon, Bellevue LD Lab Leader

She participated in Lincoln Douglas debate for 3 years at Interlake High School. She qualified to the Washington state tournament and NSDA nationals all 3 years. She co-championed the state tournament her junior year. She was in elimination rounds at NSDA nationals in both her junior and senior years. She received one TOC bid in her senior year. She was Lincoln Douglas squad captain at Interlake for 2 years in which she helped train a number of novices. She participated in impromptu speaking for 3 years in which she was a finalist at four tournaments. She helped to create a Lincoln Douglas curriculum (lesson plans and drills) for Interlake High School. She also helped oversee incoming squad captains.

Lucas Watson, Bellevue Public Forum Lab Leader

He has debated for over three years at a high school level (PF: 1 year, LD: 2 years). In the most recent season, in LD, he has finaled at every tournament attended including qualifying (undefeated) to Nationals and receiving 2nd at State (3rd place Speaker).He has participated in Impromptu for over three years, breaking and finaling at numerous tournaments.He has been involved in the instruction/education of teammates throughout the last two years as Debate Captain of his high school team. This includes teaching and casework with multiple Public Forum teams and speech-drafting with multiple Congress participants.

Parker Davidson, MS Parli 3 on 3 Lab Leader

Parker has engaged in debating in worlds style parliamentary debate, breaking in open division at the highly competitive Seattle U IV tournament, first year runner-up at the Steve Hunt Classic and first year finalist at the UBC IV, 5th place first year speaker at the Steve Hunt Classic, top 10 Nov Speaker at both UBC IV and Seattle IV, and elims at the Western Washington NFC tournament and Northwest University. He has judged multiple parli 3 on 3 and public forum debates at the Seattle U tournaments. He is also an experienced Climb afterschool program instructor working with middle school students throughout the year.

Gavin McCormick, MS Parli 3 on 3 Lab Leader

Gavin has competed in debate for 6 years, including high school Lincoln Douglas and NPDA-NPTE Parliamentary Debate. He has received several awards for LD, including quarterfinalist at national circuit tournaments. He has also received recognition in parli debate, being a finalist at a nationally recognized tournament and competing at nationals his sophomore season.Gavin has competed in several Individual Events in high school, including Interpretative Reading, Expository, and Original Oratory. He received recognition his senior year of high school in Interpretative Reading, placing sixth at a local tournament.

Nico Roshau, Speech and Debate Judge

Nico did three years of policy. Her and her partner went to almost every tournament. Their sophomore year they were in the top 20 teams at the Stanford Invitational. They also qualified for state all three years they debated but were only able to go their senior year. Nico has also won many speaker awards in this event. Nico has done three years of interp, and one of oratory. She broke at state in two interp events (DI and DUO) as well as oratory and also qualified for nationals in OO. She has also gone to NIETOC for DI, DUO and OO, and was top 50 in DUO in 2017 at NIETOC. Nico was also voted by her class as most valuable speaker for speech and debate in 2017.

Derek Hanson, Public Forum Debate

Derek has been participating in Speech and Debate for 13 years, beginning as a high school competitor, continuing through college, and finally as the Speech and Debate coach for Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, WA. In the last three years, he has had 23 qualifications to the State tournament from his team, and 9 qualifications to NSDA Nationals.Derek competed in Expository Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Interpretive Reading, and Extemporaneous Speaking in high school from 2006-2010. He coaches all speech events at Glacier Peak High School currently, and has been since 2016.Derek believes strongly in firm foundational instruction followed by a gradual release of responsibility. He focuses intentionally on providing direct instruction in the basics of each event and the creation of each student's material, but believes that the work in making the presentation must be done by the competitors (with oversight and advice as needed

Speech Programs

Decker O'Donnell, Interp and Platform Lab Leader

He attended two Northwest Forensics Conference tournaments in British Parliamentary, making finals and receiving a speaker award at Lewis & Clark's Steve Hunt Classic.Over 7 years, Decker has won over 100 local awards across every speech event available. Competing for Seattle Academy, he advanced numerous interp and public address events at Washington State, Berkeley, Arizona State, and Bronx Science, qualifying to NSDA Nationals and the NIETOC. At Lewis & Clark College, he recently broke 4 events (all three genres) at the NFA National Tournament and placed 2nd in the Northwest for cumulative year-long individual sweepstakes. This year he helped coach the 2017 Oregon State DUO champions.

Tyler Julian, Public Forum and Extemp Lab Leader

He graduated in 2014 from Newport High School with 2,724 NFL points. He has done every debate event, although the most success was in PF. Qualified 4 times to nationals (IX x2, PF x2) including once as a Freshman. He helped the Bear Creek Schools nats team from 2015-2016. Currently he is the assistant coach at Newport High School (2017-present).In IE's he Qualified twice to nationals in IX. Lead the district in impromptu state bids in 2014 and State finalist in impromptu in 2014.While He is a new assistant coach with the Newport Debate program. He has taught Bear Creek Debaters and Extempers in the past. He still has plenty to learn and is willing to learn.As the Newport Team president in 2014, He was involved in running the annual banquet fundraiser for the team. He also was involved in the team's t-shirt fundraiser. In college he also was involved in the NAU debate team's outreach work, packing up thanksgiving day meals for impoverished families.

Tiffany Wilhelm, Bellevue and Seattle MS Parli 3 on 3, Bellevue Congress, Speaking Lab Leader

Tiffany is ready to work with middle school debaters. In her first round of coaching (1995-2002) she coached both policy and LD at Auburn High School. Her students won first place in LD at The Glenbrooks, The Barkley Forum, and Berkeley, with numerous LD students qualifying for Nationals and TOC. Her top finishing LD debater took 13th place at Nationals. Now back to the activity, she currently coaches Student Congress, qualifying a student to state in 2015, while hoping to encourage students into Lincoln Douglas. While at Auburn from 1995-2002, she coached many IE students. Highlights were sending a Duo Interp team to Nationals as well as many successful Oratories. Now, at South Kitsap, she has been responsible for the program moving beyond Congress into IE's including earning state bids the last two years and also a state finalist in LD debate. 

Associate Director

Jay Busch, Bellevue Associate Director

Jay Busch is the Director of the Newport High School Speech and Debate program and has worked closely with Climb the Mountain to provide clinics and opportunities for students and coaches in the Northwest. Jay Busch is an employee of the Bellevue School District.