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Jim Hanson, Executive Director

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Climb the Mountain Speech and Debate Foundation

Jim has been involved in forensics for over 40 years as a competitor and as coach.


As a coach, his speech and debate team won 5 squad NDPA national championships, first place CEDA team in the nation (Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds), first place NDT speaker (Charles Olney), and first place NPDA speaker (Miranda Morton) as well as over 1000 debate awards, 170+ national championship tournament elimination and qualification awards, and 500 individual speaking events awards.

National Debate Coach
Winner of the Year

Jim won the national debate coach of the year award based on the success and running of his program, the Lucy Keele Award for service to the debate community, and also the Thomas Cronin Environmental Award for paperless debating development and promotion. 

  • He was awarded a Mellon Grant for teaching and dialogue about diversity with Meghan Hughes and Robert Crenshaw.

  • He won the Thomas Foley Ambassador to the Speech and Debate Community award and the Art Regier volunteer of the year award.

  • He has taught highly rated courses such as rhetoric of race, class and gender, public speaking, communication law, argument in the law and politics, political campaign rhetoric, First Amendment and free expression, and rhetorical criticism.

Dedicated to
non-profit foundation

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President of West Coast Publishing, another non-profit, dedicated to providing outstanding topic materials and textbooks for debate and individual events.

Jim encourages and supports coaches, students, and judges to be the best that they can be. Jim has worked with students through Climb the Mountain who have been in late elimination rounds at Stanford and Georgetown, won the Korean and  Japan national championships, state championships, as well as multiple awards at tournaments in the Northwest. Jim's teams have also won dozens and dozens of awards at the Seattle University middle school and local high school tournaments.

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