Stanford Invitational Tournament

It's not too late to join us for summer 2019 - sessions begin July 28th, August 4th & August 11th!

View our 2019 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

2-Week Middle School Public Forum Program

The 2-Week Middle School Debate program is designed to provide rising 7th and 8th graders with an academically appropriate session that focuses specifically on the Public Forum debate format.  The objectives are similar to the 2-Week Core Public Forum session that we offer for High School students.  For students unable to stay through the end of this 2-Week session, we offer the 1-Week Middle School Public Forum Workout session which is simply the first week of this two-week session.

Note that beginning level students looking to learn debate fundamentals or who are not already in a school or afer school debate program where they compete specifically in the Public Forum debate format should instead look to our other Middle School Debate sessions.


2019 2-Week Middle School Public Forum Program Staff Members Include:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Debate Programs Coordinator)

Brian Manuel, Debate Programs Coordinator

Brian is the Director of Debate at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in New York and Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, in addition to serving as a consultant for the National Speech & Debate Association. Widely recognized for his unrivaled talent in revitalizing traditional programs, Brian was named the 2008 Michael Bacon Coach of the Year and 2016 Val A. Browning Director of the Year. He has been coaching for nearly 20 years and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association.

Under his leadership, Edgemont’s debate program has flourished, winning five state championships and countless speaker awards, as well as presenting to the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. His students championed the 2015 Georgetown Day School Invitational and 2018 Mamaroneck Round Robin in Policy Debate; 2018 Harrison Round Robin and 2019 Newark Round Robin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and 2016 Lakeland Round Robin, 2016 Westchester Classic, 2018 University of Michigan High-School Tournament, and 2019 Lakeland Round Robin in Public Forum Debate. After past outround appearances in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas, Edgemont will be represented in all principal debate events at this year’s Tournament of Champions. Brian has enjoyed equal success at Stanford, where he coached its first team in two decades—and fourth team ever—to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, finishing in the top 30 in both 2013 and 2015.

Over the course of his professional career, Brian has coached for Harvard University, College Preparatory School, Cathedral Preparatory School, Chattahoochee High School, Lakeland High School, and Scranton High School. His students have advanced to elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including NSDA, NDCA, NCFL, and CEDA Nationals. He also coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational, 2008 Barkley Forum, and 2012 Golden Desert Tournament in Policy Debate, along with the 2007 NCFL finalists, 2012 NSDA finalists, and 2013 Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker.

During the summer, Brian serves as the Academic Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He previously taught workshops at the University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Millennial Speech & Debate. Brian is looking forward to his eleventh summer at SNFI!


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Natalie Polanco (Instructor)

Natalie Polanco, Instructor

Natalie is the Director of Forensics at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. With a wide range of experience in the activity, she has overseen the growth of Packer’s first-ever Speech & Debate Team to include 14 active competitors in only its second year of existence. Her students were co-champions in Varsity Public Forum, finalists and quarterfinalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum, and octafinalists in Novice Public Forum at the 2019 Westchester Classic, earning a total of five speaker awards. In addition to qualifying for this year’s Tournament of Champions and NCFL Grand Nationals, her students advanced to elimination rounds at Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and Bronx Science. Natalie represented student interests as a member of the NSDA’s Public Forum Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with evaluating a number of proposed changes to the event, and currently serves on the Public Forum Wording Committee. She looks forward to spending another summer at SNFI!


We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.


2018 2-Week Middle School Public Forum Program Staff Members Included:



Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

Session Grade Location Price Range  
Aug 4th - Aug 17th 7th-8th Stanford University $2,850.00 – $3,895.00
Pricing Options