Our summer 2017 schedule is now available and registration is open!
Public Forum Debate
The SNFI treats Public Forum as the distinct event it is, and the program has its own dedicated instructional staff as well as a specific division director and a unique curriculum developed for Public Forum. The program is divided into sessions that are organized progressively to cater to students at all levels:
The Beginner's week is a special focus program for beginners and early-intermediate students only, which means these students will be tracked with peers at their own experience level allowing the whole group to accomplish rapid academic progress, yet as a result of the similar skill and experience of the students to move at a comfortable instructional pace and with a friendly and nurturing atmosphere. After completing the Beginner's week, students will be ready to transition into the 2-Week Core program should they stay for the main session.
The 2-Week Core is the main session, which covers the main topics of the program. We strongly suggest that all students who attend the SNFI Public Forum program build their experience around the 2-Week Core.
The Intensive Practice Round Session is a supplemental program focused primarily on practice rounds. After completeing this week, a student will have had experience equivalent to several regular tournaments! In addition to practice rounds, several special topics appropriate for rising varsity level students shall be covered, such as advanced strategy and extensive consideration of advanced crossfire and cross-ex techniques.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROGRAMS
Students may do one week, two weeks, or all three weeks of the program. A student who does the first two weeks can expect to leave the program significantly improved, having progressed significantly in their skill and ability. Students may wish to do both the 2-Week Core and the Intensive Practice Round Session to get the added benefit of having complete the equivalent of two full tournaments of competition. It is recommended that students who wish to attend the Intensive Practice Round Session also attend the 2-Week Core, as many of the materials covered in the second week will be used during the Intensive Practice Round Session. The Intensive Practice Round Session can be attended independently of the other programs if and only if a student is highly motivated and is prepared to arrive at the program having completed significant independent preparatory work. Any student interested in only the Intensive Practice Round Session should contact us for more information (see menu bar and click "contact us").
2017 Public Forum Debate Staff Members Include:
Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2017 staff
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.
2016 Public Forum Debate Staff Members Included:
Cayman Giordano has been involved in competitive debate since the late 1990s; he has competed or coached successfully on a national level in Public Forum, Parliamentary, Policy, Lincoln Douglas, and Extemporaneous Speaking. He has worked with teams from Hatboro-Horsham high school in PA (NFL), UMBC and UMCP in MD (APDA), and is currently coaching for and traveling with several public middle and high schools throughout Howard County, MD (NCFL/NJFL). Cayman has taught at Capitol Debate workshops around Washington DC, the Capitol Classic summer institute at Loyola, and was an instructor at the James Logan Debate Academy. This is his seventh year at SNFI.
Alyssa is a proud SNFI alum. She debated for four years with DeBakey High School in Houston, Texas during which she won numerous regional tournaments. She and her partner first qualified for nationals as sophomores. In their senior year, they double-qualified for Texas Forensic Association state where they were ranked in the top 15 of 100+ teams. As her school's Team Captain and PF coach, she helped teams to regional wins, TOC bids, and NSDA nationals. She attends American University in Washington D.C. where she majors in International Studies and minors in Economics.
Patrick Berger teaches economics at The Nueva School. As a policy debater for James Logan High School, Patrick won 2nd at the 2009 NFL National Championship in addition to qualifying to multiple TOCs. In the past year of assisting the Nueva public forum program, the team qualified six students to the TOC, won Bronx Science, closed out Berkeley, finaled at Stanford, and closed out Harker. This will be Patrick's third summer returning to the SNFI public forum program.
Chris Fielder, a SNFI 2009 alumnus, will be an English teacher and direct Public Forum and Extemporaneous Speaking at Delbarton School this fall. He graduated in 2012 from Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) where he was successful on a highly competitive Missouri circuit. He qualified twice for the NCFL national tournament (Congress, PF) and twice for NFL Nationals (PF). Chris graduated in December 2015 with a political science degree from Seton Hall University. There, he qualified a total of 17 entries to the National Individual Events Tournament with a semifinal in Impromptu Speaking. Chris much prefers coaching to competing. His students at Ridge, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Delbarton have collectively achieved: 3 NCFL quarterfinals, 2 semifinals, and 2 finals; 8 NSDA National qualifiers, 8 NSDA Nationals elimination round appearances, and 2 Top 14 finishes; countless late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments. Most importantly, Chris is a vicious fan of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.
Kathryn Kao is a 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in Redwood City, CA. Before moving to California, she was the assistant director of debate at Harrison High School in New York. She was a highly competitive policy and Lincoln-Douglas debater at Lexington High School in Massachusetts, and has coached Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum debate for over a decade. Her students have consistently reached late elimination rounds at regional and national tourmanents. Ms. Kao holds a BA in Ancient History from Brandeis University, and a master's degree from the Bank Street College of Education. She is particularly well known for her success with beginning debaters.
Gia Karpouzis is a triple major at the University of La Verne, where she studies Philosophy, Speech Communication and Political Science. Gia has been a part of the NSDA community since her freshman year of high school, accruing over 100 titles at the local, state, and national level. She is the first female in her University's history to be named Debater of the Year and is ranked 15th in the world in WUDC debate, where she competes with fellow SNFI coach Jake Riggs. She currently teaches debate at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge, along with the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena.
Liya Khan attended SNFI in 2012 and graduated in 2015 from Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, California, and headed their Public Forum team for two years. As a sophomore she finished in the top 32 at the California State Championship, and broke at all the national tournaments she competed at that year, including the Stanford and Berkeley Invitationals. She was a semifinalist at the 2015 La Costa Canyon Winter Classic Invitational, an octafinalist at the Golden Desert Invitational, and was fourth Varsity PF Speaker at the Stanford Invitational. She has competed at the California Round Robin and received a total of three bids to the Tournament of Champions. At the 2015 NSDA National Tournament in Dallas, Liya finished in Second Place in PF. This past year she coached the first ever Dougherty Valley team to qualify to the Tournament of Champions, helping them earn three bids, and plans to help coach for Coleyville Heritage High School next year. She is a Public Policy major at the University of Chicago and competes for the Chicago Debate Society in American Parliamentary Debate.
Miranda Le attended SNFI in 2012, and has been an instructor for the past 2 workshops. She competed in Public Forum for 4 years at Milpitas High School in California. During her debate career, she was invited to and attended multiple round robins including the California Round Robin, the Holy Cross Round Robin, and the Millard North Round Robin. She is also the first girl/debater to win a championship for her high school. She has been coaching Middle School and High School public forum since her senior year in high school. Her debaters have received top speaker awards at numerous state and national level tournaments. Her teams have made it to late elimination rounds, and final rounds winning tournaments such as the Middle School National Champions in 2014, the CA Middle School State Tournament Co-Champions in 2016, and the Tournament of Champions finalists in 2016. Miranda coached at Mission San Jose High School for the past 2 years, and she will be the Public Forum coach at Holy Cross School in New Orleans for the upcoming school year. She is also teaching at Harvard Debate Council's Summer Workshop.
Mark Mabie has been a follower, competitor, and instructor of speech and debate for most of his memorable life. Even before ever competing in high school, Mark had been immersed in the world of speech and debate by proxy of his brother. Since graduating from James Logan High School in 2014, Mark has been teaching Parliamentary and Public Forum debate, as well as Impromptu speech, at various schools and debate programs. Mark is currently working at The Nueva School, and Basis independent Silicon Valley. Mark is not only excited too see what he has to offer to camp participants, but is also excited to see what he can take away from their positive experiences.
Jake Riggs is an incoming junior at the University of La Verne, where he will return for his second year of international debate. In 2014 Jake received the speech and debate scholarship at the University of La Verne and competed in the seasons at tournaments like Oxford, World’s hosted in Malaysia, and tournaments across the US and Europe. Jake and his partner Gia Karouzis, another of the PF summer instructors, are ranked in the top 100 debaters for their event worldwide. Jake also debated four years in high school, and became the debate team captain his sophomore year. Jake competed, made finals, and won tournaments throughout California after making the transition to public Forum his senior year. Jake will be happily returning to and eagerly awaiting the SNFI public forum camp.
I am a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a double major in public policy and psychology. I competed in public forum in high school with senior year accomplishments including quarter finals at George Mason and Laird Lewis, qualifying for NFL nationals, and clearing to top 16 at the tournament of champions.
The 1-Week Public Forum Workout is designed for students who don't have the time to complete the full 2-Week Core Public Forum Program. We recommend that students who are able choose to attend the 2-Week Core Public Forum Program or the 3-Week Public Forum Experience. Based on past requests, we recognize that some students are unable to fit the full program into their summer and offer this shortened program to allow more students to sharpen their Public Forum skills over...
The Core Program for Public Forum is designed for students from intermediate through advanced level. Students will be grouped by experience and competitive success within teaching groups so that each lab can progress as a unit as rapidly as possible.
Given the focus of this program on skill building, this program offers students with little to no experienced coaching at their schools the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to actually coach themselves.
The 3-Week Complete Public Forum Experience combines our 2-Week Core Public Forum Program and our Intensive Practice Round Public Forum Session. For more information on both programs, please visit their respective pages.
**This is a legacy camp which we no longer offer as a standalone session. We have combined this session with the concurrently running 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session to improve the experience of students beginning their career in competitive debate.**
A special session which is specially targeted towards novice public forum competitors. Students begin with the fundamentals and progress t...
This session emphasizes practice rounds and improvement through in-depth critiques as the central theme of the program. Students will receive several practice rounds per day on average, and by the end of the week will have literally completed the equivalent of several tournaments worth of practice--all with extensive feedback. Several special topics are covered during the program, including:
- Crossfire techniques: A specially designed practicum on how to make the most...