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Hannah Owens Pierre

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Hannah Owens Pierre attended Edina High School in Minnesota where she competed for four years in Lincoln-Douglas debate. She was captain of Edina's LD team her senior year. She is a three-time national qualifier. In 2022, Hannah was the National Speech and Debate Association National Champion in LD. In 2023, Hannah was the Minnesota State Champion in LD. Outside of debate, Hannah enjoys reading, journalism, Latin, watching political podcasts, and eating apples. She is so excited to be an instructor at CDC this summer!


Katie Jack

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Katie Jack attended George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado, where she competed for four years in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. She served as an LD captain during her sophomore and junior years and as a team captain her senior year. Katie qualified for the Colorado state tournament three times. In 2021, she won the state championship in LD. The following year, she won the state championship in policy debate as well. Additionally, she is a three-time national qualifier. She was the NSDA national champion in LD in 2021. Outside of debate, Katie enjoys reading, running, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends. She is studying environmental science and health at the University of Southern California. She can’t wait to meet all the CDC campers!

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Rich Kawolics

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Rich Kawolics began the Speech and Debate program at Laurel School in 2004, and since then he has coached all NSDA and OSDA events. His favorite event, however, has long been Lincoln-Douglas Debate! Rich has coached five state champions in various events, including the 2023 LD state champion. He also coached the 2023 USX state runner-up. He is an NSDA Three-Diamond coach and has judged numerous final rounds at the NSDA National Tournament. He is a former Chair of the OSDA Board of Directors and remains highly committed to equity and inclusion within the speech and debate community. Rich looks forward to his first year as an instructor at CDC, after sending many of his debaters to CDC over the years, including four of the inaugural campers in 2016, and he expects to have an amazing experience with everyone at camp this summer!


Owen Tilman

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Owen attended Colorado Academy, where he competed in Lincoln-Douglas for 2.5 years— serving as Speech & Debate Society President his senior year. In 2023, Owen won 3rd place in LD at NSDA nationals, as well as 13th Best Speaker. He was also 2nd Best Speaker in LD at the 2022 national tournament. A two-time district champion, Owen has championed/placed at multiple national circuit tournaments, including the CSUF Invitational, the Jack Howe Memorial Tournament, and the TOC-Bid Ed Long Invitational. He loves traditional LD, but also enjoys K-debate, reading critical lit, and LARP. In the fall, Owen will be attending Yale University as a Philosophy major. Having attended CDC as a camper in 2022, Owen is absolutely thrilled to be returning as an instructor this year!


Rachel Horowitz

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Rachel started her debate career at Dexter High School in Michigan as a Public Forum Debater and then spent three years at Olentangy Liberty High School in Ohio competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate. She was a two-year debate team captain and greatly enjoyed mentoring her teammates. Rachel qualified for states twice, during her freshman year in Michigan in the Novice Public Forum division and during her senior year in Lincoln-Douglas. That year, she advanced to the octafinals at the Ohio state tournament. Outside of debate, Rachel is a blue-belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time reading, watching crime documentaries, and trying to learn French. She will be attending the Ohio State University in the fall and majoring in political science and economics. Rachel attended CDC twice, in 2021 and 2022, and is excited to pass on the wisdom she gained from her time at camp!


Genevieve Savage

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Genevieve Savage attended Parker School on the Big Island of Hawai’i where she competed in Lincoln-Douglas for three years. She was a three-time state qualifier and was the 2022 Hawaii LD state champion. In fact, after attending Classic Debate Camp in 2021, Genevieve was undefeated in the Hawaii Circuit throughout her junior year. She qualified for and competed in the 2022 NSDA National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas. Outside of debate, Genevieve enjoys playing volleyball, reading, watching and analyzing psychological thrillers, and spending time with her puppy, Ichabod. In the fall, she will be studying English and Political Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. Genevieve attended CDC as a camper both in 2021 and 2022, and she can’t wait to be back as an instructor! 

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Steven Kim

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Steven Kim attended University School near Cleveland, Ohio. He competed in LD for four years and was the head captain of his speech and debate team senior year. In his sophomore year, Steven qualified to the Ohio state tournament. In his junior year, he finished 6th in the online Ohio state tournament. In his senior year, he finished as a quarter-finalist in LD at the Ohio state tournament and competed in World Schools Debate at the 2023 NSDA national tournament. Outside of debate, Steven enjoys sleeping and waking up late. Staring this fall, Steven plans to study art history at Cornell University and go to law school after college. Steven attended CDC for three years as a camper and is excited to be a part of the staff for the first time!

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Karishma Ponkshe

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Karishma Ponkshe attended Mason High School where she competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for four years. Karishma was the co-captain of her team, LD event leader, and a three-time national qualifier. As a sophomore she placed top 20 in extemporaneous debate at nationals. At nationals, she has also competed in World Schools Debate for two years and LD her senior year. She placed 5th at states her senior year. Karishma attended CDC as a camper in 2017, and has taught at CDC for 3 years -- from Kenyon College to Zoom to Miami. Outside of debate, she loves to teach, whether as a teaching aide at a daycare or as a chemistry teaching assistant in college. Karishma is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati where she earned her B.S in Medical Sciences and minor in Public Health. She is super excited to come back to CDC!


Rachel Leach

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Rachel attended Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio, where she competed for four years in Lincoln-Douglas debate. She served as LD captain her junior and senior year. Rachel qualified to states her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and was a semi-finalist her junior year. Along with debate, Rachel participated in Mock Trial her junior and senior years and was a state-semi-finalist her senior year. Outside of debate, she loves to read, crochet, and hang out with her cat. Rachel is studying sociology at the University of Virginia and is really excited to teach debate at CDC this summer.


Katie Blowers

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Katie Blowers competed in speech for one year and debate for two years for Gahanna Lincoln. Katie qualified for the state tournament three times and NSDA nationals one year. She attended Classic Debate Camp in 2017 and attributes a lot of her success to her time as a CDC camper. She graduated from Miami University with a degree in political science, psychology, and global & intercultural studies. She works as a cultural exchange tutor and research assistant. Outside of debate (and work), Katie enjoys hiking, yoga, and taking care of her houseplants. She has been a CDC instructor since 2020. 


Casey Powell

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Casey Powell attended Cary Academy in North Carolina where he competed in Lincoln-Douglas for four years. He served as LD Co-Captain during 11th and 12th grade. Casey placed in the top 14 at NSDA nationals, qualified to NCFLs three times, and won 1st place at the GMU Patriot Games. Additionally, he was ranked #1 in North Carolina. He coached at the Triangle Debate League summer camp for two years and was active with Beyond Resolved. Beyond debate, Casey enjoys ceramics, thrifting, cross country/track, playing alto saxophone, and creating coffee concoctions. He is a University Scholar at Duke University, studying medicine and political science. Casey enjoys teaching targeted debate techniques and looks forward to working with you soon.:)


Isaiah Paik

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Isaiah Paik competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for four years, qualifying for states three times and nationals twice. In his senior year, he won first place at Perry, Glen Oak, Sylvania, and Bethel Park. He also won the Cleveland City Club Debate Championship. Isaiah served as captain of his LD Team and helped US to qualify six LD debaters to states in 2018. At the NSDA Northcoast District Tournament, Isaiah was named Student of the Year. Outside of debate, Isaiah enjoys composing electronic music. He earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Brown University. Isaiah is the only member of the 7-year club: He attended CDC as a camper for 2 years and has been an instructor for 5 years! See the original rap about CDC that Isaiah composed and made a video for below. 
Information about additional staff members will be posted as their participation is confirmed.
If you are a high school senior who would like to receive information about joining the Classic Debate Camp staff as an intern, please email us at
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