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James Lewis

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

James Lewis was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Lewis competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for University School. He has taught at US since 2010 and was the US LD coach from 2010 to 2019. In 2019, Mr. Lewis became the head coach of the US speech and debate team. In his nine years as the LD coach, Mr. Lewis took a debater to the final round of the OSDA state tournament seven years in a row, winning four state championships. He also coached LD debaters to top-five finishes at the NSDA national tournament in 3 of the last 4 years. In 2016, Mr. Lewis co-founded Classic Debate Camp with Mr. Paik. When he is not teaching or coaching, Mr. Lewis enjoys reading and spending time with his cats.


Natalie Schaller

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Natalie Schaller debated for Liberty High School near Kansas City, Missouri, for four years. She competed in Policy for one year and Lincoln-Douglas for three years. Her greatest debate achievement was winning the 2017 NSDA national championship in Lincoln-Douglas Debate - but she treasures her relationships with her teammates and coaches more than anything else. This spring, Natalie is graduating from McGill University, where she studied political science, Middle East studies, and Russian language. She has also been very involved in Model United Nations. This summer, she is excited to return to CDC, to reunite with great friends, and to watch young debaters grow!

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Grace Johannes

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Grace Johannes debated for Liberty High School near Kansas City, Missouri, for four years. She competed in Public Forum debate for three years before switching to Lincoln-Douglas debate during her senior year. Grace made the most of her one year in LD, winning 2nd place at the 2019 Missouri state tournament and 1st place at the 2019 NSDA national tournament! Grace also participated in Model United Nations, women’s issues and other political advocacy clubs at her high school. She is attending Trinity University in San Antonio where she is majoring in international relations. Grace was the lead author of the first CDC LD brief, which was on the March-April 2020 topic. She is excited to pass on her strong research skills to CDC campers.


Allie Dettelbach

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Allie Dettelbach attended Hawken School, where she competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for all of high school. At Hawken, Allie co-captained the LD team her junior year and currently serves as the Vice-President of Debate. She qualified to States her sophomore, junior, and senior years, advancing to octafinals twice and quarterfinals once. In addition, Allie was the 2020 Cleveland City Club Debate Champion. Also, at the end of her junior year, she placed sixth at the 2020 NSDA National Tournament.  Allie is passionate about teaching traditional LD debate and has helped teammates of all skill levels to succeed. She is also a co-founder of Ohio for Equity, a student-run organization to combat discrimination in the debate community. Next year, she will be attending Yale University where she plans to study ethics, politics and economics.


Maya Arora

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Maya Arora competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for Cape Fear Academy in North Carolina for four years. Maya is a two-time national champion in Lincoln-Douglas at the NCFL Grand National Tournament. She won that title both her freshman year (2017) and her junior year (2019). Maya also qualified for the NSDA national tournament three times and accumulated four career bids to the Tournament of Champions. Maya served as her school's debate team captain for 4 years, growing the team from 0 to 9 LD debaters in that time. Outside of debate, she enjoys following politics, playing tennis, and watching Netflix. She is attending Duke University where she is majoring in public policy. Maya is excited to share her passion for traditional debate with the campers of CDC. She is eager to help them to enrich their knowledge, improve their public speaking, and enhance their confidence as individuals.


Michael Faeges

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Michael Faeges attended University School where he competed in Lincoln-Douglas for all of high school. On the team, Michael always brought everyone together and motivated his teammates to do their best. He qualified for the Ohio state tournament his junior and senior years and was appointed LD captain as a senior. Michael also competed on the national circuit, reaching the semi-finals at the Bellaire Forensic Tournament (Texas) and breaking at several other circuit competitions. Michael is passionate about teaching philosophy as well as round strategy. Outside of debate he enjoys lifting weights, watching movies, and hanging out with his friends. Next year, he will be attending Boston University where he plans to study international relations. After three years of attending CDC as a camper, he is excited to be crossing over and joining the CDC staff. 


Nehal Chigurupati

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Nehal Chigurupati competed for four years in Lincoln-Douglas debate for University School in Ohio, serving as captain his senior year. As a junior, Nehal won 2nd place at the 2019 NSDA national tournament. Then, as a senior, he won 5th place at nationals. Also in his senior year, Nehal co-championed the University of Kentucky Season Opener and also reached elimination rounds at Yale and Durham Academy. Outside of debate, he enjoys watching Marvel movies, listening to music, and playing pranks on friends. Nehal is attending The Ohio State University where he is studying economics and computer science. He was the first student to attend CDC for all four years of high school, and he is now excited to be a part of the CDC staff for his second year.

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 High School Debate Championship. Isaiah served as captain of his LD Team and helped US to qualify 6 LD debaters to states. At the NSDA Northcoast District Tournament, Isaiah was named Student of the Year. Outside of debate, Isaiah enjoys acting and playing violin. He is attending Brown University where he is concentrating in sociology. Isaiah enjoys imparting his unique debate wisdom upon the next generation of classic debaters.
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Karishma Ponkshe

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Karishma Ponkshe competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for four years. She served as the captain of the Mason High School Speech and Debate team her senior year and was the leader of her event for two years. She was a three-time state qualifier and three-time national qualifier. Her sophomore year she finished in the top 20 in Extemporaneous Debate at the NSDA national tournament. Her junior year she placed 5th in LD at the Ohio state tournament. Outside of debate, Karishma loves to play piano and tennis. She attended Classic Debate Camp in 2017. Karishma is attending the University of Cincinnati where she is majoring in medical sciences. Karishma believes that dedication and hard work are the keys to becoming an oustanding debater. 

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Hannah Kim

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Hannah Kim debated for three years in Lincoln-Douglas debate for Medina High School. She was LD captain for two years and the president of her debate team her senior year. Hannah qualified for the state tournament three years and NSDA nationals one year. She attended Classic Debate Camp from 2017-2019. She is attending Case Western Reserve University where she is studying cognitive science with a minor in childhood studies. Hannah looks forward to working with campers and sharing her love for LD debate! 

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Katie Blowers

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Katie Blowers competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate and in speech events for Gahanna-Lincoln for three years. She qualified for the Ohio state tournament three times and the NSDA national tournament her senior year. Outside of NSDA events, Katie also competed in biomedical debate. At the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) national tournament, she and her teammates placed 15th in 2017 and 9th in 2018. Katie is a student at Miami University, where she studies political science and psychology. She is also a lead researcher for The Prosecution Project which tracks political violence in the US. She attributes much of her debate success to the skills she learned as a student at CDC in 2017, and she is excited to be a member of the LD staff!


Dan Driscoll

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Dan Driscoll debated for Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown for four years. Dan qualified for the Ohio state tournament all four years and the NSDA national tournament three times. His successes in high school LD include 2nd place at Sylvania, 1st place at Glenoak, and 1st place in the Youngstown district tournament. Dan is a recent graduate of Columbia University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy with honors. At Columbia, he competed in parliamentary debate and advanced to the novice nationals final round. Dan prefers debates that center on philosophy and questions of justice. He hopes to pass on his passion for the study of ethics. Outside of debate and schoolwork, Dan reads medieval history and spends time with his family.

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Jack Morgenstein

Instructor - Lincoln-Douglas

Jack Morgenstein went to Cary High School, North Carolina, where he competed in Lincoln-Douglas for all four years, serving as captain for three of them. As a senior, Jack made it to top 8 at NCFL Grand Nationals in LD, and he qualified for NSDA Nationals in two different events (Big Questions and WSD). Additionally, he made it to semifinals at the Bethel Park Invitational and quarterfinals at Cavalier Invitational at Durham.  Jack’s favorite aspects of debate are speech strategy as well as rhetorical crystallization. While not debating, Jack loves playing tennis, trying new foods, and playing board games with friends. This fall he will be attending Duke University where he plans to double major in mechanical engineering and molecular biology. After attending CDC-V last summer as a camper, Jack is excited to help the next generation of debaters to grow their skills.
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 classicdebatecamp@gmail.com.