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LEADERS

Meet our Debate Camp family of leaders, instructors, program developers and real support people!

DEBATE CAMP LEADERSHIP

FOUNDING DIRECTOR - NICK SZYMANIS, Hon BA, B Ed, MA, OCT

Nick Szymanis is the founder and lead director of Debate Camp since 2002. He has been a career educator for 18 years, inclusive of academic leadership positions, most recently as Director of Academics at the Sterling Hall School in Toronto (2010 - 2015). He has coached debating and hosted annual tournaments for the past 18 years and is the current Vice President of the International Independent Schools Public Speaking League.  Nick, his wife Oona, and 2 sons, Noah and Aaron, live in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he currently coaches debating at Armbrae Academy and King's Edgehill School.

 

 

 

CAMP DIRECTOR - OONA CRAIG, BA, MA, OCT

Oona Craig has been a career educator for over 15 years; inclusive of Latin teaching positions with Collingwood School in Vancouver and Branksome Hall School in Toronto. Oona holds an MA in Classics from Dalhousie University, BA from McGill and is an Ontario Certified Teacher, with her B Ed from The University of Toronto. Oona is highly experienced in camp life and has been in the company of Debate Camp since our founding in 2002.  Our son Noah has attended camp since 2012.  In 2023 Oona is directing our Vancouver Debate Camp at York House School.

DEBATE CAMP UNITED STATES

SITE DIRECTOR - KELSEY SCHOTT, BA, MA

Kelsey Schott recently completed a Master's Degree in Communication Studies from Ball State University in May 2021. At BSU, Kelsey coached Parliamentary and NEDA debate and taught public speaking.  Kelsey completed her undergraduate education at Simpson College with degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies. Simpson College was the 2016 and 2018 Pi Kappa Delta national champion debate team while Kelsey was a parliamentary debater. In 2021, Kelsey directed New York City, Boston, and Providence Debate Camps. She is now the regional manager for our US camps.

SITE DIRECTOR - DANIEL CAPLIN, BA

Daniel Caplin teaches History and Humanities at his alma mater, Portsmouth Abbey School, and he also helms both the school’s Debate team and their Model UN program. Daniel is a graduate from Providence College, where he received his BA's in History and Theatre, and his MA in History. He has also worked extensively for Portsmouth Abbey’s Summer School, as a teacher, activities coordinator, and as the trips coordinator. Daniel recently received Portsmouth Abbey’s 2023 Dom Peter Sidler Award for excellence in teaching. Daniel and his lovely wife Catherine have two sons, Westley and Walker, a dog named Fagan, and a cat named Duck.

SITE DIRECTOR - MARGARET WHITE, A.B., MFA, Ed.M.

During the school year, Margaret White is a member of the residential faculty at Saint Thomas Choir School, teaching Latin to grades 6-8 and serving as Assistant Director of Enrolment. A lifelong New Yorker, Margaret attended the all-girls’ Brearley School for thirteen years. She holds an A.B. in English from Princeton University, an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University. She came to Debate Camp through Latin Camp, where she has been a virtual instructor since the summer of 2020. Margaret is directing New York camps this summer.

SITE DIRECTOR - ERIN GOLD, BM, M.Ed.

Erin Gold is a career educator with almost 15 years of teaching and coaching experience in Texas, Utah, and Colorado. Her debaters and speakers have won numerous state titles and have cleared out rounds at national tournaments.  As a coach, she won the Extemporaneous Speaking Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards from the Utah Debate Coaches Association, and was on the host committee for the National Speech and Debate Association's 2016 championship. She previously taught at camps for Capitol Debate and the Beehive Forensics Institute at the University of Utah. She holds a BA in History and a Masters in Education both from the University of North Texas. Erin is the director for the Seattle Camp this summer.

SITE DIRECTOR - JENNA PENNINGTON, BA, M.Ed.

Jenna Pennington is a teacher and debate coach at King's Edgehill School with over 10 years of teaching and coaching experience.  Jenna's debaters have routinely advanced to Canadian National Championships at both the junior and senior level.  In 2022, Jenna hosted the International Independent Schools Public speaking tournament with 9 countries represented and over 175 participants.  In 2017 / 18 Jenna famously directed our Montreal Debate Camps and in 2023 she will be directing our Winsor School / Longwood location in Boston. 

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DEBATE CAMP INTERNATIONAL

DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL - THOMAS TANG, MBA

Thomas Tang is an alumn of the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario.  He currently serves as an executive coach and leadership training consultant for leading businesses  organizations in North America and China, alongside lecturing in the alumni division of Shanghai's Jiao Tong University. Thomas and his family live in Oakville, Ontario.  In 2022 he is assisting with the continuation of our popular trans-pacific online camps as well as our in-person camps development in Southern Ontario.

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DEBATE CAMP PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

REGIONAL COORDINATOR - PAIGE DAOUST, BA, MA, OCT

Paige Daoust is an Ontario Certified teacher, who holds a Master of Science in Education degree from Niagara University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Dalhousie University. For the past 8 years, Paige has been a homeroom teacher in private schools in the GTA. She has been a Debate Camp Director for the Toronto locations since 2018. This year, she will be a Regional Coordinator.

 

ONLINE COORDINATOR AND SITE DIRECTOR - IRINA ZNAMIROWSKI

Irina Znamirowski is going into her fourth year at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where she studies English and Philosophy. Having competed in debate and public speaking for the past ten years, Irina is a former national champion in interpretive reading and a provincial champion in both persuasive speaking and debating. Irina has continued her competitive debate career in university and she is the current president of the Brandeis Debate Society. This is Irina’s fifth summer working with Debate Camp after spending many years as an eager camper. In 2023, Irina will direct both our Toronto Day Camps and our Online Program.

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PROGRAM DEVELOPER AND REGIONAL COORDINATOR  - KEVIN JAGER, BSc, B Ed

Kevin Jager has been an educator for over 15 years with teaching experience in Ontario, India and Nova Scotia. He is currently teaching at Armbrae Academy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kevin holds a Masters in Development Economics from Dalhousie University, a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Toronto, and is an Ontario Certified Teacher with his B Ed from the University of Toronto. In 2019 Kevin directed our Boston Debate Camps. In 2020 and 2021 Kevin leads us in the development of staff training modules for all online and in-person camps.

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DEBATE CAMP CANADA

SITE DIRECTOR - TRACEY LEE

With over twenty-five years of coaching and adjudicating experience in the Canadian and international debating circuit, Tracey Lee held the position of World’s Officer with the Canadian Students Debating Federation (CSDF) board for many years. Tracey was a former coach of Team Canada Debate and the Chair of the WSDC Ltd Board that oversees the world championships. In Canada, Tracey was a director on both provincial and national debate Boards. She has been involved with Debate Camp Canada as an Assistant Camp Director since its early years and is currently the Senior School counselling head at Mulgrave School in Vancouver. Tracey is directing several of our Vancouver Debate Camps in 2023 

SITE DIRECTOR - NICK MORROW

Nick Morrow is a lawyer in Toronto at a National Law firm. Nick has taught at and coordinated over 30 debate camps across North America, and has coached a school team to a Provincial championship and a National semi finals. He himself has competed at the World Championships, and has been in National final rounds several times.  In 2021 and 2022 Nick was our site director for Vancouver, Victoria, and King City in-person camps. In 2023 Nick is directing our Toronto Forest Hill and Toronto Glendon Debate Camps.

SITE DIRECTOR - ARGHYA DEV BISWAS ARYAN

Arghya Dev Biswas Aryan is currently serving as the Head of the Speech & Debate program at West Point Grey Academy and resides in Vancouver, BC with his wife, Aparajita. He has been associated with teaching debate and public speaking for more than a decade.  As an accomplished adjudicator, Arghya has broken twice at WUDC and once at WSDC. He is well known in the Asian debating circuit as one of the most prolific organizers and has served as Equity officer and TAB director at numerous tournaments as well as adjudicating the grand finals including  Australs (Open), UADC (EFL), ASDC (Novice). In 2023, Arghya is directing our Victoria Debate Camp.

SITE DIRECTOR - OLIVIA INTEGLIA

Olivia Integlia is a third-year political science and journalism major at Concordia University. Debate has been a big part of her life for many years now. She was the former president of the Dawson Debate Union and the Concordia Debate Society. As she moves away from competing, she is now focused on sharing her passion with others. She currently coaches debate for the English Montreal School Board and is beginning her fourth summer with Debate Camp.  In 2023, Olivia is directing our Montreal Debate Camps.

SITE DIRECTOR - GRACE GALLANT

Grace Gallant has been an intern, staff member, and program coordinator for Debate Camp. She has competed debate for many years and continued her passion at university, where in 2023 she was a finalist at the CUSID (Canadian Universities) National Championship. This summer, she is excited to direct Halifax and Calgary camps. Grace currently attends the University of Western Ontario, taking Business at the Ivey School of Business.  In 2023, Grace is directing our Halifax and Calgary Debate Camps.

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DEBATE CAMP COMPLIANCE

COMPLIANCE OFFICER - CHRIS ABRAHAM, B Sc

Chris Abraham has nine years of experience debating, coaching debate and working for Debate Camp.  While attending Dalhousie University he won the 2018 Atlantic Canadian Debate Championships, where he was also the top speaker. He graduated from Dal in 2018, earning a BSc with majors in Chemistry and Philosophy. Chris has worked with Debate Camp since 2017. He has worked at camps as a Program Staff member and Intern Coordinator. Since 2018 he has worked at our office as a Compliance Officer, focusing most recently on meeting the accreditation requirements of the Canadian and American Camping Associations. 

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DEBATE CAMP PROGRAM COORDINATORS

OUR TEAM OF DEBATE CAMP PROGRAM COORDINATORS 

DYLAN BURTON

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Dylan Burton will be attending McGill University for Economics and Political Science. He has been involved with Debate Camp for many years starting as a shy 12-year-old camper to now an employee! Aside from Debate Camp, Dylan has been competitively debating for around 7 years. He has debated at many national and international tournaments in various styles, including those held at Cambridge and Oxford. His most proud debate accomplishment was becoming the Canadian BP National Champion in 2022. Aside from debate, Dylan loves to participate in Model UN and keep up with current events.

JUNE LIN

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June Lin will be studying electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto next year. This is June's third summer and this summer, and she just finished off my sixth year as a student debater. She loves everything about debate, including competing, judging, and teaching! June will be a Program Coordinator at our Greenwich and New York City locations.

NOAH SZYMANIS

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Noah Symanis is a third-year student at Western University, studying Kinesiology. He practically grew up at Debate Camp and capped his debate competitive side in the finals of both the Oxford Cup and the Columbia University Ivy League Invitational.  Noah is excited to coordinate at NYC and Seattle this summer!

ELISE CRESSATI

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Elise Cressatti is entering her third year at the University of Toronto, where she studies English, History, and Book & Media Studies. This is her fifth year working with Debate Camp, having interned and staffed both online and in-person camps. A former camper herself, she loves helping campers think about issues important to them and learn to share their ideas well. She is excited to be the Program Coordiantor at the King City, Yorkdale, and Toronto South locations this summer.

NATHAN FELTMATE

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Nathan Feltmate is a third year student at the University of Toronto studying International Relations and Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies. Nathan was a former Debate Camp camper, intern, and staff member​. He has competed in and judged Provincial and International competitions across North America for both Debate and Model United Nations. Nathan is excited to return as a Program Coordinator at our Toronto North Debate Camp Locations

HUGO HU

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Hugo Hu is entering second undergrad year at Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto. He had my first debate camp experience in grade 6, and from then, continued to get involved with the program as an intern, staff, and ultimately coordinator this year. ​Hugo has made lifelong friends from his debate camp journey, some of whom I even attend university with. He hopes to continue his three years of experience setting up/taking down the debate camp tent and packing the camp van. 

ANNA LYONS

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Anna Lyons is entering her senior year at the University of Southern Maine pursuing a BA in Linguistics and in the accelerated program for a Master's in Public Policy & Nonprofit Management. She founded the debate team at her high school and returned as a coach upon graduation. She has worked extensively within the Urban Debate sphere, holding many positions throughout the years at Boston Debate League and the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues. This summer, Anna will join the Boston camp teams, as well as manage an inaugural team of social media coordinators across all US & Canadian camps. 

ALLISON WANG

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Allison Wang is going into her third year of undergrad at Ivey Business School in Western University, pursuing an Honours Business Administration. This is Allison's fifth summer with Debate Camp and she looks forward to sharing her passion. As a former camper, intern graduate, and program staff, Allison is excited​ to continue her Debate Camp journey at our Montreal, Ottawa, and St. Catharine's camps this summer.

EVA HAAN

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Eva Haan is a former debate camper and intern program graduate. She is currently pursuing a Psychology and Spanish dual degree at the University of Miami. Eva has 8 years of debate experience and is excited to program coordinate for Providence, Rhode Island this summer.

WILLIAM AHERN

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William Ahern is a history and political science student at Queen's University. Through his 7 years of debate experience, he has competed at the National and International level and attended multiple MUNs. William has worked at Debate Camp for 3 years and is excited to coordinate Halifax camps this year. 

WILLIAM LI

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William Li will be going into his third year of undergrad at the University of Alberta, pursuing a double major in Business Finance and Computer Science. This will be William's fourth year at Debate Camp, one being as a camper. Aside from Debate Camp, William has been competitively debating for around 6 years and has won many provincial awards. With William's experience, he is excited not only to share his passion with debating but also excited to deliver a fun and engaging program for the Vancouver and Calgary locations this summer!

DEBATE CAMP OFFICE TEAM

A REAL OFFICE - WITH REAL PEOPLE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS 

For any of your technical support questions or for more information about any of our programs - meet the team at the other end of our many emails and real phones.

LOGISTICS MANAGER - CLAIRE MERCER

Claire Mercer has completed her third year at Dalhousie University, where she studies Political Science and History. She is currently the President of the Dalhousie Undergraduate Political Science Society. Claire supports Debate Camp through providing additional tech support and coordinates much of the logistics for the camp, including camp groups, certificates, and payroll!

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OUR PEOPLE

PROGRAM STAFF, PROGRAM LEADERS AND INTERNS

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