David Saulet, Director and Coach of the POI Master Class Program
David “Bear” Saulet began debating at the community college level for El Camino College. After two years of successful competition at both the state and national levels, Bear transferred to Concordia University Irvine on a debate scholarship. During his time at Concordia, Bear and his partner would become the top parliamentary debate partnership in California as well as the second best partnership nationwide. Since graduating from Concordia, Bear has served as the Assistant Director of Debate at Concordia Irvine, where his team won 1st place sweepstakes at the national NPDA tournament, as well as the Assistant Director of Forensics at Oxford Academy. Bear is currently working on completing his Communication Studies Master’s degree at California State University Long Beach, when not watching horror movies and obsessing over Star Wars.
Zach Moss, Assistant Coach of the POI Master Class Program
Zach debated for two years at Concordia University Irvine during which time Zach and his partner Bear Saulet (Master Class Program Director) won multiple tournaments, posting a league-high 50 prelim wins, and were the second-ranked team on the NPTE leaderboard their senior year. Since then, Zach has acquired a Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism from the University of Wyoming. While coaching at the University of Wyoming, the university’s policy debate team continued their decade-long qualification to the NDT and posted a double-octofinalist finish at the NDT as well as a quarterfinalist finish at CEDA Nationals. Zach currently coaches NFA-Lincoln Douglas and freelances as a parliamentary debate coach. In the 2016-17 season alone they have coached the winners of the first half of Mile High and the second half of the McKendree swing, as well as the ninth place team at the NPTE.
Sierra Maciorowski, Program Director/Instructor of the Middle School and High School Program
Sierra competed in high school for Sonoma Academy, where she saw her team rise to #3 in the nation during her year as captain, finishing the year ranked 10th as an individual in parliamentary debate. During her gap year, Sierra was ranked #1 as a community college team in NPDA debate while competing for Santa Rosa Junior College. Sierra began her coaching career by founding a middle school team at Sonoma Country Day School, and now coaches parliamentary debate for the Mountain View - Los Altos school district, in addition to private students. In her first year with MVLA, debaters she works with have won the Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions, Martin Luther King, Jr. Invitational, Vikings Invitational, and Berkeley High School Invitational, and reached semifinals at the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational, Stephen Schwartz Invitational, and Dempsey-Cronin Invitational. MVLA is currently ranked #2 nationally. Sierra attends Stanford University, where she intends to double-major in English and Science, Technology and Society, and competes in APDA and BP for the Stanford Debate Society.
Thomas Liao, Co-Director/Instructor of the Middle School and High School Program
After competing in debate in middle school, Thomas co-founded the Campolindo High School debate team in 2012. Over the course of 4 years, it became one of the top clubs in the nation, ranking #3 at the end of the 2015-2016 season. He finished his senior season ranked 6th individually, reaching semifinals at the Tournament of Champions and the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational at UC Berkeley, quarterfinals at the Stanford, 8x4, and Notre Dame Invitationals, and octofinals at the Jon Schamber Invitational. Thomas now competes in NPDA debate for the University of California, Berkeley, where he is currently ranked #10 nationally after reaching finals at the 2017 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and semifinals at the NPDA Championship, winning the Georgia B. Bowman Invitational, and taking second place at the Golden Gate Invitational. In addition to his own debate career, Thomas has coached middle- and high-school debaters extensively.
Basil Abushama, Co-Director/Instructor of the High School Program
Basil was the president of the debate team at Evergreen Valley High School for two years and led his team to extraordinary renown and growth. Along with his partner, Basil was the first debater in parliamentary debate history to win the Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions two years in a row. His list of championships and top speaker awards includes the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational, the Yale Invitational, the Santa Clara University Invitational, the Claremont Invitational, the Bruschke Invitational, and the Georgiana Hayes Invitational. Basil won an award at every high school tournament he competed in since his junior year and hung up his boots as one of the top-ranked high school debaters in the event's history. Basil now attends the University of California, Berkeley.
Jack Greenberg, Co-Director/Instructor of the High School Program
Jack had an accomplished career in parliamentary debate at Sonoma Academy, and was captain of his debate team during the 2015-2016 season. His list of achievements includes winning the Jon Schamber Invitational and CSU Fullerton Invitational, reaching semifinals at the California State Championship and the Stanford Invitational, and quarterfinals at the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational. Outside his own high-school career, he created a free public speaking and debate summer camp for middle-school students, which he has run since 2014. Jack finished his senior season ranked 7th nationally, and now attends Stanford University, where he plans to major in Management Science & Engineering.
Spencer Dembner, High School Program Instructor
Spencer Dembner is the president of the Mountain View - Los Altos speech and debate team, competes in parliamentary debate with a brief foray into Lincoln-Douglas debate, and has been at the top of the parliamentary debate national rankings since he was a sophomore. Where most debaters can hope to rise in the rankings as they age, Spencer is unique, as the only person in parliamentary debate history to be ranked #1 nationally for all three years of his varsity career-- generally by a large margin. After reaching finals at four tournaments his sophomore year, including the Tournament of Champions, the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, and the 8x4, and winning the Stanford Invitational that spring, he went on his junior year to win the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, and repeat his finals performance at the Stanford Invitational and the 2016 Tournament of Champions. In his two appearances at the TOC, Spencer lost an unprecedented single preliminary round ballot out of 26 total. This year, Spencer began his season by winning the Yale Invitational, the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, and the Totally Free Tournament, and reaching semifinals at the Jon Schamber Invitational and the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational.
Lilly Hackworth, High School Program Instructor
Lilly has competed in parliamentary debate and extemporaneous and impromptu speaking since her freshman year at Notre Dame San Jose High School, and is her team's parliamentary debate captain. She finished her sophomore season ranked #11 as an individual after competing with multiple partners throughout an accomplished year, including appearances in quarterfinals at the Stanford Invitational, the Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational, the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, and the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational. Her junior year career included reaching finals at Claremont's Wolfpack Invitational, in addition to competing in other forensics events. Lilly took 12th place at NSDA Nationals in World Schools Debate in 2016, 2nd place in impromptu at the Jon Schamber Invitational, 6th place at the CHSSA State Championship in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking and quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking at the Cal Invitational. Her senior season began with wins at Yale Invitational, the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, and the Totally Free Tournament, and semifinals at the Jon Schamber Invitational, in addition to semifinals at the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational.