Everyone on this page has extensive experience in the classroom using DCI techniques. Their backgrounds and contact information are provided below:


Argument Centered Education



Les Lynn is the founder and chief of Argument-Centered Education, established in 2013. ACE works extensively with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Teaching and Learning, helping it “debatify” its curricular offerings to its more than 400 schools. ACE is also working in an intensive, school-embedded way with more than 100 teachers from 11 middle and high schools in Chicago, Indiana, and New York. Mr. Lynn has 29 years of experience in 6-12 public education. In 1997 he became the founding executive director of the Chicago Debate League. The Chicago Debate League is one of the largest Urban Debate League in a 19-city Urban Debate Network of which Les Lynn has been a leading architect. In 2002 Mr. Lynn was named founding executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, where he developed the Urban Debate League Model that is now in use in cities across the country. In his work with the NAUDL, Mr. Lynn conducted professional development workshops on argument education for teachers from nine of the nation’s largest urban school districts, including New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Dallas, Seattle, and Memphis. Les Lynn has also been a leader in the movement to apply to the regular classroom the principles and elements that make academic debating so rigorous, a project he named “curricular debate.” Chicago Public Schools — the district office, along with many individual schools — have employed Mr. Lynn as an advisor on their teacher training and professional development since 2009, during which time he has worked with hundreds of teachers to incorporate evidence-based argumentation, refutation, and critical thinking skills into their instructional practices. Prior to the founding the Chicago Debate League and the NAUDL, Mr. Lynn was an English teacher at Whitney Young Magnet H.S., where he won two Mellon Fellowships, an Oppenheimer Fellowship, and an NEH Fellowship. He received an M.A. in English Literature at the University of Chicago and received his B.A. in Communications and English from Northwestern University.


Ad Astra Debate

Email: Mike Harris ()

An innovative thinker, three time Kansas Coach of the Year, experienced Director of Speech & Debate in Kansas; Mike has demonstrated a history of working as a school and community leader to educate students at the art of improving communication, collaboration, research skills, and social justice awareness. Mike transitioned from a successful career in the private sector into education after volunteering as a coach and judge with a local debate program. A decade later Mike’s students have had competitive successes at the local, state, and national level in Policy Debate, Congressional Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Public Forum. In addition his students have received scholarship opportunities to compete at universities across the United States. Mike has been a leader in Kansas previously serving as President of the Kansas Speech Communication Association, and is the current circuit coordinator for the State of Kansas. With the onset of Covid Mike used his experiences to create Ad Astra Debate, a not for profit foundation aimed at supporting and preserving speech and debate in Kansas. In 2020-21 Ad Astra partnered with the Kansas State High School Activities Association to host both the State Speech and Debate Championships in a virtual format, and worked with coaches in Kansas to host more than 27000 participants in nearly 100 virtual competitions. Mike is skilled in creating community partnerships and fundraising platforms, utilizing and integrating technology in team management, developing coaches, and focuses on the cross curricular incorporation of speech and communications into all educational disciplines. Mike has undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice, Political Science, and History, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Southwestern College.


Julian Bell


Julian Bell is the founder and leader of Debating for Everyone, an agency that offers training and consultancy in debating and public speaking for students and teachers. Since 2000, Julian has served as the Head of English and Debating at Godolphin and Latymer School in London, running their internal debating program and has set up and run several major debating competitions in the UK. An oracy trainer and debate judge for both the English Speaking Union and the Noisy Classroom, Julian regularly visits schools to consult and train teachers and students in debating and public speaking. He is also the author of The Debating Book: everything you ever need to know about debating.


Boston Debate League


Email: Marisa Suescun ()

Email: Kim Willingham ()

The Boston Debate League is a Boston-based education organization that uses debate and debate-inspired instructional practices to help students and teachers create anti-racist, student-led learning environments where young people are engaged in critical discourse, informed by evidence, and empowered to lead. Debate-Inspired Classrooms, one of the BDL’s signature programs, uses an instructional model adopted by schools and teachers across all content areas, inspired by the elements that make debate a powerful learning experience. Through the program, BDL offers teachers coaching, professional development, and tools that put student voice, argumentation, and collaboration at the center of the classroom. In debate-inspired classrooms, students question, support, and challenge one another, engage in rigorous thought, and co-create their own learning. Kim Willingham is the Director of the BDL. Kim and her colleagues bring decades of experience as classroom educators and instructional coaches prior to joining the BDL and in their time at the BDL. All BDL staff have both served as instructional coaches for cohorts of teachers and teacher leaders, instructional leadership teams, and entire faculty communities.


Stephen Fitzpatrick 


Stephen Fitzpatrick is the Director of Debate at Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, where he has taught history in both the middle and the upper school since 1995. A graduate of Middlebury College, Mr. Fitzpatrick also holds a law degree and a Masters in History from Teachers College, Columbia University. During his tenure at Hackley, Mr. Fitzpatrick served as the Director of Curriculum for the Middle School and for the past eleven years has worked closely with both the Public Debate Program and English Speaking Union promoting and organizing professional development workshops, tournaments, and outreach programs designed to expand debate and debate instruction into schools and classrooms in the tri-state area. He also helped found the New York league of the Middle School Public Debate Program and is the President and founder of the East Coast High School Public Debate Program. A fierce advocate of the DCI methods promoted in Robert Litan’s book, Mr. Fitzpatrick is helping organize and coordinate the DCI Summer Debate Institute and DCI Scholars program.


Radley Glasser


Radley Glasser is the founder and leader of Rhetorica Debate, an organization working to promote the use of debate education in the classroom while providing debate classes and programming to students in the New York City area. Radley is also the Director of Debate at The Speyer Legacy School where he designs curriculum and instructs debate and public speaking classes for students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Radley previously worked with the International Debate Education Association where he worked to promote civic engagement by founding debate leagues and programs globally, including through IDEA’s Debate in the Neighborhood program. At Bard College, Radley founded the Debate in Schools initiative, bringing debate classes and leagues to regional middle and high schools. Radley is former president and tournament director for the New York MSPDP debate league and is active in the NYC Urban Debate League.

Steven Johnson


Steven Johnson is an Associate Professor and Director of Debate at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has been involved in competitive debating for over 30 years and believes fervently in the power of academic debating to change people’s lives. Steve has held a variety of leadership positions in academic debating. He was the first president of the United States’ National Parliamentary Debate Association and served two terms as the Chair of the World Universities Debating Council. He has developed debating courses and trained teachers and students around the world in techniques of debating. His book, Winning Debates: A guide to debating in the style of the World Universities Debating Championships, has been translated into 6 languages.

The Practice Space



AnnMarie Baines, Ph.D. is the executive director of The Practice Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating underrepresented voices through high-quality public speaking education. The Practice Space offers coaching, school and work-based programs, curriculum, speech and debate programs, and educator coaching to build confidence and equitable environments for youth voice. They help diversify who feels safe and brave to speak using their method of “Expression-Driven Teaching”, with a focus on youth ages 8-18, early career professionals, educators, and women and girls. Their programs include a variety of modalities of expression, including debate, presentation, storytelling, self-advocacy, poetry, discussion, and listening.

Dr. Baines has over 20 years of experience coaching debate and public speaking in high schools, universities, and community-based settings, and her students have won state and national championships in speech and debate. She is a proud Filipino-American and the daughter of an immigrant and her approach to debate and public speaking focuses on designing inclusive and engaging experiences that develop voice, agency, and empathy through strong facilitation and supportive relationships. In her prior work, Dr. Baines taught public speaking at UC Berkeley, worked with pre-service teachers as an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at SF State University, taught high school special education in the Boston Public Schools, and managed project-based learning research partnerships as a program officer for the George Lucas Educational Foundation. She received her PhD in the Learning Sciences from University of Washington, Master’s in Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, teaching credential from the Boston Teacher Residency, and undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.


Tim Lewis


Tim Lewis is the debate coach and a history teacher at Blind Brook Middle and High School. He has coached the school’s middle and high school teams for three years, specializing in parliamentary debate and extemporaneous debate. Before teaching at Blind Brook, Tim was a coach at the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School, where his teams competed in the New York City Urban Debate League. He was also Academic Director of the National High School Debate League of China, where he co-edited the first edition of the league’s official textbook, and organized several camps, clinics, and tournaments across the country. He started his career as an intern at the Boston Debate League, where he assisted on the league’s Debate Across the Curriculum initiative. Outside of his coaching responsibilities, Tim has taught global history, AP US History, AP Human Geography, and AP US Government, and has played a lead role in bringing debate into the classroom at his school. His projects have included a 10th grade-wide debate tournament on whether his students should boycott the iPhone, a roleplay of the 1912 Presidential Election, a mock impeachment trial of modern day US Presidents.


Chris Medina


Dr. Christopher Medina is the Executive Director of the National HBCU Speech and Debate Association, the Director of Forensics and a lecturer at Prairie View A&M University. Medina has over 30 years of experience in the world of forensics; having served 20 of those years as a Director of Forensics on both the high school and collegiate levels, but most people just call him “Coach”. For seven years, Coach Medina was the head speech and debate coach of The Great Debaters, the team made famous by the Denzel Washington movie. Medina grew the team into the most successful Historically Black College or University speech and debate team in history. While at Wiley College, Coach Medina designed, implemented, and studied the first debate across the curriculum program in higher education. The program taught every student on campus the fundamentals of argumentation. These lessons were reinforced with a debate or discussion assignment in class, in every major. The award-winning and globally recognized program yielded the highest percentage gain in the US, about twice the national average. Moreover, engagement scores showed that about 82% of students reported that they learned more as a result of debating the material in their classes. Seeing there were only 5 of the 105 HBCUs with speech and debate teams, Coach Medina founded the National HBCU Speech and Debate Association. This nonprofit organization establishes and fosters speech and debate programs at HBCUs. Under his leadership, the number of HBCU teams that have expanded to approximately 30 and still growing. The National HBCU Speech and Debate Association is currently preparing a Debate Across the Curriculum program for K-20 schools and school districts. Coach Medina holds a B.A. in Speech Communication from California State University, Long Beach. He obtained an M.S. in Communication Studies from Minnesota State University, Makato. Medina earned a PhD in Leadership with a concentration in Business Administration from the University of the Cumberlands.


Ahlam Yassin


Ahlam Yassin is the debate advisor at Applied Technology High School in Paramus, New Jersey where she teaches history. Mrs. Yassin received her degree in Political Science and Philosophy from La Salle University and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Prior to Applied Technology, Mrs. Yassin served as a lead history teacher at Rising Star Academy in Union City, New Jersey, whose students excelled in the East Coast Public High School Debate Program. Mrs. Yassin is a Fulbright Global Classroom Fellow and believes wholeheartedly in the transformational power of debate in students’ lives.