PF Squad Coaches
Chris Conrad debated for the Nueva School, where he amassed 5 bids to the Tournament of Champions in his senior year, won the Kandi King Round Robin, and reached finals of the James Logan Martin Luther King Invitational. In his senior year, he bid at Yale, Bronx, Arizona State University, Logan, and Emory (the Barkley Forum), and reached elimination rounds at UNLV and Stanford. Chris was usually a second speaker while debating, and specializes in research, weighing and late round strategy. Since graduating, he has primarily worked as an assistant coach for The Hill School in Pennsylvania. Last summer, Chris enjoyed teaching at VBI's Philadelphia and LA1 sessions, and he's really excited to help run a squad this year!
Megan debated in Public Forum at Presentation High School (CA) for two years, serving as Team Vice President her senior year. She qualified to the TOC both years she debated in PF, earning 5 career gold bids and 5 career silver bids. She was ranked as high as 7th her senior year, notably reaching the final rounds of UOP 2016, Alta 2017, and Berkeley 2018 among other elimination round appearances such as quarterfinals of UOP 2017 and semifinals of ASU 2018. Individually, she also placed in the top five speakers at UOP 2016, Alta 2017, the Cal Round Robin 2018, and Berkeley 2018. Outside of Public Forum, Megan also debated in Lincoln Douglas for two years and attended NSDA Nationals 2017 in World Schools Debate. Megan is an incoming freshmen at Northwestern University majoring in journalism. During the summer she worked at VBI 2018.
PF Guest Seminar Leaders
Jake Nebel is an incoming Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. He holds degrees from Princeton and Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar, and is currently finishing his doctorate at New York University.
Jake debated for Trinity Prep in Winter Park, FL. He reached finals of Harvard (three times), Greenhill (twice), the Glenbrooks (twice), the New York City Invitational (twice), the Barkley Forum at Emory, Yale, the Bronx Round Robin, the MBA Round Robin, the VBT Round Robin, the Vassar Round Robin, the FFL State Championship, and NSDA Nationals—winning most of those. He was named Top Speaker at the Tournament of Champions, Greenhill, Harvard, the New York City Invitational (twice), the Bronx Round Robin (twice), Yale (twice), the Vassar Round Robin, the Crestian Classic, and the FFL State Championship.
As a coach, Jake's students have won the Tournament of Champions, the NDCA National Championship, the Dukes & Bailey Cup, the Glenbrooks, the Harvard Round Robin, the New York City Invitational, Emory, the TFA State Tournament, and other national, regional, and local championships. He has worked at thirty-one sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Matt Salah debated for four years at the Nueva High School in San Mateo, California. As a member of the first graduating class of his high school, Matt played a large role in founding and establishing the debate team at Nueva. Some of his most notable accomplishments include championing the Tournament of Champions (2017), the ASU Invitational (2017), and the Bronx Science Tournament (2015). He began school at Swarthmore college last fall, where he plans to study political science. Matt has taught at the Victory Briefs Institute for the past two summers!
Ahana Sen graduated from the Quarry Lane School, where she has served as her team’s vice-captain for two years. She was a founding member of her team and she and her partner were the first students at Quarry Lane to earn a bid/qualify to the Tournament of Champions. She advanced to outrounds at many tournaments including Glenbrooks, ASU, Berkeley and the NCFL GNT. Most notably, she reached octafinals at the TOC, semi-finals at the Barkley Forum and Stanford and championed Alta. She was an instructor at the Victory Briefs Institute this past summer.
Krithika has competed in Public Forum for the past four years at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas. She is a two-time qualifier to the Texas Forensic Association State tournament in both Public Forum and Domestic Extemp. She has competed in late out-rounds of every national tournament she has attended since sophomore year including the University of Texas, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Bellaire, ASU, Dowling and the International Tournament of Champions. She has received invites to round robins such as the Bellaire Round Robin (reaching semifinals her sophomore year), Kandi King Round Robin, Harvard Round Robin and Berkeley Round Robin. Her senior year she championed the Grapevine Classic tournament (in addition to winning top speaker with perfect speaker points), Colleyville Heritage tournament and the Myers Park Invitational and has been ranked as high as #1 in the nation by Debate Rankings. After attending VBI three times as a student, she returned this past summer as an instructor!
Ellie Singer is a graduate of the Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she competed in public forum for four years. Her junior year, she was top speaker at the Glenbrooks, top speaker at NDCA, and placed in the top 14 at NSDA Nationals, auto-qualifying her for the ToC and Nationals in 2017. Her senior year, she received a bid and speaker award at every regular season tournament, championed the Glenbrooks, won and was top speaker at the Ivy Street Round Robin, placed 2nd at the Tournament of Champions, and also competed in world schools debate with Team USA, semifinaling at the World Schools Debating Championships. Ellie now attends Yale University where she competes in parliamentary debate. This past summer Ellie was an instructor at the Victory Briefs Institute.
Nick Smith is the Squads Manager and Director of Growth at Victory Briefs. He studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He was the Director of Debate at Hopkins for four years, a coach at St. Thomas Academy & The Visitation School, in addition to privately coaching several students. He now is the head coach at Apple Valley High School. His students have won multiple state championships, reached late elimination rounds at many major national tournaments, received numerous round robin invitations, and have frequently qualified to the TOC, NSDA Nationals, NDCA Nationals, and NCFLs. Nick has worked at twenty eight sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Chris Theis is Executive Director of Victory Briefs. He currently coaches for his alma mater, Apple Valley High School (MN). He has previously coached students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Winston Churchill (TX). He currently sits on the National Debate Coaches Association’s Executive Committee, the National Speech & Debate Association Lincoln-Douglas Topic Wording Committee, and the Tournament of Champions (TOC) Lincoln-Douglas Committee.
As a coach, his students have consistently reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions, and have placed in the top 6 of the NSDA National Tournament. His students have won nearly every major invitational tournament (some multiple times) including: Harvard, Greenhill, Stanford, the Minneapple, Emory, CPS, Lexington, Loyola, Damus, the Greenhill Round Robin, and others.
As a competitor, he was one of only three juniors to ever win the Tournament of Champions and is the only person to win the tournament twice. He was the champion of Blake, Emory, the Iowa Round Robin twice, the Greenhill Round Robin twice, and St. Marks twice. Chris was also a semi finalist at Greenhill and the Glenbrooks, and a finalist at Berkeley. Chris was a four year qualifier to the NSDA National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas, U.S. Extemp Speaking, and Congressional Debate. Chris has worked at thirty-four sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Devon has taught at the Victory Briefs Institute for the past three years and was a PF Curriculum Director in 2018. Devon recently graduated from NYU ('18), majoring in Politics with a double minor in History and Philosophy. At NYU he was a Global Debate Semifinalist and served as the VP of his school’s American Parliamentary Debate team. He debated for four years at Suncoast High School in Florida. During this time, he reached outrounds at a variety of state and national tournaments like Penn, Blue Key, The Sunvitational, Florida States and The Crestian Invitational. He has coached a number of teams for four years, both freelance and as the head PF coach for Byram Hills High School. At Byram Hills, he helped qualify three teams to the TOC for their first appearance in school history. Throughout the rest of his career, the teams he’s worked with have made it to late outrounds at tournaments like NSDA Nationals, CFL Nationals, Princeton, Lexington, The Sunvitational, Penn, Harvard and Ridge.
Lawrence Zhou is the Director of Publishing and was a LD curriculum Director at Victory Briefs. Lawrence competed at Bartlesville HS in Oklahoma (2010-2014) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In high school, he was the 2014 NSDA LD National Champion. He was also a three-time finalist and two-time champion of the Oklahoma State Tournament and placed 6th at NFL Nationals his junior year. He now attends the University of Oklahoma where he is a Management of Information Systems major and Philosophy minor. He is an assistant coach at The Harker School, a member of the OU Ethics Bowl Team where he placed as the National Runner Up at the 2018 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl National Competition, and debates on the OU Shannon Self Debate Program policy team where he advanced to outrounds at the 2016 and 2018 CEDA Tournament. Lawrence has taught at fifteen sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.