Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association

The members of the NDCA Executive Board are committed to continuing the vision of the organization’s founders, namely to support the health and vitality of the debate community broadly, and coaches more specifically. 

Our ultimate vision is to provide opportunities for high school coaches to strengthen their abilities in order to provide stronger learning environments for their students.  This vision and support comes in many concrete and diverse forms:  sharing best practices in coaching and teaching; fostering curriculum development; compiling coaching resources; creation of the Open Evidence Project;  providing professional development opportunities; and promotion of regional debate.

Executive Board Membership

Shunta Jordan, Pace Academy (GA)

Position: Chair of the Executive Board

Questions and input regarding Board elections, membership votes, agenda items for the NDCA and general inquires should be directed to Shunta: sjordan@paceacademy.org

Shunta is the Fuqua Chair of Speech & Debate at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to serving on the NDCA Board, Shunta currently serves as the Director of Operations on the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association Executive Committee. In 2014, she was named the state of Georgia Debate Coach of the Year. During her time at Pace, she has coached two NDCA National Champions (2015, 2013), a number of state champions and winners of many regional and national tournaments.

Elected Term: October 2015 to October 2018


Aaron Timmons, Greenhill School (TX)

Position: Coordinator of the Open Evidence Project

Aaron W. Timmons is the Director of Debate at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas (near Dallas), in addition to serving as the Head Coach of the USA World Schools Debate team. Mr. Timmons has taught at debate workshops for over thirty years at a variety of workshops across the country and in recent years, internationally as well. He has coached several national champions domestically in both policy and Lincoln Douglas debate. Mr. Timmons is a true advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion debate. 

Elected Term: October 2014 to October 2017. 

Christina Tallungan, Notre Dame High School (CA)

Position: Conference Coordinator

Christina Tallungan is currently the Director of Debate at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA. Previously, she was the Director of Debate at Glenbrook North High School (2005-2009), an assistant coach for Glenbrook South High School (2004-2005), and an assistant coach at California State University, Northridge (2003-2005). She also serves as part of the Tournament of Champions Policy Advisory Board and briefly served in an advisory role to the NFL's WSDC Team USA. She has worked at several debate institutes as an instructor since 2005, including the University of Michigan, Emory University, Southern California Urban Debate League, and the Chicago Urban Debate League. 

Elected Term: October 2015 to October 2018

Adam Torson, Marlborough School (CA)

Position: Internal Communications Officer

Since 2012, Adam Torson has been the Debate Program Head at Marlborough School, a prestigious girls school in Los Angeles. Previously, he was the Director of Debate at Hopkins High School in Minnesota (2004-2010), and was an assistant coach at Harvard-Westlake School in California (2010-2012). He has taught at various summer debate institutes, including UC Berkeley and DebateLA, and was a Director of Student Life and a Curriculum Director at the Victory Briefs Institute. He also served as the managing editor for Victory Briefs Publishing from 2010 to 2013. Before coaching, Adam competed for Fargo South High School in North Dakota (1998-2003).

Adam is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has a J.D. from the Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has coached students to competitive success at the local, regional, and national levels. He takes pride in helping students to cultivate habits of thoughtfulness and respect, and in empowering them to effect change.


Shane Stafford, The Blake School (Mn)

Position: Public Relations and Membership Coordinator

Shane is the Director of Forensics at The Blake School, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he coaches policy, public forum, and Congressional debate and speech events. During his six years at Blake, his students have won the Minnesota state tournament twice in policy debate and once in Lincoln Douglas. In 2009, Blake was the first school to qualify students in all four debate events to the TOC. Lovingly named “Mama Duck” by his debaters, Shane, who has been coaching for 35 years, believes that debate provides students with a safe environment to experiment with ideas, build their “failure resumes,” and develop critical thinking skills. Prior to Blake, Shane coached at Orono High School (ME), University Liggett School (MI), Hopkins HS (MN), High Point Andrews HS (NC), Wake Forest University (NC), Stuyvesant HS (NY), Bronx HS of Science (NY), and Pace University (NY). During the summer, Shane teaches at the Harvard Public Forum Debate Workshop and has, in past summers, taught at the Dartmouth, Georgetown, Wayne State, and American policy and Victory Briefs Lincoln Douglas workshops.

Elected Term: October 2016 to October 2019


Dave Weston, New Trier Township HS (Il) 

Position: Tournament Coordinator 

Dave Weston is one of the head coaches at New Trier Township High school, just north of Chicago, Illinois. New Trier's students compete in Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas, Congressional Debate, and Public Forum. During his time at New Trier, his students have participated in the elimination rounds of nearly every major national high school tournament including Wake Forest, Greenhill, St. Mark's, the University of Michigan, the Glenbrooks, Blake, the Cal Invitational at Berkeley, the National Debate Coaches Association National Championship and the Tournament of Champions. Prior to coaching at New Trier, David served as the director of debate and as a social studies teacher at Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania. In addition to his teaching and coaching responsibilities at New Trier, Dave serves as the president of the Illinois Debate Coaches Association. Before entering teaching, David was a policy debater in high school and college, debating for Cathedral Preparatory School and the University of Pittsburgh. 

Elected Term: October 2016 to October 2019

Sheryl Kaczmarek, Lexington High School (MA)

Position: Web Manager

Sheryl is the Director of Debate at Lexington High School (MA) where she teaches classes in Novice and Varsity LD, Novice and Varsity Policy and Varsity PF, as well as coaching all of those events. Before moving to Lexington, Sheryl taught and coached for 21 years at Newburgh Free Academy in NY and before that taught and coached for one year at Glenbrook North in Illinois and 10 years at Brookfield Central in Wisconsin. A veteran of more than three decades of summer debate camps, Sheryl has been an administrator and "dorm mom" and an instructor in Policy, LD and PF. She is a four diamond coach in the NSDA, a member of the TOC Policy Advisory Committee and frequently tabs tournaments in the Northeast, and occasionally tabs in other places as well.

Elected Term: October 2016 to October 2019

Chris Theis, Apple Valley High School (MN)

Position: Curriculum Coordinator. 

Chris is currently the head Lincoln-Douglas debate coach at Apple Valley High School(MN), and the Executive Director of Victory Briefs and the Victory Briefs Institute. In addtion to serving on the NDCA board, Chris is also a member of the NSDA Lincoln-Douglas Topic Wording Committee. He has previously coached at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), and Trinity Preparatory School (FL).

Chris Coached the winner of the 2015 Dukes & Bailey Cup. His students have reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions each of the past six seasons, have placed in the top 6 of the NSDA National Tournament, and reached late elimination rounds at the NDCA Tournament.  In addition, 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. 

Elected Term: October 2016 to October 2019

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Tim Mahoney, St. Mark's School of Texas (TX)

Position:  NDCA National Championship Tournament Director

Tim has been the Director of Debate at St. Mark's for over a decade. Prior to that he was the Director of Debate at Pace University and the University of Notre Dame. As a part of his job at St. Mark's he is the Director of the Heart of Texas Invitational one of the largest nationally competitive speech and debate tournaments in the country.


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