Staff

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Peter kistler - DIRECTOR

Peter has been the head coach at Valley Christian High School for the past 6 years. He received a Master's Degree in Mass Communication from San Jose State University with emphasis in first amendment law, political communication, and social influence theory.

He currently teaches AP English Language and composition and has been a high school educator for 14 years.


Basil Abushama - Instructor

Basil debated for Evergreen Valley in High School. Basil and his partner were the first debaters in parli history to win the Tournament of Champions two years in a row, leading Evergreen Valley to the number one club ranking both years.
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, 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 currently studies computer science at UC Berkeley.

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James Gooler-Rogers - Instructor

James has been focused on parliamentary debate since 2010, with 8 years of competitive experience in high school parli and NPDA debate, and has been actively coaching for 6 years at both the high school and community college levels.

As a competitor, James and his partner appeared in final rounds at more than half of all NPDA tournaments they attended during his junior and senior years, and led Santa Rosa Junior College to become the first community college to win the year-long NPDA sweepstakes competition in 2018.

James is currently the Director of Forensics at Evergreen Valley High School, and is serving his second year as Vice President of Topics for the Coast Forensic League. He received a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University, with a focus on development studies and international political economy.

 
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shirley cheng - Instructor

In the four years that Shirley competed for Los Altos High School, she won the California State Championship, closed out the Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions, and ended her junior and senior seasons ranked #2 and #4 in the nation.

Shirley now serves as a coach for Mountain View-Los Altos and for Gunn High School and currently attends Stanford University.

 
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Artem Raskin - Instructor

Artem is a history teacher and debate club adviser at Washington High School. Artem was previously the parliamentary debate club president at UC Davis, where he studied political science and international relations.

Artem's students have won Claremont, Fullerton, SCU, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Tournament of Champions.

 
Sophie

sophie stankus - Instructor

Sophie debated on the high school parliamentary debate circuit for four years under both Campolindo High School and Mountain View / Los Altos. She won four tournaments in her senior year, including both the fall and spring SCU invitationals, and finished as a TOC semifinalist, leaving her second in the NPDL rankings.

Sophie currently attends Occidental College, where she studies computer science and comparative literature.

We may hire additional instructors in order to maintain an adequate student-to-instructor ratio.