The National Parliamentary Debate League provides resources to help parliamentary debate expand across the United States, runs the NPDL Tournament of Champions each spring, and holds biannual league meetings.
This website hosts NPDL news updates about tournaments and matters of general interest, information about NPDL summer programs, and resources for the community at large.
The NPDL Board
Eliza Haas, President
Eliza Haas is an English and Social Studies teacher and Speech and Debate teacher and coach at Ashland High School in Southern Oregon. Previously, Eliza built the Sunset Speech and Debate team in Portland from a small, struggling team to one of the most successful in the state of Oregon. Among other achievements, her students have qualified for the Kentucky and NPDL Tournament of Champions and earned a top ten finish at NSDA Nationals. Eliza is passionate about strengthening the National Parliamentary Debate League and expanding the opportunities it provides students. She looks forward to working with students, coaches, leagues, and tournament directors to expand Parli debate across the country and to increase equitable access for all debaters across regional, racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines. The truly democratic and student-driven nature of the NPDL is unique in national high school speech and debate organizations, and Eliza hopes to increase transparency and broaden participation in the league. Please do not hesitate to reach out to her directly with any ideas, questions, concerns, or hopes.
John McBlair, Secretary
John McBlair is an English, journalism, and debate teacher at Menlo-Atherton HS. While in high school John competed in LD, extemporaneous speech, and an early version of public forum. With a background in philosophy and competitive martial arts, he began coaching debate in central California, where his team took the national prize in a league dedicated to migrant workers. Coaching alongside some of the best debaters in the world in South Korea, John learned that parli debaters have the best senses of humor and quickly fell in love with the style. As director of Menlo-Atherton’s debate program, he has built one of the largest teams in the league with over fifty students dedicated to parli. John is passionate about debate’s power to reveal hidden talents and promote empathy.
Artem Raskin, Treasurer
Artem Raskin is a history teacher, social studies department chair, and debate club adviser at Washington High School. He currently serves as president of the Coast Forensic League and sits on the debate committee of the California High School Speech Association. Artem was previously the parliamentary debate captain at Lynbrook High School, debate club president at UC Davis, and director of speech and debate at Evergreen Valley High School. Artem's students have won SCU, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Tournament of Champions. As treasurer, Artem hopes to provide a solid financial foundation for a truly democratic and inclusive parliamentary debate community.
Joel Jacobs, TOC Director
Joel is an environmental lawyer, and debate coach for El Cerrito High School. Last year. his students won the California State Championship and the University of the Pacific Jon Schamber Invitational. He has been tournament director and tab director for various tournaments, and currently serves as the Director of Parliamentary Debate for the Golden Gate Speech Association. Joel competed in policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate in high school in Southern California, and APDA parli at Wesleyan University. After college, he coached Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the Collegiate School in Manhattan.
Sierra Maciorowski, Web Director
Sierra Maciorowski joined POI in 2014 as editor of the opinion page, served as editor-in-chief and web admin for two years, and has served as web director for the NPDL since 2017. In high school, she debated for Sonoma Academy, where she also served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper. Sierra competed for the Santa Rosa Junior College in NPDA, and now attends Stanford University, where she competes for the Stanford Debate Society in APDA and BP, and is an editor for Stanford Politics. As a double-major in Human Biology and English, Sierra's emphasis is on communication in all forms, and she looks forward to continuing her work to make parliamentary debate well-documented, well-organized, and successful. In addition to her work with the NPDL, Sierra spent two years as the Vice President of Topics for the Coast Forensic League, currently coaches the Mountain View - Los Altos parliamentary debate team and private students, and directs the POI Debate Institute.
Shannon Bonet, Web Director
Shannon spent three years on the NPDL new team, with one as a correspondent and two as the NPDL news editor. She competed for Campolindo High School for four years, and served as the co-president of the debate team in her final season, ending the season ranked #1 nationally and winning the NPDL-TOC. She now attends UC Berkeley, where she competes in NPDA debate for Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley.
Rodda John, Outreach Director
Rodda is an avid debater — he began debating in middle school, continued through high school at Stuyvesant High School, and debates currently for the Columbia Debate Society on the APDA circuit. As a high schooler, he co-founded the New York Parliamentary Debate League as well as the Stuyvesant Parliamentary Debate Team. Outside of debate, you can find him programming, reading philosophy, or refereeing soccer. He has a strange fascination with tab policy and tabbing tournaments — and has tab directed or tournament directed dozens of tournaments in the past few years. He is thrilled to be working with the NPDL as its outreach director and looks forward to growing the league in and around California, as well as on the East Coast!
The NPDL News Team
Emily Liu, Northern California Correspondent
Emily is currently a junior at Irvington High School, entering her third year of competitive debate. While her first love always has and will be parliamentary debate, she occasionally tests the waters of Lincoln-Douglas debate and speech. Considering herself both a literary and visual artist, she enjoys writing, reading, creating with mixed media, and doing photoshoots. She is also a staff writer for her school’s newspaper, Editor-in-Chief of a literary arts magazine, a passionate blogger, and an occasional contributor to cat fan-pages. You can almost immediately spot her in any room as the girl with brightly-colored box-dyed hair, blasting either Frank Ocean or indie pop and arguing with strangers to stop using straws. (save the turtles!)
Joyce Wu, Northern California Correspondent
Joyce, a junior at Dougherty Valley High School, has competed in parliamentary debate for two years, since being introduced to the event during her freshman year. She loves the nuanced intricacies of debate, and enjoys meeting and talking to new people at tournaments. Outside of debate, Joyce enjoys volunteering as a member of her school’s Key Club as well as collecting pens— her favorites are Muji’s 0.38mm pens. In the past, Joyce has served on her Chinese school’s leadership board and handled the publications of small newsletters. Through debate, Joyce hopes to become a more informed citizen, a better critical thinker, and make everlasting memories.
Eugenia Xu, Northern California Correspondent
Eugenia, a sophomore at The Nueva School, has debated in parli for two years. She was an octofinalist at the Stephen Stewart Invitational and the NPDL Tournament of Champions during the 2017-2018 season and kicked off the 2018-2019 season as an octofinalist at the Notre Dame Parli Warm-Up. Eugenia is also a staff writer and illustrator at her school’s newspaper, The Nueva Current. She enjoys exploring investigative journalism through opinion pieces, though she hopes to someday report on high school and collegiate debate in the sports column. Otherwise, Eugenia can be spotted in her natural habitat: wearing a blanket and brainstorming increasingly convoluted English essays, writing slam poetry, drinking tea, and absentmindedly humming along to alternative pop music.
Manav Manivannan, Southern California Correspondent
Manav is a senior at Northwood High School, and is currently in his fifth year of speech and debate. He serves as the speech president and spontaneous events captain for his team. After experimenting with many different events, from Public Forum to extemporaneous speaking, he finally found his passion in parliamentary debate, and reached the final round of the 2018 CHSSA State Championship. In his sophomore year, he qualified to the NSDA National Championships in international extemp, the first speaker from his school to do so. When he’s not competing, you can find him reading various books, watching sci-fi movies, or trying to improve his skills at the completely luck-based game of Monopoly.
Mira Ogawa, Southern California Correspondent
A senior at University High School, Mira has been debating for three years, and joined the NPDL correspondent team in 2017. At her school’s debate club, she serves as the publicity manager, parliamentary captain, and emotional support for her teammates. When needed, she also enjoys judging tournaments as she finds it refreshing get the other perspective on debate rounds. When not debating or doing debate related activities, Mira plays water polo, swims competitively, stresses about school, and plays viola for the orchestra. During her time away from school activities, she enjoys procrastinating on school work, applying face masks and going shopping. She also has an affinity for a fluffy blanket, good coffee and a marathon of Grey’s Anatomy.
Haven Hunt, Connecticut Correspondent
Haven is a competitive debater for Immaculate High School/the Hive, and joined the NPDL as a correspondent in 2017. She debated in the CTMSDL for two years before moving into the Connecticut Debate Association as a novice in 2016, qualifying for State Finals that year and, along with her partner, going undefeated at the 2017 State Finals. Later in the year, she received 5th place speaker at the first tournament of her varsity career, Yale Osterweis. When she's not debating, Haven keeps herself busy by running a local photography business, looking after her 30+ farm animals, writing for a town news source, and teaching at a local horse barn.
Natalie Sweet, New York Correspondent
Natalie Sweet is a sophomore at Horace Mann entering her second year of competitive debate. She currently serves as the Deputy Tournament Director of the New York Parliamentary Debate League, as well as the Associate Director of Logistics for her school’s parliamentary debate team. Natalie participates in public forum debate and judges debate rounds of all types when not competing in parliamentary debate herself. At her school, Natalie is a staff writer for her school newspaper, plays saxophone for wind ensemble, is a member of student government, and is an active basketball player and runner. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing news articles, going on hikes, and playing guitar.
Hannah Doyle, Southern Oregon Correspondent
Hannah, currently a senior, debates for Ashland High School in Southern Oregon, and joined the NPDL news team in 2017. She’s been on the AHS forensics team for four years and focuses on parli, although she also dabbles in public forum and extemporaneous speaking. Hannah has had the chance to debate both Oregon and California style parliamentary and looks forward to traveling this year for more tournaments. As parli team captain at her school she loves teaching new debaters and helping them try things out of their comfort zone. When she’s not debating, Hannah can be found skiing, hiking, training with her Aerial Dance troupe or listening to acoustic music through loud speakers.
Arian Ghorbani, Northern Oregon Correspondent
Arian Ghorbani is a senior at Southridge High School, and has been a member of SRHS Speech and Debate for four years now. He has been doing parliamentary debate as his primary event for all four years, and reached quarterfinals at the Oregon State Championship his junior year. He also reached quarterfinals at the Rose City Round Robin. Arian writes book reviews casually on his Goodreads and in a more professional manner on his blog, and writes creatively for his own improvement and enjoyment. Ask him about his new puppy, Benny.
Sean Hicks, Southern Oregon Correspondent
Sean Hicks, a senior, is new to journalism but has captained St. Mary’s School’s parliamentary debate team for four years. As a freshman, he was a semifinalist in parli at Ashland High School’s novice tournament, and as a junior he won second place in parli at the Logan Will Invitational in early 2018. He also competes in impromptu speaking, for which he took first place at Illinois Valley High School’s Friends of Forensics Invitational in January 2018. He looks forward to attending more tournaments this year when possible and attempting to expand interest in parli among his peers. Outside of debate, Sean is a member of St. Mary’s Brain Bowl, FTC Robotics, IDATA, Model UN, and philosophy clubs, and can frequently be found playing video games, discussing politics, and listening to electronic music.