Meet the Coaches


Natalie Yehezkel-Stolarski

Debate Coach

Natalie received her BA in Psychology from CSU Fullerton, and spent her senior year working as a behavioral therapist, where she learned the importance of tailoring her mentorship to the individual's unique needs.

As a competitor, Natalie:

  • Qualified to the National Debate Tournament (one of the national championship of Policy debate) and ranked with her partner as the 33rd team in the country (2013)

  • Double octa-finalist at the Cross-Examination Debate Association's National tournament (the other College Policy championship national championship) in the same year (2013)

  • Won the San Francisco State University inter-collegiate tournament in Policy Debate (2012)

  • Was the first speaker at the CSU Northridge college tournament in Policy Debate (2016)

  • Received the the Cross-Examination Debate Association's Summa Cum Laude Award (2016)

  • Received the Cross-Examination Debate Association's All-American Award (2016)

Natalie has been a Debate coach since 2014. There are more common Speech and Debate formats that she's coached than formats that she hasn't. Natalie wants to give students the ability to explore different formats, styles, and genres of expertise in order to help each student find the voice that works best for them. 


Lila Lavender

Debate Coach

Not many former debaters can claim to have won a national championship at the college level. In 2019, Lila won 1st place at NPDA Nationals, the end-of-the-year championship in NPDA Parliamentary debate.

In her journey to bring these tools to future generations of young scholars, Lila wants debaters to be able to apply the critical thinking skills they learn in Debate to their everyday life. In order to establish that connection, she encourages students to decide for themselves what they want their experience with Debate to be like.

Coaching Experience

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Lab Leader

  • Impact Debate Club (2019-2020)

  • Pioneer Debate Institute (2017-2019)

  • Climb the Mountain (2017)

Parliamentary Debate Lab Leader

  • Parliamentary Debate Collective Online Institute (2020)

  • Point of Information Debate Institute (2019)

Competitive Experience

Western Washington University - 2018-2019

  • 1st place at NPDA Nationals

  • 3rd place at the National Round Robin

  • 2nd place at Great Salt Lake

  • 1st place at Sunset Cliffs

  • 1st place at the Viking Invitational

  • 2nd place at the Golden Gate Invitational

  • 1st place at the Mahaffey Memorial

  • 2nd place at the NW Parli Warmup

  • 2nd place at the Steve Hunt Classic

  • 2nd place at William Jewell


Sana Jaffery

Debate Coach

As a competitor, Sana has received various awards, including:

  • 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament Octofinalist (World Schools Debate)

  • 2019 Philalethic Tournament Champion (1st place Lincoln Douglas)

  • 2018 & 2019 NCFL Nationals Qualifier 2018 Dempsey Cronin Tournament Champion (1st place Lincoln Douglas)

  • Outstanding Distinction Merit in the National Speech and Debate Association

  • Winner. California Coast District Communicator of the Year

Sana believes that it’s important to treat students like they can do anything. Instilling confidence in students makes them far more willing to learn, and to try their best. Sana believes that regular practice can be customized to work on each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. 

Sana believes that strong debaters have very individualized styles. When students are comfortable in their own knowledge and skill set, they will be able to expand their own abilities easily, without having to focus on replicating someone else’s style. Sana wants to help students sharpen their skills while making sure that their debate style is really their own, and not just copied and pasted style of their coach.


Sameer Haq

Debate Coach

As a competitor, Sameer qualified to TFA state twice where he cleared both times and reached the bid round at multiple national circuit tournaments.

  • Vice President of the Hebron High School policy debate team (2019-2020)

  • Top 32 teams in the state (Double-Octo finalist) (2019)

  • Top 16 Teams in Texas (Octofinalist) (2020)

  • Two time qualifier for the Texas Forensic Associations State Debate Tournament (2019)

  • Newman Smith Spontaneity Champion (2019)

  • Naaman Forest Tournament Finalist (2018)

Sameer’s teaching style is very personalized in the sense that how he goes about teaching depends on the student’s argumentative interests as well as how the student prefers to learn. Because we’ll be discussing the nuances of complex critical theory, it is important that we understand how our students learn prior to any actual discussion of critical literature. 

Whether they are a visual learner and would prefer the addition of diagrams and images to lessons, an auditory learner and would prefer a simple lecture to listen to, or tactile and would like to see how these theories would be applied to debate in real time, Sameer will ensure that lessons are built in a way where students with any distinct learning style can feel comfortable. 

Having participated in circuit debate, lay debate, critique debate, and policy style arguments, Sameer is very fluent in what makes each type of debate style distinct and will be sure to apply that knowledge when teaching students from all debate backgrounds to ensure every student receives access to a quality education.