John Scoggin | Director


Since graduating from The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, John has coached for Loyola High School. During the last 5 years John’s students have over 100 bids to the tournament of champions. He has coached 2 TOC finalists, 2 TOC quarterfinalists, a TOC Top Speaker, and champions of many major national tournaments across the country.

Bob Overing | Director


Bob is a director of Premier, former debater for the USC Trojan Debate Squad, and current student at Yale Law School. As a senior in high school, he was ranked #1, earned 11 bids and took 2nd at TOC. In college, he cleared at CEDA and qualified to the NDT. His students have earned 51 career bids, reached TOC finals, and won many championships.

Michael Overing


Michael is a practicing attorney in Pasadena, CA, and he has been involved in debate since 1976. He was a Nebraska state champion in policy debate and went on to debate for the University of Nebraska where he qualified to the NDT. He then coached policy at USC where he is now a professor in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. In 2010, he became the head coach of Loyola High School’s debate team where he has coached two TOC finalists, a TOC quarterfinalist, and a 6th place policy team at NFL Nationals.

Tim Alderete


Tim is the Debate Coach at The Meadows School in Las Vegas. He has coached debate for 28 years, teaching at debate camps for 25 years, leading over 40 labs at Michigan, Northwestern and Stanford. He has coached state champions in Nevada, Michigan and Illinois, in both Policy and Lincoln Douglas.

Areas of Expertise: policy debate arguments, especially their use in Lincoln-Douglas.

Monica Amestoy


Monica debated for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada, CA, where she helped start the debate team and was the first person to attend TOC from her school. As a junior, she reached octafinals of the NDCA championships. As a senior, she reached quarterfinals of the Harvard Westlake Tournament, earned top speaker at the Cal Berkeley Invitational, and received speaker awards at many other tournaments while reaching bid rounds at Valley, Apple Valley, Alta, VBT, College Prep, Stanford and Berkeley. Monica also competed at the Hockaday and Lexington Round Robins. In college, she debated for the University of Utah where she reached three final rounds of NPDA style parli debate. She currently lives in downtown Salt Lake City and has primarily worked as an 8th grade teacher to students with Autism.

Areas of Expertise: critical race theory, performance studies, post-structuralist theory, decoloniality, and a guilty pleasure for theory debates.

 Katya Ehresman


Katya debated for four years at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas with local and national success. As a debater Katya qualified to UIL state, NSDA nationals and TFA state twice. Katya broke at every local tournament she went to her senior year and accumulated numerous top speaker awards including 4th speaker at St. Marks. Katya broke to elimination rounds at tournaments such as Grapevine, UT, Colleyville, Harvard and Churchill, also getting to the bid rounds at Colleyville and Harvard and winning Churchill. Katya also championed the Hockaday Women’s Round Robin. In addition to LD, Katya competed in CX and Extemp and outside of debate participated student government, volunteer work and regional activism for women’s rights.
Areas of Expertise: performance, Deleuze, identity politics, and topicality

 Chase Hamilton | Curriculum Director

While competing in LD at a small program in Dallas, TX, Chase qualified for TFA State 4 times (placing 5th), UIL State 3 times (placing 3rd), NDCA Nationals twice (placing within the top 15), and the TOC once with 3 bids, reaching late out-rounds at tournaments such as Yale, Berkeley, and St. Marks. As an individual coach for 5 years, Chase has qualified debaters to every national tournament including half a dozen to the TOC, and has taught for four summers at the UTNIF, including the top lab in 2016. Chase graduated in 2016 from UT Austin with honors in Philosophy and Government as a Dean’s Distinguished Graduate, the highest possible award in the College of Liberal Arts, given to 12 people out of 2,500.

Prince Hyeamang


Debated for the Apple Valley High School in MN for 4 years. Attended the TOC twice finishing with a winnning record senior year. Received invites to Valley, Sunvite,  Minneapple,  Kandi King, and Debate LA RR. Competed at Valley RR his senior year and at the Minneapple RR his junior and senior year. Also competed in congressional debate.

Emmiee Malyugina


Emmiee debated 4 years in Policy and LD for Harker. She qualified for the TOC her senior year, reaching elimination rounds at most national tournaments, including Valley, Voices, Glenbrooks, St. Marks, CPS, Golden Desert, and Berkeley. She has also competed at the Voices and Harvard-Westlake round robins.

Louisa Melcher


Louisa Melcher debated for Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles, and was captain of her team for two years. Throughout her career, she received TOC bids at Alta, Greenhill, Valley, and Berkeley, and competed in the Valley, Cal, and Battle for LA round robins. She will attend Columbia University in the fall.

Areas of Expertise: theory, policy-style debate, fem and race Ks.

John Overing

John debated two years for Loyola High School. As a senior, he earned six bids to the TOC, placing in finals, semifinals, and quarterfinals twice at four separate octas bid tournaments. He also won the Golden Desert Invitational and competed in several round robins. He will be enrolled at UC-Berkeley next year, where he plans to debate in college Policy.

Areas of Expertise: evidence/empirics comparison, policy-style debate, stock kritiks, and rapid skills improvement.

Xavier Roberts-Gaal


Xavier is Student President of the Walt Whitman Speech and Debate Team (MD). He is a two-time semifinalist at NCFL Nationals, a qualifier to NSDA Nationals, and has earned three bids to the TOC. Xavier also directed LD tabulation for the 2015 Capitol Beltway Invitational hosted by Walt Whitman. Outside of debate, he enjoys cooking, playing piano, reading philosophy, and swimming.

Areas of Expertise: framework debate (especially Kant, post-Kantian philosophy, Levinas), asexuality studies, 2AR crystallization.

Nick Rogers


Nick debated for Loyola High School from 2012-15, serving as captain his senior year. He was in outrounds at tournaments including St. Marks, Meadows, Blake, Golden Desert, and Stanford over his junior and senior years, earning a bid and reaching three bid rounds to the TOC. He attends Santa Clara University, majoring in Computer Science. While he no longer works at the Premier Debate Institute, he is a valuable curricular and web consultant.

Areas of Expertise: ethical modesty, reflective equilibrium, Nietzsche, pragmatism, rule consequentialism.

Brendan (Bo) Slade


Bo debated for Loyola High School (CA) earning two TOC bids at Golden Desert and Harvard-Westlake. He reached elimination rounds at tournaments such as Alta, Cal, CPS, Emory, Greenhill, Golden Desert, HW, Stanford, UPS, and USC. He qualified to the California State tournament and also won the 2014 Jack Howe Invitational at Cal State Long Beach. He now competes in policy debate for Indiana University.

Areas of Expertise: the politics disad, case research and strategy, topicality, and policy-style debate.

Shailja Somani


Shailja debated at Lynbrook High School, where she was the president of the speech and debate team. She cleared at tournaments such as Loyola and Golden Desert and has taught many speech and debate events at Lynbrook as well as ran Lynbrook’s Speech and Debate Camp for middle schoolers. Shailja also works with Access Debate and will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall.

Areas of Expertise: theory debate, policy-style arguments, stock kritiks.

 Oliver Sussman


Oliver debates for Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (MA). As a junior, he cleared at TOC and was a finalist at the Harvard Invitational. As a senior, he was ranked #1 nationwide on DebateRankings.com and finished #1 on Premier Debate’s ADP rankings. He has won the Yale Invitational, Apple Valley, and the Apple Valley Round Robin. He also placed 2nd at the Glenbrooks and 3rd at TOC. He is a Premier16 alum of the L.A. session.

Jong Hak Won

Jong Hak debates for West Ranch (CA) and has three bids to the TOC. He is a Premier16 alum and invitee to the Premier16 Invite-Only Week.

Parker Whitfill


Parker debates for Phoenix Country Day School (AZ). He qualified to the TOC his junior and senior year. In his senior year, he reached late elimination rounds at almost every tournament he attended, most notably finals of Voices and semifinals of Greenhill. He also received top 5 speaker awards at Apple Valley, Voices and Harvard Westlake. He is a Premier15 alum.

Areas of Expertise: theory, evidence comparison, util debate and debate strategy.