DeBateAble 2019 BHS-9518-M 

Meet DebateAble's Online Debate Coaches


Abbie Shew is a PhD Student in Communication Studies at the University of Washington, where she has also taught public speaking. She participated as a competitive debater throughout high school and college, has judged high school debate tournaments, done freelance coaching for teams in Iowa and Minnesota and served as an instructor at the Women's Debate Institute. Abbie, who has significant experience working with children as a camp counselor and debate instructor, was also an integral part of the debate teaching team that led DebateAble/UW partner elementary student summer camps in 2019 and 2020.

Anna Caragio has been involved with speech and debate for four years, both actively competing and teaching. She's won numerous awards in debate, including almost every local tournament her senior year of high school and Second Top Speaker at the Cal National Debate Institute Summer Tournament. In 2018, Anna founded and instructed the middle school debate team at Galileo Stem Academy and is passionate about teaching critical thinking skills to youth. Anna attends California Polytechnic State University, furthering her education in Political Science and Statistics.

Avalyn Hine has been debating competitively for the past 6 years. In high school, she qualified to Nationals multiple years in a row in Lincoln Douglas, Congress, and extemporaneous speaking. Avalyn also received top speaker awards at many national circuit tournaments as well as bids to the Tournament of Champions. She is currently in her second year doing policy debate for Gonzaga University while studying Philosophy and Economics.  Avalyn has always loved working with kids and has experience as a tutor, nanny, and debate camp lab leader. She emphasizes engagement and critical thinking in her lessons and is incredibly excited to work with students in DebateAble clubs.

Cara Liu is a student at Columbia University with four years of experience in both competitive debate and teaching. She placed as one of the top four debaters at state tournaments for three years in a row and placed at every local tournament her junior and senior year. She previously started and ran her own summer debate camp for kids, focusing on the basic structures of debate as well as developing their public speaking skills. She deeply values the skills that come with debate, and has a passion for teaching debate to young people in order to inspire them to participate in high school debate and beyond. 

Hannah Miller is a professional educator licensed in Elementary Education (K-6) and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (K-12) and is thrilled to utilize her teaching skills with DebateAble.  As a 3rd grade teacher, Hannah pays special attention to critical thinking skills and is forever asking her students “Why?” and “How do you know?" She brings that same focus as a coach for Introduction to Speech and Debate, challenging and supporting her students at the same time. Hannah has a heart for teaching children to critically evaluate information and understand opposing viewpoints so they can create informed opinions that will impact the world around them.  She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and beautiful new baby and is excited to be a part of the awesome, online community of DebateAble Kids!

Laura Hutchinson  is a passionate reader and health educator with 30 years’ experience working in County government on our most challenging issues including homelessness, food insecurity, early childhood development, and equity and social justice. This is Coach Laura’s first year coaching, but she's worked with young debaters for three years as a DebateAble judge at tournaments and other competitions and is thrilled to be able to take an even more active role to help students develop their listening, critical thinking and argumentation skills. Laura is currently studying to become a mindfulness teacher and hopes that those skills might help students bring calm and focus to their debates.

Linda Oakley is an elementary school teacher who's been coaching DebateAble clubs since 2016. Coach Linda's warmth and encouragement as a teacher, coupled with teaching skills that emphasize students' critical thinking, make her an especially successful club leader. In addition to coaching in person and online clubs, Coach Linda leads our debate camps conducted in partnership with the University of Washington. She finds it exciting to teach debate and help students evaluate evidence and formulate opinions of both sides of an issue. 

Michele Tang is a Pomona College student with 4 years of debate and debate coaching experience, including teaching debate to elementary school kids. Her debate accomplishments include being ranked 2nd in Washington State by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) in Policy Debate, ranked in the top 75 individual Policy debaters in the nation by the NSDA, and multiple Top 15 and Top 25 speaker awards in national circuit tournaments. She also received the first Academic All American Award (for academic and debate achievement) by recommendation of her high school debate coach. Michele is especially good at bringing her debate expertise to kids in a way that they understand and we're thrilled to have her on staff

Rachel Mauchline is the Director of Debate at Cabot Public Schools in Arkansas. Rachel has been involved in Debate since she was in the 8th grade and now has the opportunity to coach students 7th to 12th grade. Rachel has coached students to elimination rounds at the State Championship and NSDA Nationals. She coaches individuals in all forms of debate and loves to work with middle school students! Her biggest passion is helping students find their voice and topics they are passionate about to make a difference in the world!

Reese Haley has six years of experience debating in middle and high school, including three years in the Idaho tournament bracket. She's won numerous awards in public speaking and qualified for the 2020 Idaho State Debate Tournament before its cancellation due to Covid. Reese founded and coached her own debate camps for elementary and middle school students, teaching beginning and intermediate debate skills. In addition, Reese has several years experience working with children as a private nanny and daycare. She is passionate about teaching debate to kids and is committed to creating an engaging, educational, and fun environment for all DebateAble students!

Sarah Holt has coached kids in DebateAble clubs  since 2015 and also supports other coaches in her role as Program Manager. Her passion for working with kids grew from countless hours volunteering in her children's classrooms at their elementary school, where she also served as co-chair for the PTA. In addition to her roles as coach and Program Manager, Sarah assists with training coaches, developing curriculum and, for several years prior to joining the organization, judging at annual tournaments. She is deeply committed to teaching the fundamentals of debate to her students in an encouraging and fun atmosphere.

Zoë Chaira has coached elementary and middle school debate since 2010.  She was a nationally ranked high school debater, winning multiple debate tournaments as well as placing first in individual events such as Dramatic Interpretation and Oratorical Interpretation. Zoe graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2015, and her experience working with kids includes directing children’s theater and improv classes. She most recently designed a H.Y.P.E. (Helping Young People Excel) class specifically targeted to 3-5th graders to help build their confidence, compassion, and creativity through public speaking, narrative therapy and debate. Zoë loves all things dog, filling up the pages of her passport, practicing Jujitsu with her family, and getting back to her “kid" roots by reading comics or playing D&D. 

Elizabeth Kruse is the founder and Director of DebateAble and has taught debate to elementary and middle school students since 2012. Elizabeth developed DebateAble's curriculum with the input of college and high school debaters and coaches, elementary school educators, DebateAble coaches- and kids! Elizabeth's favorite part of her job is coaching and working with young debaters. Those interactions fuel her and her team's curriculum updates and additions as they continue to discover vibrant ways to introduce children to debate and engage them in argumentation and critical thinking.