Welcome to Summit Debate!
Who We Are
Summit Debate is the parent organization of a series of nationally acclaimed high school debate and speech summer programs and year round online coaching and conferencing services for competitors and coaches. Our many signature programs have some of the finest instructors and staff in the nation.
Summit Debate was founded in 1995 by Jenny Cook, Executive Director. The name Summit Debate was influenced by a historic road, Summit Avenue, known for showcasing some of the grandest homes in the Twin Cities area. Summit Avenue was just a short walk from where Cook lived and in her mind the name Summit captured the image of "making it to the top". Thus the logo "Reach for the Summit". The first institute opened in the summer of 1997, with the National Debate Forum (NDF) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Then, in 2004, a "salon style" program in Interp events, Interpretive Productions (InterProd), was founded by David Kraft. The National Speakers Forum (NSF), an all-events institute, began in 2005, while two more "salon " institutes, the Lyceum for Oratory, led by Ashley Mack, and the Experimental Extemp Lab (EXL), led by Chris Palmer and Jonathan Chavez, were founded in 2007. In the summer of 2007 NDF added Public Forum Debate to its program.
In 2010, given the successful history of the NDF and InterProd programs, the decision was made to no longer offer an "all events" style institute and instead run two sessions of NDF and InterProd. After several months of discussing how the "institute" experience could be made affordable and assessable to students, Summit Debate Online was created in 2011. Summit Debate Online and its live virtual educational environment, provides students and coaches year round training opportunities.
Currently, Summit Debate continues to run two sessions of NDF, which include Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate, and one sessions of InterProd, which teaches Humorous, Dramatic, and Duo Interpretation and Original Oratory, and EXL for Extemporaneous Sepeaking.
From late June through the first two weeks of July, NDF Session I is held at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then, in mid July/early August, NDF Session II, InterProd, and EXL are held at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Our Summit Debate Online coaching sessions and class offerings run throughout the year, with a full list of current classes and instructors listed at SummitDebateOnline.com. For inquiries and information about Summit Debate programs, please contact us.
The National Debate Forum (NDF) is the founding institute of Summit Debate Enterprises offering instruction in Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum. NDF offers two sessions each summer; the first located at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and the second at Emerson College in downtown Boston. NDF has programs for LD and PFD.
Since 2004, InterProd is the only interp-sepcific institute in the country. A unique blend of theatrical theory and interpretive practices makes the curriculum at InterProd unparalleled. This approach has helped their students achieve success at every major tournament in the country. InterProd does all interpretive events including Humorous, Dramatic, Duo, Prose, Poetry, Thematic Interpretation, Original Prose/Poetry and Original Comedy.
At EXL, one of our core principles is that we do not take credit for our students' achievements; we don't "make champions" — no camp does! — we teach skills and knowledge as best we can, hoping to enable the students to make themselves into champions. Many more do that than can win tournaments.
However, we can't help but express pride and congratulations for our alumni performances at Nationals and major tournaments throughout the years. Big smiles and congratulations to Danny Blackman of Needham who placed 2nd in the Senate, Ben Tyler of Belen Jesuit who was the presiding officer and NFL National Champion in the Senate, Nathaniel Donohue of Durham Academy who was a NFL National Quarterfinalist in USX and 2011 Harvard Champion, 2nd at Glenbrooks, MBA Round Robin, and Yale, Matt Linn of University School (FL) who placed 3rd at Emory and 4th at Yale, Max Solomon of University School (FL) who was an octafinalist in IX and a semifinalist in Impromptu, Audrey Denis of Berkeley Carroll who was an octofinalist in IX (as well as placing 5th at NCFL Nationals), and qualifiers Zohaib Chida of Scarsdale, Rustin Finkler of Trinity Prep, Jacob Levitt of Walt Whitman, Spencer Scheaff of Dowling Catholic, Gautham Varadajan of Ridge, Nate Yeo of Newton South.
For a complete listing of our all our Alumni Accomplishments, please check out the Student Achievement page!
There has been a lot of discussion lately on different forums about the January/February LD topic. I have not had much time to read all of the posts - that's the case for any hot topic in debate - as a full time administrator and director of our team there's not enough time in the day to read everything. However, I've read some and heard a lot about it as it was discussed in detail this weekend at the Dowling Catholic Paradigm (and I'm sure at every tournament this weekend). And while I've never been interested inb dissecting a topic or getting worked up over topics in general