Meet our lincoln douglas staff 

The Summit Debate family is a huge reason for our success and why we have been a favorite choice since 1995. Whether you are coming for Public Forum Debate, Parliamentary Debate or Lincoln Douglas Debate, we have a staff that is experienced in high school speech and debate.  We continually update this page, so we invite you back to see more confirmed hires for 2019!

Lauren Burdt | lincoln douglas curriculum director

Lauren Burdt is the Big Questions Project Manager at the National Speech & Debate Association based in Des Moines, Iowa. She has been a part of the debate community as a competitor, judge and coach for the past decade. She was the first debater from Ankeny High School (IA) to qualify to TOC or Nationals, clearing at every tournament she attended senior year. Since 2011, Lauren has coached LDers to over 20 bids and four state championships. She currently coaches at Millard North, where in 2017, her students finished their junior years in quarters of TOC and finals of NSDA Nationals. Additionally, her students have cleared at Valley, Apple Valley, Iowa Caucus, Dowling, Harvard, Blake, Badgerland, Westside, and the Glenbrooks. Lauren is an alumna of the 2010 National Debate Forum. This is Lauren’s third year at the National Debate Forum.

San jose | des moines

jack ave | senior lincoln douglas instructor

Jack is the head of debate at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York. As a student, Jack competed for Okoboji High School in Milford, Iowa in both Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. His junior and senior year, Jack made outround appearances at tournaments like Harvard, Blake, and West Des Moines Valley. In 2013, Jack was the first debater from his school to attend the Tournament of Champions. As a coach, Jack's students have seen success across multiple events. While at Poly Prep, Jack's students in Public Forum have championed tournaments such as Harvard, Lexington, and Blake while also reaching elimination rounds at Wake Forest, Yale, Georgetown, the New York City Invitational, Emory, and UPenn. Through private coaching, Jack has also coached students in Lincoln-Douglas debate to elimination rounds at Yale, Harvard, the New York City Invitational, and the Sunvitational. This is Jack’s third summer instructing at the National Debate Forum.

Des moines

steve clemmons | senior lincoln douglas instructor

Steve Clemmons is a debate consultant in the Bay Area. He has worked with teams from Leland, Saratoga and James Logan. His teams reached elimination rounds at the 2018 Tournament of Champions. This will be Steve’s second summer instructing at the National Debate Forum.

San jose | DES MOINES

abby schirmer | senior lincoln douglas instructor

Abby Schirmer is entering her fourth year at Marist School where she teaches Advanced Logic & Debate, Research Methods and World History courses.  Prior to coaching and teaching at Marist, Abby coached at Stratford Academy for seven years.  Abby has coached six State Champions and coached the winner of the Baker Award (given to the top Policy Debate team in the nation) twice.  During her tenure at Stratford, her policy teams won the Emory, MBA, Harvard and St. Marks and reached semifinals at the Tournament of Champions.  Abby is the recipient of the 2011 NDCA Rising Star Award. While at Marist, her teams have reached elimination rounds at the University of Georgia, Greenhill, University of Michigan, Chattahoochee, Samford University, Cypress Bay and Isidore Newman tournaments.  Abby also served on the National Speech & Debate Association Policy Debate Curriculum Writing Committee.