Camp director - Nicole Cornish - is currently the director of forensics at Athens High School. In high school, she was the 3A state champion in policy debate and persuasive extemp, qualified for NFL nationals in policy debate (twice), foreign extemp, and original oratory. As a DoF she has coached a state octofinalist, two state quarterfinalists, a state semifinalist team, and three state champion teams in policy debate, a state qualifier in LD debate, silver medalist in informative extemp, a silver medal and two state champions in poetry, a state champion in congressional debate and state-champion runner up speech team.
Rory McKenzie - is a decorated former competitor and current high school forensics coach. He is a former UIL State Champion and NFL National Qualifier in Policy Debate (as well as a speaker award winner). His teaching career includes stints at Salado High School, Hallsville High School, Van High School, Royse City High School, and most currently Lindale High School. In total, Rory has coached (or assisted in coaching) several state qualifiers, medalists, and champions, including the 5A state champions in CX for the past three years (also earning silver in two of the three years and a bronze in the other year). He also has coached the state champion runner up in CX at TFA state in 2016 and 2017.
Chuck Brandon - is currently the debate coach at Berkner High School. He has previous stints at an assistant at UNT and SFA. He was also the director of debate at Baytown Lee HS. Chuck was a high school debater at Nacogdoches High School and debate collegiately (TOC and CEDA) at Stephen F. Austin. As the debate assistant coach at UNT, he coached teams to NDT bids. As a high school coach, he has coached numerous UIL and TFA medalists, NDCA qualifiers, TOC qualifiers and NFL nationals elimination round participants in various debate events at Baytown Lee and Berkner.
Carver Hodgkiss - Carver is currently the debate coach at Athens High School. Carver graduated from North Lamar High School in 2012 and attended the University of Texas at Tyler where he competed in Parliamentary Debate. In high school, Carver competed in Persuasive Extemp and Policy debate. In extemp, he qualified for state twice, placing second both times. In policy debate, he qualified for the state tournament 4 times, making 2 appearances in quarterfinals, an appearance in semifinals, and finally winning the state tournament his senior year while receiving the silver gavel. He also qualified to compete at the NFL National tournament in International Extemp, and to TFA state 2 years, making a quarterfinals appearance the first year, and a semifinals appearance the second year. He has helped coach the North Lamar Hidgh School Debate team, and Coached the Bullard High School debate team. He currently competes in Parli debate at UT Tyler. He and his partner were recently ranked in the top 20 teams in the nation at the National Parliamentary Debate Association national tournament.
Noah Recker - currently the speech and debate coach at La Vernia High School. He has coached state competitors in all UIL speaking events with state champions in LD Debate and persuasive speaking. Noah has authored the 2014-2015 CX topic on ocean exploration. He has served on the UIL LD State Advisory Committee, the Central Texas NSDA District Committee, and the UIL Regional Advisory Committee.
Mackenzie Marquess - Bio coming soon
Richard Colling - just completed his 15th year as a debate coach and was awarded his first diamond from the National Forensics League this past year. He has worked the past ten years at Stony Point high school, where his students experience success in UIL, TFA, and NFL competitions and repeatedly win local tournaments. He is also the cofounder of The Forensics Files, successful and respected forensics company.
Individual Events Staff
JP Fugler – is one of the speech and debate coaches at Lindale HS. He frequently presents at the annual UIL Capital Conference. In his three years of teaching, he has advanced students to the TFA State Semifinals in Original Oratory and Finals in Poetry Interpretation and Senate. His students have won two UIL State Championships in LD Debate and Persuasive Speaking. He had a student advance to Round 10 at NFL Nationals in LD Debate. He also coached a student to a 3rd Place finish at the TOC Round Robin and to the NCFL National Championship in Original Oratory.
Kari McKenzie - has been actively involved in the speech and debate community for over 20 years. He is a former UIL state competitor in Policy Debate and earned a gavel award at state. She continued her involvement at the college level where she was a four year competitor in CEDA, parley, and multiple interpretation events and speaking events. Her teaching career includes teaching theatre and debate at Gladewater high school (7 years), Gilmer high school (5 years), Royse City high school and most recently has moved to Lindale. Kari has coached many state qualifiers, medalists and champions.
Kristi Hodgkiss - Kristi Hodgkiss is the Director of Forensics at North Lamar High School in Paris, coaching all Speech and Debate events there. She has been a recipient of the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award and was named the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Speech, Debate, and Theatre Teacher for 2014. She has served on the UIL LD and Extemporaneous Speaking State Advisory Committees, is a two-diamond coach for the NSDA, and has served the UIL District of the NSDA as the district chair for the past 7 years. "Lady H" has coached 34 state medalists, in addition to 12 state champions. 7 of those champions were in extemporaneous speaking. She has been coaching extemporaneous speaking since 1993; it is her very favorite speech and debate event, because without extemp, one cannot be really good at any of the others.
Melissa Witt - is in her 15th year of coaching and teaching speech and debate. Since she began teaching/coaching in 2000, Melissa has coached; 14 NFL National Qualifiers including 4 semifinalists; 11 UIL State qualifiers, 3 state champions (LD, Persuasive, Informative); and over 40 TFA State qualifiers, with 5 TFA semifinalists (Congressional Debate, Oratory, Foreign Extemp) and 1 finalist (Oratory). She has worked as an instructor at the Guy P. Yates Speech & Theatre and The Championship Debate Group camps and presented panels at the West Texas Speech Association annual conference. She is a frequent presenter at UIL Capital Conference, Student Activity Conferences, and the TSCA annual convention. She has served on the UIL LD debate topic selection committee, the NFHS CX Debate Topic Selection Committee, the TFA Congressional Debate, State Size, and Scholarship Committes, the TSCA Resolutions committee and chaired the TSCA Instructional Development K-12 and Instructional Development HS committees. She served the West Texas Speech Association as Vice President in 2010-11. Melissa's passion is speech and debate and she loves working with students and teachers/coaches to enhance the opportunities available in forensics and speech education!
Coaches Workshop Staff
Tim Cook - is the founder of Texas Speech and Debate Camp. He is a NFL diamond key coach, UIL Sponsor of Excellence Award recipient, and received the Alumni teacher of the year award from the University of Texas. Tim yearly presents coaching workshops for UIL. Additionally, he serves on the LD State Advisory committee. He has coached multiple UIL state champions and qualified multiple students to TFA State, NFL Nationals, and the TOC. He is currently the coach at Salado High School.