World Class Faculty
Lumos Debate recruits debaters from top universities like Harvard, Oxford, UC Berkeley, Brown, UChicago, and UPenn to coach your child. All our instructors have unique skills – some are experts in debating who’ve won national debate awards and championships. Others specialize in speech or theatre, with a focus on body language, projection, and tone. Yet other instructors specialize in working with children – offering encouragement and feedback in order to create a friendly environment for a shy student. We’ve made absolutely certain that every single Lumos Debate instructor is phenomenal, and that means you can be absolutely certain your child is going to receive phenomenal coaching.
In all of our programs, we guarantee a 6:1 student-instructor ratio. This extraordinarily low student-instructor ratio allows us to constantly break out into small discussion groups, and our expert instructors provide one-on-one feedback and mentorship for your child every single day. Meet some of our instructors:
Jessica Sun | Co-Founder CEO
Jessica Sun is the Co-founder and CEO of Lumos Debate. Jessica serves as the overall director for all of Lumos’ summer programs, managing over a hundred instructors and ensuring high-quality experiences for over a thousand students. Jessica’s life mission is to work with world-class instructors to provide personalized learning experiences for students across the country
Lillian Anderson is currently a freshman at Barnard College of Columbia University, pursuing a double major in Political Science and Economics. A graduate of the Boston Latin School, Lillian was the captain of the debate team and mentored junior varsity team members. She was a Semi-Finalist at the Harvard University 2017 tournament in JVPF and Quarter-Finalist at the Swarthmore College tournament. Currently, Lillian is a member of the Columbia University Debate Society. Lillian is an experienced and passionate teacher and mentor: she works as a private debate instructor for elementary school students and volunteers as an Columbia Advising Fellow to high-achieving, low income high school students in their college process. Last summer, she held the prestigious Ward and Griffin Public Service Fellowships and worked full time at the Massachusetts State House. Lillian enjoys the chance to teach kids the skills that have made her who she is.
Victoria Mak, Yale University
Victoria attends Yale University, where she studies Economics and Mathematics. As a competitor, Victoria won awards at national tournaments like the Yale Invitational, Villiger Invitational, and Wake Forest Invitational, qualifying to the Tournament of Champions and placing 4th in the state in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Victoria is incredibly passionate about global affairs and economic theory, and that’s part of the reason why she loves teaching at Lumos—she’s excited to introduce elementary and middle school students to current events for the first time. When She’s not teaching debate, Vicki loves running, reading Jane Austen novels, and watching Chopped on Food Network.
Bella Ehrlich, Brown University
Bella has extensive experience as a public speaking tutor for middle school students. Bella’s educational philosophy emphasizes breaking down complex debate concepts and developing teaching methods that support exploratory learning for young students. As a debater, Bella was top 10 in the nation at the NCFL National Debate Tournament and has won dozens of other national awards. Bella is currently pursuing a joint B.A.-M.D.at Brown University.
Jerry Wu, Cornell University
Jerry will be attending Cornell University in the fall, to study political science and international relations. Jerry is ranked top 5 in MA by NSDA points, took second place in the MA 2016 State tournament and went undefeated in the Harvard Prelims for JVLD. Jerry was also the octa-finalist at the Princeton Invitational and the Lexington National Tournament. Jerry also teaches debate at local Chinese school where he helped design the debate curriculum for middle school to high school students.
Ranen Miao, Millburn Debate
Ranen is the champion of the Princeton Invitational, and took 4th place at the NCFL national tournament, in addition to half a dozen local tournaments. Ranen was also selected by the National Speech and Debate Association to be one of 9 members of the USA Debate team, championing the Greenhill Invitational, Cornell Debate Tournament, and placed 3rd at EurOpen in Stuttgart, Germany. In individual competition, Ranen is the top-ranked Congressional debater in New Jersey, and also serves as the captain of the Millburn Congressional Debate team.
Hadi Tirmizi, Oxford University
Hadi was one of the founding educators of our Newton program in 2015. He has coached dozens of students to numerous national debate awards. Hadi specializes in public forum debate strategy, research, argument development, and judge adaptation. He has coached dozens of students who have gone on to win numerous national awards. Currently, Hadi is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford in England.
Kassie Zavaliagkos is currently a freshman in the D’amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. As a competitor Kassie placed 7th in the state for Lincoln Douglas debate and won numerous speaking awards. Her experience in both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas debate allowed her to judge and participate in multiple national tournaments across the East coast. As a teacher Kassie draws on experience from mentoring the younger members of her debate team and tutoring middle schoolers. She strives to make learning both engaging and fun!
Gaurav was the first debater from his school to qualify for the Tournament of Champions and he has been ranked as high as 1st in Massachusetts and 3rd in the nation. Gaurav is currently a senior at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Massachusetts where he has been captain of the debate team for two years. In this time, he helped double the team’s size and coached novice debaters who won the Massachusetts State Championship. Having worked with younger debaters for the past four years, Gaurav strives to make debate both an accessible and enjoyable experience for anyone, regardless of skill level.
Zeph Chang, UC Berkeley
As a debater, Zeph took 2nd place at the Columbia Invitational and 3rd at the Yale Invitational. He was the top-ranked MA debater (by NSDA points ranking) and was ranked as high as 3rd in the nation (ELO), earning 11 TOC bids over his debate career. Zeph is currently taking a year off UC Berkeley to run Lumos debate workshops on the East Coast and to coach the Westfield Debate Team.
Sarah Bressler, Vanderbilt University
Sarah was a member of the Millburn High School Debate team for 4 years where she served as President and Public Forum Debate Captain. Sarah attained a seal of Special Distinction from the National Speech and Debate Association as well as finaling at numerous local tournaments and winning a bid at the Penn National Tournament. Sarah Bressler attends Vanderbilt University where she studies Political Science and Business.
Kayla Chang, UC Berkeley
Kayla has been working with middle school debaters extensively for the last two years and specializes in teaching complex debate strategies to young students and coaching speaking techniques. As a debater, Kayla has placed in the top five multiple times at both state level and national level finishes and has led the Newton South Debate team, recognized as one of the premier debate teams in the nation. Kayla currently attends UC Berkeley where she studies chemistry and business management.
Peter Lawrence, Middlebury College
Peter attends Middlebury College, where he is the Debate Team Case Captain and studies psychology, philosophy, and political science. As a debater, Peter qualified for states all 4 years of high school and took 3rd place and a 1st place speaker award at the NCDA National Tournament. As a teacher, Peter emphasizes individualized coaching and mentoring to make sure that each and every student he works with has a full understanding of the material and content.
Sam is the President of his Speech and Debate team at Montville HIgh and has competed in PF Debate for the last 4 years. Sam has reached elimination rounds at The New York City Invitational, The Harvard Invitational, The Princeton Classic, The Grand National Tournament, and the NSDA National Tournament. Sam has also earned speaker awards at The Princeton Classic, The Harvard Invitational, and The New York City Invitational.
Dr. Joshua Cohen | Advisory Board
Joshua is the Chair of Debate for the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League. He has been coaching debate for the past six years at Newton South High School. As a coach, Josh has grown the team from 4 debaters to 52 debaters. Josh has qualified over 25 teams to NCFL Nationals and NSDA Nationals. His teams have reached late break rounds at national tournaments across the country, and earned over 50 TOC bids. In his spare time, Josh works as the Deputy Director at the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center, Boston.