World Class Faculty
Lumos Debate recruits instructors who are the best at what they do. Many are experts in debating who’ve had incredible success in debate, placing at and winning multiple national debate titles and earning numerous speaker awards. Others are champions in speech and experienced with theatre, with a focus on body language, projection, and tone. Yet other instructors specialize in working with children – many have multiple years of experience teaching and coaching students to tournament wins. 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 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
Lilian Wang | Branch Manager
Lilian is currently finishing up her M.A. in Elementary Teaching and Massachusetts teaching license at Brandeis. This past May, she graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a B.A in Education Studies. Lilian has many years of experience working with children and youth, and is passionate about building up a generation of young, educated leaders.
Kassie Zavaliagkos | Branch Manager
Kassie currently studies in the D’amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern. As a competitor, Kassie placed 7th in the state for Lincoln Douglas debate and won numerous speaking awards, allowing her to participate in national tournaments across the East coast. Kassie draws on experience from mentoring the younger members of her debate team and tutoring middle school students.
Kayla currently studies Math with a concentration in teaching at UC Berkeley. After a successful career and becoming the MA state debate champion, Kayla has coached students to success such as quarter and semi finals at Berkeley and elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions. Kayla tutored math through high school, captained her debate team, and now at mentors at Emerson Elementary.
Maya has seen tremendous success in both Congressional and Public Forum Debate, placing 2nd in MA in PF and reaching semi-finals at the Yale and NCFL Nationals Tournament and finals at the state tournament in Congress. She has been mentoring and tutoring debate students since the beginning of high school, as well as tutoring other academic subjects. She currently plans to study Economics at the UMass Amherst.
Julianne’s experience spans middle school, high school, and college debate. She has tutored middle schoolers for four years and trained high school novices to be national qualifiers. Her own success includes out-round finishes at tournaments like Yale and Columbia. She went on to earn a spot on American University‘s elite Mock Trial team, where she also studies Politics with a double minor in Philosophy and Public Health.
Sam debated through high school, ranked as high as 2nd in New Jersey. His accomplishments include 10th speaker at Harvard, 8th at Princeton and 3rd place at the NSDA National Tournament. He has been teaching debate for 5 years and studies at Wesleyan University.
Eliza French Eliza won The Lawrence Prize in her academics and has experience mentoring younger students. She plans to study Biology at Harvard University. Ranen Miao Ranen has placed 1st at Princeton, 4th at University of Pennsylvania, and 3rd at NSDA Nationals. He is also one of nine members of USA Debate team. Sarah Bressler Sarah was President and Public Forum Debate Captain at Millburn High. Sarah now attends Vanderbilt University where she studies English and Business.
Eliza won The Lawrence Prize in her academics and has experience mentoring younger students. She plans to study Biology at Harvard University.
Ranen has placed 1st at Princeton, 4th at University of Pennsylvania, and 3rd at NSDA Nationals. He is also one of nine members of USA Debate team.
Sarah was President and Public Forum Debate Captain at Millburn High. Sarah now attends Vanderbilt University where she studies English and Business.
Gaurav has been ranked as high as 1st in MA and 3rd in the US in Public Forum. He will attend Georgetown University this fall.
James has been responsible for 2 elementary school programs, running weekly workshops. He attends the University of Pennsylvania.
Simone has worked at camps and peer tutored for the last two years, as well as instructed younger students at her ballet studio. She studies engineering at MIT.
Jerry is top 5 in debate in MA, reaching octofinals at Princeton and going undefeated at Harvard. He plans to study Political Science at Cornell.
Jack has achieved semi-finals at Princeton and out-rounds at tournaments like Harvard and Columbia. He will attend Northwestern University this fall.
Anika won the Tournament of Champions and placed 2nd at Harvard and Yale, currently ranked 9th in the nation. She captains the Newton South team.
David won the Princeton Classic and semi-finaled at Lexington, FSU and the Tournament of Champions. He will head to UCLA this fall.
Suning has multiple state and regional titles and has coached students to national titles. She will attend Babson College this fall.
Gil was the MA state champion, won the Columbia tournament, and was an octafinalist at Harvard. She plans to attend Brown this fall.
Prisha has won numerous tournaments. These awards includes a national championship and two state championships.
Aidan has finaled at tournaments like Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, winning nationals and states. He attends UC Berkeley.
Ananta has reached elimination rounds at the Harvard, Princeton, and Blake tournaments. She studies biology at UCLA.
Sydney has reached finals at Yale, 3rd at Columbia, and 7th at Princeton. She is president of the largest debate team in the US, Bronx.
Lindsey championed the Yale and Princeton tournaments, and was 3rd speaker at Harvard. She attends Byram Hills.
Nikhil was top 4 at Harvard and MA states, top 8 at Columbia, and reached elimination rounds at Princeton and Harvard.
Long finished in the quarterfinals at the MA state tournament among other success. This fall, he heads to Brown University.
Mary earned 2nd place at UPenn and has advanced to eliminations at Harvard, Yale, and GMU. She attends Northwestern.
Thomas won Villiger’s Tournament and reached semifinals at Yale. He studies philosophy at the University of Chicago.
Kate achieved top 8 at Harvard and Columbia and was named 2nd speaker at Yale. She currently captains the Bromfield debate team.
Irina has won speaker awards at national tournaments like Ridge and Lakeland. She studies Political Science at UMass Amherst.
Niki championed the Lincoln Sudbury Invitational in high school. Currently, she attends Barnard College of Columbia University.
Cecilia is the captain of Newton North’s debate team and has amassed a number of state awards. She specializes in coaching novices.
Nicola was president of model congress, winning an outstanding performance gavel at Harvard. He attends Wake Forest.
Venuri De Silva
Venuri was top 4 at Lakeland’s National Tournament and has 4 years of experience coaching middle schoolers. She attends Northeastern.
In Kevin’s novice year, he was top 8 at the Princeton Classic, and he has been competitive ever since. He studies at Northeastern.
Alex was his school’s student activities fund board and an Ambassador Leader. He attends the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.
Zoe won 2nd place at Sunvitational and 1st speaker at Princeton, also the VP of the largest debate team in the US. She studies at Yale.
Sabrina semi-finaled in Congressional Debate at UPenn, Blue Key, and Glenbrooks. She will be attending Stanford University this fall.
Natalie was ranked in the top 10 in New York for three years in a row. She will head to Cornell University this fall to study engineering.
Adney was the UPenn and Princeton Champion, 2nd at Columbia, and 4th at Yale. He will attend Franklin & Marshall College this fall.
Ariel placed 3rd in the Nation in Original Oratory and has many other state and national awards. She attends Smith College.
Zeph Chang | Education Director
As a debater, Zeph took 2nd place at the Columbia Invitational and 3rd at the Yale Invitational, ranked as high as 1st in Massachusetts and 3rd in the nation. Zeph has years of coaching experience with the Westfield Debate Team and has created, planned, and executed educational debate curriculum for hundreds of Lumos students. His goal is to make sure Lumos’s philosophy of personalized learning for students is embodied by every class in every location.
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.