Co-Founder & Director
Phyl joined Virginia Debate Academy in 2017 as the Richmond Director with the goal of expanding debate in Richmond. Phyl has worked with Chesterfield County School District for 3 years, acting as assistant debate for Clover Hill High School, while developing Virginia Debate Academy. Phyl is a yearly speaker at the Virginia Association of Forensics, Theater, and Debate Coaches, and also works with the Richmond Forum on their Richmond Region Speech and Debate Initiative.
Phyl currently acts as the Director of the Richmond region, but also works full time as a Financial Service Auditor for Ernst & Young. Phyl organizes camps, school programs, debate curriculum, and personally develops speech and debate curriculums with his network of teachers and coaches, aiming to develop critical education in Richmond as a whole.
As a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Accounting and Philosophy, Phyl knows the importance of a critical thinking education, and how it relates to industry. That's why Phyl is proud to continue developing his educational services in the Richmond area, and aims help every student grow and succeed.
Kiko has over 1,000 hours of debate experience, and years of coaching and teaching experience. Kiko was ranked 32nd debater in the nation in 2015, a Nevada State Champion in Public Forum, and also attended the Tournament of Champions in 2016. Currently, Kiko is the assistant debate coach of Clover Hill High School , and is a Philosophy major at the University of Virginia. With his expertise in critical thought and debate, Kiko is our lead coach and helps VDA develop our debate curriculum.
Zach Perry is the assistant debate and forensics coach at the University of Richmond, where he also obtained a B.A. in Philosophy. He is also a member of the Virginia Association of Forensics, Theatre and Debate Coaches (VAFTDC) and assists with various high schools in the RVA and NOVA area. Previous experiences have included: competing internationally, hosting the traveling Committee for International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) team, and debates with the German, "Konstanz Debattierclub". With over 10 years of experience in over a dozen speech events, six forms of debate, Model UN, Future Problem Solvers, theatre, and improv, Zach utilizes these skills to foster a holistic methodology when exploring the art of rhetoric and communication.
Caroline Kouneski is a recent graduate of Randolph-Macon College, where she received her Bachelors in Political Science and Communication Studies. During her time within the Collegiate Forensics Association, she was awarded Parliamentary Debater of the Year three years in a row, along with many other wins. She recently finished a prestigious three week-long debate tour through Japan, where she debated with different schools and members of the Japanese Debate Association. She will soon be starting a full-time job with the Maryland State Government as a legislative aide.