Directors

Jonah Williams

Jonah Williams co-founded the Virginia Debate Academy with Benjamin Fisher in 2015. Jonah has B.A in Political Science from the College of William & Mary, and he is the former coach of the Chantilly High School Speech and Debate team.

His students have won awards at all three national tournaments, fifteen high school trophies, and championed WACFL Metrofinals. As an analyst in Washington D.C and a coach, he has built two debate programs at local schools and currently coaches debate-related studies to students that attend schools such as Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Harvard University.

He won the Arlington Diocese once and earned two semi-finals bids at WACFL Metrofinals. On the state circuit, Jonah won numerous district titles, one regional championship, and the State tournament in 2013. On the national circuit, Jonah qualified for nationals three times, where he placed in the top-32 when he was a sophomore, and reached semifinals at two national invitationals.

Ben Fisher

Ben Fisher co-founded the Virginia Debate Academy with Jonah Williams in 2015. Ben has a BA in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia.

He has been coaching students for 6 years at local schools, including being the coach of Rachel Carson’s debate team which placed 1st and 3rd at Nationals and being the principle consultant for Freedom High School's debate program. He was an instructor at numerous camps over the years, teaching hundreds of students ranging from 5th to 12th grade. He was the head captain for Chantilly High School's back-to-back state championship team.

As a debater, he was ranked the best debater in Virginia for three years straight by the National Speech and Debate Association. Ben placed 3rd at three national invitational tournaments, and competed in elimination rounds at numerous other national invitationals. In the WACFL circuit, Ben remained undefeated in Public Forum for 2 years and qualified for Varsity Metro Finals in Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Student Congress. Ben placed in Impromptu and Extemporaneous forensics events at the district and regional VHSL tournaments, where his speech team won sweepstakes 4 years in a row. 

Instructors

Julie Ablimit

Julie Ablimit is a rising sophomore at the University of Virginia, studying Mathematics and Economics. She was head captain of her High School debate team and the coach of Franklin Middle School's debate program. Julie has been teaching for the Virginia Debate Academy for three years.

 She placed multiple times in the varsity division on the local circuit, where she won the Public Forum Varsity Metro Finals tournament. Julie competed in late elimination rounds at two invitational tournaments and at the national tournament. On the state circuit, Julie won multiple district and regional titles and the State championship twice.

Kate Wozniak

Kate Wozniak is a rising junior at the University of Virginia, where she competes for the university's parliamentary debate team and coaches for the Charlottesville Debate League. Previously, Kate served as the coach of the Rocky Run Middle School debate team, and she served as captain of the state-winning team in 2018.

 

In High School, she earned numerous top 3 finishes at the district and regional level and at varsity WACFL tournaments, won the Virginia Lincoln-Douglas state championship in 2016, and placed third at a national tournament in 2017. Kate also competed in Impromptu speech, earning 2nd place at the Virginia state championship 2 years in a row. She was also a member of the 1st place Virginia state champion team for 3 years in a row.  Kate also won the Virginia High School League Allstate Achievement Award, the highest award given by the VHSL to academics activities participants.

Sultan Seraj

Sultan Seraj is a law student with a B.A in Philosophy from George Mason University and the former debate coach of Chantilly High School. During his four years coaching, Chantilly High School won over 15 trophies, including a State championship, and numerous personal awards on the national circuit. He also coached multiple students from schools such as Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

 

As a debater, Sultan won the Regional and State tournament, placed numerous times at local tournaments, won multiple speaking awards in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Sultan also qualified and competed at multiple national tournaments.

Harin Ok

Harin Ok is a rising sophomore majoring in Sociology and Economics at the College of William and Mary, where she competes for her school's parliamentary team. 

As a Lincoln-Douglas debater at Oakton High School, where she served as the LD captain (2018-19) and novice coach (2017-18), she competed at Varsity WACFL Metro-Finals three years in a row. Harin debated in late out rounds at state and national invitationals such as the UVA Cavalier Clash and Pennsbury Falcon Invitational and NCFL Grand Nationals. Under her leadership, her team earned 1st place sweepstakes award in LD debate at WACFL Metro-Finals. Similar to her success in High School, Harin has placed at multiple invitational tournaments and received various speaker awards on the college circuit.

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