Founded in 2009, the Orange County Debate League [OCDL] is an independent, non-profit organization of debaters comprised of students and faculty from middle schools in and around the Orange County area.
“To promote academic and personal growth in local youth through the sport of debate.”
In the OCDL, students compete in regular tournaments throughout the school year where they are eligible to earn awards as individuals, as a team, and as a school. In addition, league administrators and coaches offer educational workshops and several learning opportunities throughout the year. The league welcomes participation from all schools dedicated to student achievement in the fields of argument and critical thinking.
- Brookhurst Junior High – Autumn Browne
- Buena Park Junior High – Kathleen Terhune
- Cogito Debate – Kristina Reitveld
- Ensign Intermediate School – Joanna Stedman, John Browning
- Fairmont Private School: Anaheim Hills – Benjamin Hughes
- Fairmont Private School: Historic Anaheim – Karen O’Hanlon
- Fairmont Private School: North Tustin – Benjamin Hughes
- Fire Speech and Debate – Rebecca Starbeck
- Gordon H. Beatty Middle – Kathleen Terhune, Mike McDonald
- Heritage Oak Private Education – Carissa Burgos
- Institute of Knowledge – Thomas Alameddine
- New England Academy – Mark Hobbs
- Rowland Unified – Zach Miles
- The Pegasus School – Josh Thimmons
Board of Directors
Mark is originally from England. He moved to the United States in the late 70’s and eventually graduated from UCLA with a degree in biology. For nearly 20 years, he taught science (biology, geology, chemistry, and physics) at the middle and high school level. In addition to his work with the OCDL, he also served as president OC Science and Engineering Fair. Today, Mark owns and operates his own debate academy.
Mark joined the OCDL Board of Directors in 2016 with hopes of bringing his pedagogical knowledge in the areas of critical thinking to serve the students of the league.
Ben Hughes has been with the OCDL since its creation in 2009. He earned his bachelor degree at Claremont McKenna College, earned his Masters degree at San Diego State University and holds clear California teaching credentials in language arts and social studies as well as a preliminary administrative services credential.
When he’s not teaching speech and debate or volunteering with the OCDL, Ben enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, snowboarding and watching movies.
Having launched her OCDL career in the 6th grade, Channing has been an active member of the league for the last 8 years as first a debater, then a judge, judge trainer, and Director of Judging. She now serves the League as Secretary. Currently a student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Channing has taught debate at various locations and coached her own team of middle school debaters while in high school. She hopes to give back to the debate community, which she confidently believes comprises future leaders and world-changers.
Director of Tabulations
Matthew has been involved with the Orange County Debate League since debating for Fairmont North Tustin in the sixth grade. He has been volunteering for the OCDL since freshman year of high school and after assisting with registration and tabulations for two years, he is currently the Director of Tabulations. Outside of the league, he has been debating for the Fairmont Preparatory Academy for four years and is actively involved with a number of programs dedicated to expanding access to debate for middle schoolers. He currently attends Pomona College.