Speech and Debate

COST: $3,000
Session i: June 30-July 13, 2019; Session II: July 14-28, 2019

The Debate Program is ideal for both novice and experienced debaters. Students will hone their arguing, speaking, and critical thinking skills through forms of debate and public speaking popular in the Debating Association of New England Independent Schools and International and Worlds competitions, including Parliamentary Extemporaneous debate, After Dinner and Persuasive speeches, and Impromptu speaking.



David Conti

Speech and Debate Program Director
Debate Coach

David Conti coaches the current award-winning Speech and Debate Team at The Hotchkiss School. As a Latin and Greek instructor at Hotchkiss, Mr. Conti came to debate through his work with classical rhetoric. Teaching the speeches of Cicero, Lysias and Demosthenes, Mr. Conti knows well the breadth of knowledge needed to argue persuasively and the importance of rhetoric in making a strong case. He has been fortunate to work with an enthusiastic, successful group of debaters at Hotchkiss.

Michelle Repass


Carita Gardiner

Carita Gardiner HeadshotCarita Gardiner grew up in Chicago, earned a B.A. from Amherst College, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Prior to coming to Hotchkiss in 1999, she taught at The Storm King School, Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, and Kent School. At Hotchkiss, she has served as the English Department head and taught all levels, including senior electives in film adaptations, humor, and gendered language. She currently serves on the Gender Issues Committee and the Curriculum Review Committee. Ms. Gardiner’s other duties include coaching the boys varsity water polo and the co-ed club ice hockey teams. She lives in a campus dorm with her husband, Instructor in Science Chris Oostenink, and daughters, Annika (Hotchkiss '17 and Tulane University '21) and Eden (Hotchkiss '20), and their dog, Tuukka.