adam chase
As the Lead Speech & Debate Coach, Adam Chase, attended high school at Forsyth Country Day, where he captained the North Carolina state mock trial team to a national championship win, ran a statewide legal debate program, and graduated valedictorian. He went on to attend Yale University, graduating cum laude with special commendation for his thesis on the philosophy and cognitive science of rhetoric. He was awarded the Buck-Jackson & David C. DeForest Prizes for public speaking. As a member of the Yale Mock Trial Association, he won two national division titles, two All-American distinctions, and was the top-scoring individual competitor in two national final rounds. Adam is a published writer for The New Yorker, he’s written audio dramas with James Patterson and Kelly Ripa, and speeches for presidential candidates, Fortune 500 CEOs, Olympic gold medalists, and Emmy-winning actors. 
erela datuowei
As the Early Scholars Speech & Debate Coordinator, Erela Datuowei will likely be your first point of contact. Prior to becoming a DICE fellow, she was a Posse Scholar Finalist. Erela attended Townsend Harris HS where she was a NYC championship winner in indoor and outdoor track, and a strategist for the Republican Candidate Election Simulation. As a University of Southern California (USC) junior, she is pursuing a double major in Health & Human Sciences and French with a concentration in community organizing and organizational structure.
Contact Erela, Debate Coordinator
charlie barton
Charlie Barton competed in extemporaneous speaking for four years at Regis High School in New York City before continuing on to study economics and compete in parliamentary debate at Yale University. In high school he was the New York state champion and placed 4th in international extemp at the 2016 National Speech and Debate Championship. At Yale he was the fifth speaker in the country and a finalist at the 2018 US Universities Debating Championship. He ranked as the top sophomore team in the world at the 2018 World Universities Debating Championship and finished in the top 32 of the 2019 World Championship.
Margarita artoglou
Margarita Artoglou competed in Public Forum debate for four years at the Bronx High School of Science. She won two New York State titles, placed 1st at Lakeland and Vassar’s National Tournament, came in 3rd place at the NSDA Championship, and qualified to the Tournament of Champions all while a member of Bronx HS of Science’s Debate team. Margarita also won awards at Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and UPenn. In 2014 she was recruited by her alma mater to serve as their novice team Director.  Margarita went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Fordham University where she was the Managing Editor of the University’s newspaper. She was also a NY 1 News intern. Taken together, her experience in debate, print, broadcast journalism, and public relations has helped Early Scholars students flourish.
ryan eppolito
Ryan Eppolito is a senior at Columbia University where he majors in Math and Philosophy with a concentration in Economics. After a successful season competing as a member of the Columbia Debate Society, Ryan spent the summer of 2017 in China coaching and designing curriculum for LearningLeaders. His teams placed 1st and 2nd in the Chinese National Debate Championships and 1st and 3rd in the Asian Parliamentary Championships. Ryan founded the first ever computer science education curriculum in his school district, and as a member of Delta Kappa Alpha, a National film society, he helped create several student films as a writer, director, and producer; his creative thinking has informed his speech and debate coaching strategies. 
julio cordero
Julio Cordero was the co-founder and captain of the Public Forum debate team at Leadership & Public Service High School. He was a two time qualifier, reaching octafinals at the Tournament of Champions, double octofinals at Harvard’s National Forensic Tournament, semi-finals at Lakeland’s National Tournament twice, and ranked 5th in NYC. Julio was a nominated Presidential Scholar by the National Association Debate League. He placed in the top team at the Coolidge Cup Debate Invitational, and was one of twelve members of Team USA, a Worlds division competitive development team. Julio views the time he spends with the Early Scholars speech & debate team a philanthropic pursuit.
arielle gallegos
Arielle Gallegos was awarded the NYCUDL Debater of the Year in Public Forum, honored with the City’s Council Citation, and named the Watson Fellowship finalist. As a socialpreneur, Arielle is the co-founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Margins, an education startup focused on supporting students from “middle school deserts.” She was the Zahn Social Impact Grand Prize winner, an innovation pitch seed funding award. Arielle ranked 1st place at the Citi Foundation Championship, semi-finaled at the UDL City Tournament, and was the Kirkland & Ellis National Qualifier finalist.
adejoke mason
Adejoke Mason was the founder and captain of the debate team at North Atlanta High School. She was ranked 3rd in Georgia her junior and senior year and reached finals over 15 times during her high school career. Adejoke was also a four time Nationals qualifier, placing in the top 50 nationally in Lincoln Douglas Debate. As an active policy debater at New York University, Adejoke has reached elimination rounds at numerous tournaments, placing first at the Texas Swings and the Rutgers Invitational. She has also coached young debaters to reach semifinals and finals at tournaments such as UPenn and Harvard. 
Alec Bardey
Alec Bardey was captain of the Bronx High School of Science Public Forum Debate Team for 2 years and competed all 4 years. While at Bronx Science, Alec qualified to the Tournament of Champions, received awards at UPenn, Emory,Columbia, and Princeton, championed several local tournaments, and won the top speaker award at the University of Pennsylvania Round Robin. He is a 2020 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he studied quantitative analytics and research through his criminology major. Alec is passionate about alleviating inequality in cities through teaching and data-based storytelling.
Zachary Ginsberg
Zachary Ginsberg is currently a history student at Columbia University. He was the president of Stuyvesant High School’s speech & debate team, ranking 1st in the nation his senior year. Zachary reached semifinals or further at Blake, GMU, Ridge, Bronx, Scarsdale, Glenbrooks, and Princeton and was a top 5 speaker at Bronx, Harvard, and Columbia. He championed the Columbia Invitational, placed in the top 10 at all three national tournaments, and accrued a total of 15 bids to the Tournament of Champions throughout his career.  Zachary has been the head coach of Trinity School NYC for two years, as well as having worked at a two-week intensive NSD Public Forum debate camp for 4 summers in a row.
MAX hardt
Max Hardt attended high school at Roosevelt High School, where he captained his Debate program and won a state championship in Public Forum, competed on the national circuit and qualified for the Tournament of Champions. He received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from UW-Madison. As a veteran program director and debate coach in Congress, Extemp, and Interp, Max Hardt joins the Early Scholars Middle School Extemporaneous division. His teams have reached late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments, earning over 15 bids in Public Forum, placements in elimination rounds at Tournament of Champions, and semifinal appearances at tournaments such as Blake, Emory, and more. His students have also won UK, Glenbrooks, and Ivy Street round robins.
Jakob was the President of the Stuyvesant High School Speech and Debate team, where he won the NCFL national championship and was ranked as highly as first in the nation in Public Forum. Jakob won a number of national-circuit tournaments including the Blake, Columbia, and George Mason University Invitationals. Jakob has taught at debate camps such as NDF, VBI, and CBI, and coached multiple national champions at the high school level. He studied Political Science at the University of Chicago and is currently enrolled in a Masters Program at Georgetown.

Eli Reitman
Eli is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, on track to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Eli competed in Public Forum for four years of high school, competing on the national circuit. Eli was the captain of his Speech and Debate team his senior year at Oxbridge Academy, a private college prep school out of West Palm Beach, Florida. Eli finished 1st place in PF at California State University in Fullerton. He finished off his senior year ranking 8th overall in the state of Florida for PF.


On March 14th, prior to the announcement that New York City public schools would close to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, Early Scholars Speech & Debate transitioned their Saturday coaching sessions to a Distance Learning Plan. Since Early Scholars has been offering their weekly debate sessions online since 2018, the transition to conduct all sessions utilizing the various remote-learning platforms such as Google Suite was smooth.

Recommendations: We encourage everyone to adhere to social distancing guidelines, to stay in doors, and to remain informed using credible medical resources (CDC,, WHO, DOE, JHU).