Bios: Stoa Academy 2022

Tasha Aschmutat has been homeschooling her 9 children for 26 years. Fifteen years ago, when her first child started speech and debate and she saw what her children learned through this activity, she decided it was going to be an integral part of her curriculum. Back then, Tasha was a drop-off, uninvolved parent, but through the years she evolved to become a club manager, coach, and tournament director. Currently, Tasha is starting a new club this year and serves on the Stoa speech committee. When she is not teaching her own children or traveling to tournaments, Tasha is an adjunct professor and writing tutor at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

Maggie Carabelos was a founding member in establishing homeschool speech and debate in Colorado and has been at its core ever since. She has been coaching Homeschool Forensics and the SALT (Speaking As Living Testimonies) club since 1999. Maggie also has extensive experience in tournament directing and administration.

She served on the Directors Team for NITOC 2012, as the Tournament Assistant for NITOC 2013, and she was working hard as the 2020 Tournament Director before the unprecedented cancellation of NITOC due to COVID-19. Maggie and Sharon Nagatani were honored to direct the NITOC 2021 in person at Union University in TN.

Maggie served on the Stoa Debate Committee for 6 years and currently serves as President of the Stoa Board of Directors.

She and her husband Leonard have been happily married for 33 years and have two adult sons who were both homeschooled and are alumni debaters.

Angela Childress has served in local Christian homeschool speech and debate club and tournament leadership since 2007. Angela had the privilege to serve on the Stoa Speech Committee 2012-2014 and on the Stoa Board 2014-2017. She served as Stoa Academy 2016 Co-Director and NITOC 2017 Co-Director. After concluding her term on the Stoa Board, she served as Stoa Speech Committee Chair 2017-2019 and then was hired by the Stoa Board of Directors as the first Stoa Executive Director in August 2019.

Angela’s background includes receiving her B.S. in Industrial Management and her Masters in Business Administration. She has worked in a variety of corporate management positions, nationally and internationally, and has conducted a wide range of seminars. Angela loves encouraging others to develop their skills and abilities to their fullest potential and use them for God’s glory.

Angela and her husband, Tim, live in Little Rock, Arkansas and have been happily married for 37 years. They also serve in FamilyLife ministry and have three adult children who each competed in speech and debate.

As a homeschool dad, Dorr H. Clark was recruited as a community judge & accepted his first debate ballot in April 1998. He started working 1 on 1 with CLASH debaters shortly thereafter and continues to this day. In addition to coaching, starting in 2003, Dorr provided team policy judge orientation for tournaments for over a decade, including the first three NITOCs. As the founding debate chair for Stoa, Dorr was in the unique position of having previously coached high school Parli for CLASH, and led the movement to bring Parli into Stoa. Before Parli became a Stoa debate event, Dorr organized all the Parli demonstration events up and down the west coast, ran the first West Coast Parli debate camp for homeschoolers, and was the tournament director of the first California Stoa Parli qualifier. He also served on the CLASH board for a decade.

Sue Danielson has been involved with speech and debate since 2006, as both a parent and speech coach in Washington state. She serves on the state leadership team and leads tournaments. She has served on the Stoa Speech Committee since 2013. She is passionate about preparing students for life beyond competition using the skills from speech and debate especially those in Mars Hill and Interpretations.

Colleen Enos is a Stoa coach who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her family. She has been involved in speech and debate since 2004. All eight of her children have competed in speech and debate, two are current Stoa competitors. Colleen and Larry Sparks co-founded the speech and debate club Resolve located in Colorado in 2007. She has served on the Stoa Debate Committee since 2015 and is the current Debate Chair.

Colleen is passionate about training the next generation to winsomely articulate the gospel to a dying world. She believes that Stoa students will use their rhetorical skills to sprinkle salt and shine light on our nation. Her background is in advocacy for the unborn in debate and political settings. Colleen received her B.S. in Business Management and is a certified paralegal.

Kimberly Farley has been involved with Stoa since 2014. She began as a mom attending club, tournaments, and camps, learning all she could about this amazing activity! She started Impact Speech and Debate in 2018 after feeling called to step out in faith and reach a new area of Tennessee with this amazing option for homeschooled students. She loves working tournaments and is passionate about training the next generation of leaders, both the students and their parents who will lead Stoa! She currently serves as chair of the Training and Development Committee for Stoa. Kimberly has now joined the ranks of “veteran” homeschoolers, having graduated her three kids. When not working tab or ballot push at a tournament or teaching at Impact, she works as the Director of Homeschool Partnerships at Classic Learning Test.

Luis Garcia was the 2011 undefeated champion of Apologetics, winning the four major CA tournaments including the NITOC title. He was also blessed with the 2011 NITOC Impromptu title, making him #1 on for the season. He competed for a total of three years and then coached for five years traveling all over CA and to NV, AZ, and CO. Each seminar focused on equipping and discipling students in Apologetics for competition and life after. He received a B.A. degree from Liberty University and his M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Today, his greatest titles and honors are husband to Hannah, father to Ezra and Brooklyn, and pastor of Grace Church Santee in San Diego, CA.

Ty Harding competed in NCFCA and Stoa for five years in high-school. He went to compete in mock trial in college while coaching high-school forensics. He later attended law school where he competed in mock trial, mock arbitration and moot court. He now serves on the Stoa debate committee and coaches on an ad hoc bases where he integrates classical rhetoric and cognitive psychology into forensic analysis.

Katie Herche joined the Modesto Debate team in high school, and learned at the feet of Mike & Mary Winther. She competed in NCFCA for three years, taking 2nd place at the 2007 Nationals in Team Policy Debate. Katie competed another two years in college, winning 1st place in Impromptu and Communication Analysis at the 2009 National Phi Rho Pi tournament. Over the course of her time participating, Katie competed in Team Policy Debate, Parliamentary Debate, and almost every speech event possible. Since then, Katie has coached speech & debate for homeschool groups, public schools, and private schools (15 years total). Katie currently serves on the Stoa debate committee and coaches the club Response. She married her former debate opponent, Logan, and lives in Virginia with her family.

Michelle Hawkinson enjoys sunsets in her home state of Kansas. Michelle and her husband Andrew have six kids, four of whom have competed in Stoa. Her family serves the Lord year-round at Kansas Bible Camp. Michelle enjoys helping in any and every tournament role! She enjoys chocolate and helping others, and serves on Stoa’s Training and Development Committee.

Danny Lyda was introduced to the world of forensics in 2014 when his oldest son joined Stoa in 8th grade. He started out apprehensive of this new endeavor for his family, but after attending a few tournaments he was hooked. In 2016, Danny and his wife of 24 years, Jaime, inherited the club Contend in Northern California; he began coaching in the evening in order to keep the club alive. Danny has been the coach of LD and Apologetics for Contend for the last 6 years and recently joined the debate committee. During the day his job is a manager for a semiconductor company. He has worked in the field of Computer Engineering for 18 years after receiving his degree in Computer Engineering from California State University Chico in 2003.

Anna Plummer: Married for 34 years and a mother of three daughters, Anna has completed 21 years of homeschooling and 15 years in Speech and Debate. Her passion is coaching interpretive speeches. During her Speech and Debate years, she coached students with cutting, blocking, voices, scenes, body postures, facial expressions, and more. Watching students grow and change with their speeches motivates and inspires Anna. This past year Anna served on the Stoa speech committee and her heart is to see Stoa Speech and Debate supported, developed, and promoted.

Lynda Sloneker is mom to 2 Stoa alumni and one current Stoa competitor. In 2014, she worked together with 4 other families to start a Stoa club in Northwest Arkansas. She has served as the club director and tournament director since that time. She served for 3 years on the Training and Development Committee and has been a member of Stoa's Board of Directors for two years. She also currently serves on the StoaTrax committee. Lynda helped to pioneer and develop the use of online tournaments during the past year as Stoa sought to provide an opportunity for students to continue competing during Covid. She is passionate about the value of Christian homeschool speech and debate in the lives of Stoa students and families.

Debbie Snyder has been involved in the world of speech and debate for twenty-five years, eight in California and seventeen in Virginia. She started out as a parent judge with normal insecurities, but as she slowly learned and became more confident, she began teaching and coaching both speech and debate when she moved to Virginia. The past seventeen years include starting clubs, serving on a board, directing tournaments, coaching, and teaching (Christian school, Classical Cottage School, and two local clubs). With Scott York’s encouragement, Debbie was also instrumental in bringing Stoa to Virginia.

At the national level, Debbie served on the speech committee for seven years, four years as the Speech Committee Chair. Presently she is co-directing Stoa Academy in Virginia.
Debbie has an education degree from Pepperdine University, California. She has been actively teaching various subjects for over thirty years. She has seven adult children who each competed in speech and debate. She has also been blessed with ten grandchildren, with one on the way.

Larry Sparks is a business insurance and bonding agent in Colorado Springs, where he lives with his wife of thirty-five years and their two sons. He is active in his church and as a Gideon. Back in the Reagan administration he began competing in speech and debate. Throughout his professional career he has trained leaders on improving their communication skills. In 2005, he was introduced to the world of Homeschool Forensics when invited to be a community judge. In 2007 Colleen Enos and he launched RESOLVE Speech and Debate club. He has been coaching debate ever since. Although Resolve has enjoyed competitive success, the most rewarding experience is seeing young people learn to think critically, research thoroughly, and communicate passionately. Larry currently serves on Stoa's debate committee.

Allisha Speed is a happy mom of six communicative children. Desiring to see them learn with other like-minded friends, she founded Logos OK in the Tulsa area with a handful of families in 2011 and continues to serve as the club director and tournament director. She loves seeing students grow in their skills and understanding as they learn to communicate the love of Christ with sincerity. She has served on the Communications Committee since 2018 and currently serves on the Speech Committee and leads the Stoa Prayer Team.

Alicia Stunkel credits her own experience in high school speech and debate for preparing her for college and her career in accounting. She discovered the homeschool speech and debate world as her son was entering his freshman year of high school. Ten years later, she serves as the Director of Interritus Speech & Debate Club and the Chair of the Stoa Speech Committee. She loves the homeschool community and has a real passion for teaching the next generation of leaders.

Steven Vaughan: After being a Community Judge for 2 years, Steven knew he wanted his kids involved in this activity. Finding no local clubs to join, he decided to start his own club in 2006. Beginning with only 6 students, he now averages over 40 students from around the Denver Metro area. His club, LOGOS, meets in Aurora, CO. Steven is currently on the Stoa Debate Committee and also served as Debate Chair and on the Stoa Board. In February 2022 he became the new owner of Monument Publishing including Monument Members and Training Minds Ministry. He is also a Registered Nurse, Owner of CO-Inspire, a part-time caterer, a musician, coffee roaster, DJ, and has been known to teach some line dancing on occasion. Steven has been married to his wife Jennifer for 36 years. They have six children ranging in age from 31 to 16 with two recently married. Most are still involved in some way with Speech and Debate.

Griffith Verticanis one of two of the original Stoa debate committee members. He is a licensed Attorney, the 2007 NPDA National Champion, and one of the most successful coaches in Stoa. Over the past 15+ years, Griffith has personally coached nine different national champions in all three forms of debate. His students who have won a national title include: Brandon Winchel, Manoah Martin, Jeffrey Pistor, Austin Pistor, Noah Johnson, Noah Pacifici, James Sloneker, Joseph Abell, Logan Whitcher, and Benjamin Arroyave (2022).

Mary Winther is a former high school and college debater and along with her late husband Mike, has been involved in the homeschool debate arena since 1999. She coaches the Modesto Debate club in California. She holds degrees in political science and secondary education. She is the mother of three former homeschool debaters and "debate mom" to hundreds of debate students she has worked with over the years. Mary also speaks at homeschool conventions and debate conferences around the country. She is the co-author of "Rhetoric Through Policy Debate". Mary is the former chair of the Stoa Debate Committee and currently serves on the Stoa Board of Directors.

Branden Yeates: Following two years of junior tournaments and timekeeping, Branden Yeates started speech and debate as soon as he was eligible in 2007, teaming up with his older brother, Callan, in TP and Duo for Callan’s last, and Branden’s first, season. Branden enjoyed competing as part of the Colorado speech and debate community, including Stoa’s inaugural NITOC in 2010 in San Diego, CA. During his six years in forensics, he competed in thirteen events, was in the top 8 at NITOC in Impromptu, Apologetics, Duo, PD, and LD, and claimed national championship titles in Duo, Storytelling, and Extemporaneous.

The breadth of experience and depth of relationships gained through Stoa are beyond valuable to him. Speech and debate fostered friendships, advanced academics, cultivated character, and opened professional doors in incredible ways for which he is deeply grateful. Branden has continued to stay involved in Stoa by teaching at debate camps, coaching students, and serving on the national Debate Committee. He is a graduate of Colorado Christian University, is a licensed CPA, and currently works as a financial and regulatory analyst in Washington, DC.