Summer 2020 In​structors

Rachel Wu, Founder & Director, Instructor

Hi! My name is Rachel, and I'm a senior at Milpitas High School. I'm excited to meet everyone! Having grown up in Milpitas, I really hope to give back to our community because it has offered me so much. I was quite shy when I was younger and didn't have access to many after-school activities, but speech & debate helped me find my voice, and I hope to help others find theirs too :) The confidence and public speaking skills I grew through speech & debate helped me challenge myself, work with amazing people, and build relationships I never imagined I could have had. Now, those skills are helping me give back to Milpitas through this program :)

Experience:

  • 6th Place Internationally at NSDA National Tournament in World Schools Debate (teams from 5 countries)

  • 34th Place Nationally at NCFL Grand National Tournament 2019 in Public Forum Debate

  • Qualifier at Tournament of Champions 2019 in Gold Public Forum Debate (top 119 debaters nationally)

  • 6 additional awards at national tournaments: Stanford, UC Berkeley, Presentation, St. Francis, Alta, etc.

  • Rotary Speech Contest 1st Place

  • MHS Speech & Debate President 2019-2020

  • Milpitas High & Joseph Weller Elementary Debate Coach 2018-Present

Veedita Pirta, Instructor

Hey! My name is Veedita and I’m super excited to meet everyone! Speech and Debate has helped me develop a greater sense of confidence—something which I didn’t have much of before—and has given me countless opportunities to constantly challenge myself and meet so many amazing people. I hope to share the experience and benefits of public speaking with the people around me, especially younger students. Outside of debate, I enjoy playing music and reading up on current events. 

Experience ​

  • UC Berkeley Invitational 2019 Double-Octofinalist in Public Forum 

  • Santa Clara University Philalethic Invitational 2019 Octofinalist in Public Forum 

  • MHS Speech & Debate Treasurer 2020-21

  • Rancho Milpitas Middle School Coach 2019-2020  

Noelle Huynh, Instructor

Hi everyone! My name is Noelle and I'm a rising junior at Milpitas High School. Growing up shy and terrified of those school presentation/mock debate projects, I was quite intimidated by those who did speech and debate. However, upon joining speech and debate, I have gained confidence, long-lasting friendships, and a wide knowledge of current events. As coach, I hope to provide a comfortable, inclusive, and welcoming environment to those who join! I promise that it is not as scary as it may seem!

Experience:

  • Santa Clara University Philalethic Invitational 2018 Octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas

  • Santa Clara University Philalethic Invitational 2019 Double-Octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas

  • Presentation High School Panther Fun Invitational 2018 2nd place in Lincoln-Douglas

  • Rotary Speech Contest 2020 3rd Place

  • MHS Speech and Debate Secretary 2020-21

Ellie Bi, Instructor

Hi, I’m Ellie! Speech and Debate has been a great way for me to learn new skills, especially since I grew up scared of public speaking. I want to be able to pass on some of the things I’ve learned so others will be able to experience the same learning strategies that really improved my skills. Utilizing these strategies has allowed me to share my interests and make connections with people. I hope I can help you with this too!

Experience:

  • UC Berkeley Invitational 2019 Double-Octofinalist in Public Forum 

  • UC Berkeley Invitational 2019 10th Speaker in Public Forum

  • Santa Clara University Philalethic Invitational 2019 Octofinalist in Public Forum 

  • MHS Public Forum Captain 2020-21

  • Rancho Milpitas Middle School Coach 2019-2020