About Us


Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. Greater Seattle Debate League emerged out of a desire and pursuit to see more students in the greater Seattle area have access to and compete in debate activities. Established in 2021, we are an organization driven by critical education, community involvement, and a strong foundation of support. Contact us to learn more and get involved.


The purpose of the Greater Seattle Debate League (GSDL) is to develop speech and debate programs and activities in order to create opportunities for academic and personal growth for underserved students in the greater Seattle area. 

Meet the Board

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Tyler Durbin is a senior at Western Washington University whose competed in speech and debate since he began high school. Mr. Durbin spearheaded the effort to establish the GSDL because he believes in the transformative role debate has for students, individuals, and communities. 



Ryan Casey is a high school social studies and language arts teacher who believes strongly in the power of speech and debate activities to increase confidence and academic success in the lives of his students. 

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Denise Vaughan, PhD has 20+ years experience in speech and debate. She is currently the Director of Forensics for University of Washington Bothell. Dr. Vaughan grew up in south Seattle and remains committed to bringing speech and debate to programs in her region. Dr. Vaughan's research area of interest include equity in health care and  debate as experiential learning.



Jim Hanson has been involved in forensics for over 40 years as a competitor and as coach. As a coach, his speech and debate team won 5 squad NDPA national championships, first place CEDA team in the nation (Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds), first place NDT speaker (Charles Olney), and first place NPDA speaker (Miranda Morton) as well as over 1000 debate awards, 167 national championship tournament elimination and qualification awards, and 500 individual speaking events awards.