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Episode 9: Lincoln-Douglas and Too Much Pizza with Zach Bearnson

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Zach Bearnson, former competitor and assistant coach at Torrington High School, and I had a nostalgic conversation on the One Clap Podcast. We recalled some fun nuggets about my coaching ignorance at the beginning of our run at THS. We also had a nice discussion about Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Zach’s experience with competition and coaching, and we reminisced about all the bad food we’ve devoured at tournaments along the way.


Zach Bearnson is currently attending school at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista. He is working towards a BA in History and wants to get a MA in History as well. At some point, he'd love to get back into coaching. Zach and I go way back. We both started our Speech and Debate journey at the same time - back in 2014.

Zach was a new student to Speech and Debate, and I was a new coach. We started our team at Torrington High School with a small, but mighty group. Even though we were new, we were working hard to compete and learn, and Zach and I were spending like every waking moment together too. Not only because of Speech and Debate, but Zach was also the student editor-in-chief of the newspaper that I had just inherited teaching and producing at THS. Zach and I were wading through a whole lot of new waters together.

After a great two years of competition and team program building at THS with me, Zach came back to help coach debate while he was attending and competing at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington. Zach had a good run coaching debate with Haley Lauze-Reyes. These two assistant coaches helped me build a foundation for helping students learn and compete in debates. Zach also ate a lot of pizza.

Thank you again to Zach for coming on the pod and sharing his ideas. Thanks also for being there as a patient competitor when I was a new coach, as an intelligent and helpful colleague, and as a thoughtful and kind friend. Sorry about all that pizza!



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