Our Staff

The Matthew H. Ornstein Washington Summer Debate Institute is dedicated to bringing together an All-Star staff for our students. Unlike most debate camps, we hold a competitive, national talent search to identify the best and brightest. We look for staff members with substantial debate expertise AND extensive experience as a teacher and/or coach to pass along their experience.


Last summer, OSDI featured about 200 students over 16 labs (32 staff members), so we are looking for a large number of staff. 

**We are now accepting applications for the staff of the 7th annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute, tentatively July 20th - August 7th. Please see the application below: 


Staff of the 5th Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute (2019)

The staff of the Ornstein Summer Debate Institute reflects the great debate community here in D.C. and around the country. The things we generally value in hiring are teaching experience, diversity, debate knowledge, and a team-first attitude.

Our staff over the years has included a lot of flashy resume lines regarding state and national championships, (as a coach or competitor) such as the NDT, CEDA, TOC, etc. These accolades are impressive, but we also value the ability to build relationships with students and instructional skills. Many of our best instructors didn't end up in break rounds of the NDT, but are strong communicators and know how to empower others.

We offer labs ranging from middle school novices through folks hunting for bids to the TOC. Different skills are required to teach different ages and levels of experience, and we hire accordingly. 

Some fast facts and transparency about the process: 

  • 60% have volunteered or coached at an Urban Debate League in the past

  • 40% are alumni of an Urban Debate League somewhere in the country

  • 40% have been undergraduates (rarely rising freshmen, but some have blown us away)

  • 20% have been graduate students

  • 40% are post-graduate professionals, the majority of whom are classroom teachers or the staff of other urban debate leagues (which we love to collaborate with)

  • 50% live in the broader DMV and work with the league in some capacity during the season

  • Historically, we have averaged gender parity (among those who choose to identify)

  • Historically, we have had a majority-minority staff (and generally don't get as many Latinx applicants as we'd like)

  • 25 states represented so far, and counting! 

We don't go into hiring season looking for anything other than the best available instructors. All of these data points fluctuate year to year based on the applicant pool, but should provide some guide to what we're looking for.  We appreciate your interest in joining us this summer, and encourage you to apply (button above).

Staff of the 3rd Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute (2017)