VICTOR RIVAS UMANA has six years of competitive experience in Policy Debate, in high school as a competitor for James Logan HS, and in college at the University of Redlands. While competing in high school, he was a Kentucky Scholar at the Kentucky National Debate Institute and attended the highly selective Dartmouth Debate Institute. His hard work and preparation translated into tons of success in his local state circuit and elimination rounds at annual tournaments held at Cal State Long Beach, University of the Pacific, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. Additionally, he was a three-time qualifier to the CA State Championship Tournament in Policy Debate, and finished his career as a Quarter-Finalist (Top 8) at the 2005 CA State Championships. After his debate career, Mr. Rivas Umana went on to work with special interest and labor groups, including the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Outside of his work with The Golden State Academy, he also serves as the Head Debate Coach at Mission San Jose HS in Fremont, CA and previously coached at the Brooks Academy. At Mission San Jose in 2 years, he has coached teams to 10 TOC bids collectively as well as the winners and runner ups of local and national tournaments like Stanford, Berkeley, Presentation, the University of the Pacific and the Silver and Black invitational in Alta, UT. He has qualified teams to the Tournament of Champions along with the State, Nationals and Catholic Nationals tournament. At the Brooks Academy his efforts have translated into success as well. He along with the rest of the Public Forum staff coached several teams deep into elimination rounds including the runner-ups to the State champions in Public Forum. At the Middle School National Tournament he helped coach all six teams into elimination rounds with all teams advancing deep into elimination rounds including the eventual national champions. Countless of his students have also received top speaker awards at various tournaments including the top 2 speakers at the Middle School National tournament.
AMINE EL MOZNINE competed at the highest levels of debate for four years. He founded and led the Cupertino Congressional Debate team, leading it to over 100 breaks and awards over four years. He has also won awards and broke records at tournaments all over the Bay Area and the state. Amine is only the second person in Cupertino High School's history to win a State championship.