MEET THE TEAM!
MEET YOUR DIRECTORS
Founder & Executive Director
Abigail started part-time debate coaching in highschool, this experience inspired her to combine her passion for business and education and founded Skill Set Communication in 2017. Her focus was centered around inspiring young people to learn critical thinking, public speaking, and current events. She has been both regionally and nationally recognized by the NCFCA for her accomplishments in speech and debate. She has directed over 20 camps and has been asked to speak at schools, retreats, and clubs. Abigail is a current international student at Trinity Western University in British Columbia where she is a member of her school’s model UN team. She has been involved in numerous non-profits and is planning to either attend grad school for her PHD in Communications or law school to be a legal advocate for underrepresented groups.
Executive Camp Director
Luke loved the thrill of debate from the moment he first felt its motivational power of soul-crushing defeat. He believes that the magic of debate and speech comes in the fact that no matter where you start, you can end up winning tournaments; all it takes is hard work and the ability to pick yourself up after being knocked down. He’s experienced this first hand, having gone from losing every single round at some tournaments to winning the first LD tournament after having never competed in that style of debate. Most of all, he wants to communicate his passion and knowledge to younger students because after having experienced debate for six years, he believes that it can be one of the most beneficial and formational experiences in high school.
Director of Marketing
Nate participated as an NCFCA competitor for 5 years. During this time he competed nationally in various speech events and debate forums. More importantly, he developed a love for communication and critical thinking and a passion for sharing it with those around him. Nate joined Skillset as an intern in the summer of 2019 and looks forward to working with the team full time this summer. He plans on attending the University of Washington after his gap year, with hopes of attending law school thereafter. Nate feels strongly that his time in the NCFCA has been the most beneficial activity of his high school career and has a passion to see the skills he’s gained get passed on to the next generation of students.
MEET YOUR COACHING TEAM
Get to know the amazing people behind Skill Set. Our team is carefully selected based on National experience, community involvement, and their passion for communication. We believe that the most important skill anyone can learn is how to communicate and are dedicated to personally coaching you along that journey!
Head Team Policy Debate Coach
Lauren competed in NCFCA for five years and qualified each year to the National Championship. Most notably, in 2019 Lauren was awarded 1st place Team Policy team at the North Carolina Open, 1st place Moot Court team at the Spokane National Mixer, and 5th place Moot Court team at the National Championship. Currently attending Patrick Henry College, Lauren is pursuing a degree in American Politics and Policy and competes for the college’s forensics team. At the collegiate level, Lauren was awarded 1st place Moot Court team at the Texas Tech School of Law Regional Tournament and received the Distinguished Delegation title at the National Model United Nations Conference. Lauren fervently believes in the mission of NCFCA and considers it the single most valuable part of her highschool education. She is excited to share her experience and knowledge this summer with new and seasoned debaters so that they too can benefit from the lifelong skills NCFCA has to offer.
Head Lincoln Douglas Debate Coach
Sarah competed in NCFCA for five years and has competed nationally in all three styles of debate. Her top achievements include 10th place nationally in Team Policy and 6th Place National Team Policy Speaker, 1st place Team Policy at the 2019 North Carolina Open, 1st place Moot Court at the 2019 Spokane National Mixer, and 5th place Moot Court at the 2019 National Championship. Sarah also received 1st place oral advocate at the 2019 North Carolina Open as well as the Lancaster National Mixer. Sarah currently attends Patrick Henry College and is pursuing a degree in Strategic Intelligence. On the collegiate level, she has been involved in Moot Court and attained 1st place Team in Moot Court at the 2020 Texas Tech School of Law Regional Tournament. Sarah highly valued her time in NCFCA and looks forward to sharing her lessons and experiences this summer.
MEET YOUR INTERNS
Skill Set Intern
Blake has developed a passion for learning and developing his public speaking skills through his four years in NCFCA. In his second and third years, he qualified to nationals, achieving thirteenth place in his Illustrated Oratory nationwide. Although his most recent season was cut short, Blake is excited to continue learning and developing his speaking skills. Blake will serve as the Student Advisory Council representative for Region II in the 2020-2021 competition season. When he was turning 13, he started a campaign to raise $13,000 for the drought in Somalia. He successfully completed his goal and has used his public speaking skills to share his story. As he finishes high school, he looks forward to pursuing higher education, considering a degree in graphic design.
MEET YOUR CONTRIBUTORS
We are so grateful for the wonderful people that contribute to Skill Set that so selflessly devote their time and resources to this cause. Whether its working behind the scenes or speaking as a guest, these people are a foundational part of the Skill Set family.
Team Policy Research Consultant
Sherrill Fink is an NCFCA alumni parent, Team Policy coach, and Moot Court Coach. After retiring from homeschooling, she returned to her previous career as a Technical Writer/Editor. In the fall, she will begin her eighth year in the league and her fifth year as a coach. As a Team Policy judging addict and research maven, she finds researching the resolution each year to be a labor of love, ensuring students begin on a firm foundation. Collaborating with accomplished alumni along the way is an honor and a delight. Sherrill holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education.
Energy Policy Guest Speaker, Economic Thinking
Gregory Rehmke directs programs for Economic Thinking, a Seattle nonprofit. Mr. Rehmke has a degree in economics from the University of Washington and has directed educational programs for the Foundation for Economic Education, The Center for the American Idea, and the Reason Foundation. For over twenty years Mr. Rehmke has written and spoken on the economics of national high school and homeschool debate topics. He has been a speaker at Independent Institute and FEE summer seminars, FreedomFest, the Institute for Economic Studies-Europe Seminars, University Interscholastic League in Texas, and the Mackinac Center. Mr. Rehmke writes regularly on technology, energy, and environmental topics and has had articles published in The Freeman, Reason, DailySpeculations, and the MasterResource blog. Mr. Rehmke is coauthor of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Global Economics.
CEO of Lasting Impact, Partner and Coach with Skill Set
Heather Neumann is the Founder of Lasting Impact! - an online resource for students, parents, coaches, and clubs that empowers them with the tools that they need to create a lasting impact in the world of speech and debate. She, herself, is a speaker coach, club leader, teacher, educator, mom, theater director, and ultimate Packer fan (in no particular order;). She has been blessed to coach hundreds students across the country, including national champions, Ted Talk speakers, students with learning disabilities, and the list could go on and on. Ultimately, she gives God the Glory for all the things she has done.
MEET YOUR ALUMNI PANELS
We are so excited to offer an alumni panel that creates a space to talk about how to use debate skills in the "real world". This panel allows us to cath up with aumni and see how they are using their skill set now!
Former Teen Pact Directer
Ryan Funkhouser cares deeply about empowering others to think well, communicate persuasively, and effectively engage in dialogue with those of different views. This passion originated during his three years competing in the NCFCA in both speech and Team Policy debate (ranking as the top NCFCA debate team on Speechranks his final year). He now continues to pursue this passion through higher education where he is currently completing his Master’s in English and Humanities from Trinity Western University.
Vector Debate Coach
Grant Habersetzer competed in the NCFCA for two seasons. Though he loved competing, he has since found that he loves coaching even more. In 2018, he served as an assistant coach at Vector Speech and Debate, and in 2019, he took the position as head coach. He has dedicated hundreds of hours a season preparing presentations and other coaching material for his students. Grant started working for Boeing in April on the KC-46A Pegasus as an in-tank mechanic.
Co-Host of Well Said Podcast & NCFCA Alumni Guest Speaker
Samuel debated in the NCFCA for 4 years, during which time he and his partner won two National Opens and numerous qualifiers. More importantly, he developed a love of communication and “big ideas” which he has carried with him into life beyond debate. Samuel finished his Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2017, and is now completing pre-medical classes to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a doctor. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing in the Pacific Northwest, mountaineering in the Cascade volcanoes, making piano music and spending time with his closest friends and family.
Skill Set Writer & NCFCA Alumni Guest Speaker
Abigail is currently enrolled at the University of Washington, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology. During her five years competing in team policy, some of her biggest achievements were placing 5th in team policy debate at the National Championship, as well as earning 6th Place Team Policy Speaker on the national level. Abigail helped coach clubs throughout high school and into her college years, and she is excited to share what she had learned along the way about policy, logic, and effective communication.