The Speech and Debate team started its year this week with a new head coach. Iaan Reynolds will be the third person to lead the team in the past four years.
Reynolds, a senior at George Washington University, stepped up from his assistant coaching position to replace Ari Parker, who retired last summer.
“The students on the team really had enjoyed working with Reynolds over the last couple of years as an assistant,” said social studies teacher Colin O’Brien, who was a member of the board that selected the new coach. “He had demonstrated great ability as a coach and a great ability working with high school students.”
In addition to having coached Public Forum debate for two years at Whitman, Reynolds has also worked at the Harvard Debate Institute for three summers. This year, he hopes to expand the team and continue its tradition of excellence.
“We want to grow the team a lot, compete more locally and on the national circuit level,” said Reynolds. “The more you compete, the more you succeed.”
Team president Evan Cernea has a similar objective. He believes the coaching change will help the team succeed this year, he said.
“I think that each coach has brought a unique perspective,” he said. “It’s great to have an opportunity to learn from so many different people, especially when they’re coming from very different backgrounds in debate and their lives in general.