SDF History
Board of Directors
Board of Adivsors
SDF Staff

The SDF is governed by a Board of Directors. Current Board members are:


Seattle Debate Foundation Board of Directors 

Dr. Derek Buescher is an Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound in the Communication Studies Department. He holds a BA from Whitman College (1992), an MA from University of California-Davis (1995) and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, (2003). He is the Director of Debate at the University of Puget Sound.  Derek has served on international training teams for the International Debate Education Association, directs the Puget Sound Debate Academy and manages the he University of Puget Sound Forensics program.   He is also the current chair of the Tacoma Advisory Council for the Seattle Debate Foundation. 

Susan Byers is the Chief Academic Officer for the College Success Foundation. She leads the School Programs Team.  Susan joined the College Success Foundation in December, 2004.. Sue leads efforts in national replication of the Foundation in the United States and provides leadership, direction and supervision to staff members who represent Washington State Achievers Scholarship programs and activities in 22 high schools and over 30 middle schools and staff who manage programs directed at high school Achievers Scholars Candidates.  In Seattle, Washington, she co-founded Middle College in 1990, a program designed to recapture students who dropped out of school and provide them an early college experience and the opportunity to complete their high school education and led the Seattle Schools GEAR UP Program until her departure. She was the Director of Special Projects for the Seattle School District. Sue joins this Board with extensive experience working in schools, as a school administrator and with programs aimed at keeping students in middle and high school, preparing them for high school graduation and then to enroll in college.  Sue earned her B.A., in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Business Administration from Evergreen State College and her M.A., in Human Development with a specialization in Leadership in Education, Human Services and Administration/Supervision from Pacific Oaks College.

Dr. Betty Howell-Gray is the President/Founder of the Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators. In 1999, she received the National Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame for her work in Seattle schools.  Her national work includes serving on Education Secretary Richard Riley's Blue Ribbon Panel to identify outstanding schools. She's developed mentoring programs for African American students and an anger management program for at-risk students; taught SAT preparation classes for children at her church, and lobbied Congress to reduce funding cuts in education.


Cassandra Webb is a entrepreneur with a deep connection to debate and parents.  She was a parent advocate for the Seattle Debate Foundation for many years when her son Cole Terry, participated in the league.  The former owner of a trucking company, Ms. Webb devotes her energies to working for the needs of children and creating communities of care within Seattle. 



If you are interested in board service, please contact Pam Spiliadis:

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