About Invictus

What is INVICTUS?

A community of students, parents, instructors, and coaches working together as partners to develop in students the best transformative education and training in the art is advocacy. The Advocacy Academy provides training in public speaking. logic, rhetoric, people skills, life, and leadership skills We seek to inspire growth in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in a group of young citizens who will shape the world. We value who a student will become and how they will achieve their goals. Genres of debate include Team Policy, Lincoln-Douglas Value Debate, Mock Trial, and Moot Court. The art of public speaking and debate is promoted through a Biblical worldview.

 

What is Forensics?

Competitive speech & debate which sharpens a student’s ability to think and listen critically and to communicate their thoughts confidently and persuasively. The ability to think critically and articulate one’s thoughts is fundamental for our children who are deluged with secular/humanistic ideas in movies, television, social media, politics, music, literature, and pop culture.

 

What Skills are Taught?

  • Critical thinking skills. Students involved in Speech & Debate develop higher-level thinking skills through application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and creativity. They come to understand what they believe about the issues that confront them in our culture and why.

  • Increased problem-solving abilities and overall academic performance. Speech & Debate students score higher on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

  • Research skills. Speech & Debate students learn more about their world and the policies and value system that affect them and their communities as a whole.

  • Critical listening skills

  • Confidence under pressure

  • Present compelling responses challenging  questions
     

What are Our Goals?

  • To promote the biblical worldview

  • To offer speech and debate activities which develop critical thinking, research skills, ethical argumentation, oral advocacy, analysis, persuasion, rhetoric, listening, organization, teamwork, problem-solving, citizenship, and leadership

  • To promote integrity, honesty and the highest of ethics

TEAM
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Maria Gerber
Organizer, LD, Moot Court and Mock Trial Coach/Leader

Maria Gerber is a practicing attorney in the Sarasota/Venice area. Before entering private practice, she was a prosecuting Assistant State Attorney in Pinellas County  Florida. Then, 20 years ago, she

started a family. Ms. Gerber has four sons, all four of whom participated in speech and debate. Ms. Gerber gained experience in high school/college debate and moot court while competing for Stetson College of Law. Ms. Gerber has coached Lincoln-Douglas Debate since 2014. She particularly enjoys teaching cross examination, oral advocacy, and the art of rhetoric. Ms. Gerber often says, "Although winning trophies and medals are nice, it is not the ultimate goal. Rather, we must focus on being soldiers for Christ and becoming Godly leaders."

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Kat Reader
Communications, Administrator, Membership

Kat Reader graduated from the USF Honors College with her BSW. She spent ten years as a VP at Bank of America Corporate as a Communications Specialist and Web Content Manager before becoming a full-time homeschooling mom of her three boys. She is currently a Challenge Director and Product Sales Specialist with Classical Conversations. Kat believes in the transformative power of competitive speech and debate in helping students hone their ability to think critically and communicate with excellence. She has witnessed first-hand the positive, influential impact it had on her oldest son both in his college acceptances and in his ability to communicate with logic, grace, sincerity, and skillfullness. She now has the pleasure of seeing these same skills being honed in her twin boys.​​

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Amanda Bussard
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Jackson Zomer
TP Coach/Leader

Jackson Zomer has 6 years of Speech and Debate experience in 2 leagues and includes 4 forms of debate, Moot Court, and multiple speech categories. He qualified to two different National Championships for 3 years in both Team Policy and Lincoln Douglas debate. In his final year he, along with his partner, Thomas Walter, won 4 NCFCA tournaments in Team Policy, including a National Open and an online National Championship. He is passionate about helping debaters not only compete with excellence but to grow in character, cultivate real-life skills, and most importantly, glorify God through debate.  

 

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Sheila Walters
Speech Coach/Leader, Juniors Program

Sheila Walters lives just north of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Randy, and their 5 kids, and 2 dogs. She graduated from Oral Roberts University with a BS in Drama, Television & Film Production with an emphasis on Theater. She has been blessed to be able to use her skills to coach NCFCA students for the past 6 years and has loved every minute of it. Sheila is so excited to join the INVICTUS team and work together to make this a wonderful year of growth for all our students. 

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Daniel Bussard
Facility Director, Website Development, LD Coordinator

Daniel Bussard - bio coming soon!

Facility Director, Administrator

Amanda Bussard - bio coming soon!