Executive Director
Brent Farrand founded the Jersey Urban Debate League (now Newark Debate Academy) in 2001 and has served as its director since then. He has retired as a Mathematics Resource Teacher/Coordinator for Newark Public Schools.

Mr. Farrand has coached high school debate since 1979, heading a coaching staff that has compiled 20 consecutive state championships. His efforts have been recognized with the 1981 Northeast Debate Coach of the Year (University of Massachusetts), Key Coach Award from Emory University, Diamond Coach Award from the National Forensic League and a 2001 recognition from Emory University for promoting diversity in high school debate.

Brent Farrand has also received wide recognition for his contributions to the craft of classroom teaching. He received the Star Ledger Award for Excellence in Teaching in both 1985 and 1987. Princeton University honored him at their 1995 commencement exercise as Distinguished Teacher of the Year. In 1996 Mr. Farrand was declared Essex County Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Farrand has served as Vice President of Debate for the New Jersey Forensic League and New Jersey District Chair for the National Forensic League. He was consultant to the New York Urban Debate League from 1999 to 2000 and has served as the Coordinator of the Newark Speech and Debate League since 1985.

Brent Farrand is married to Vernell Farrand and has two daughters Erica and Whitney. He is a resident of South Orange, New Jersey where he produced the cable show "In the Village" and has served as the chairperson of the University Relations Committee, responsible for collaboration between Seton Hall University and South Orange Village.


Assistant Director 

Carlos Astacio is a Newark Debate Academy alumnus that debated from 7th grade all the way through college and continued to serve the organization through various coaching positions after graduating from Rutgers-Newark with bachelor degrees in Public Administration and Philosophy. In his new role as the Assistant Director of NDA, he serves as the day to day administrator for the organization. Some of his responsibilities include: managing financial operations, supervising part time staff, implementing NDA programming, and serving as the liaison between the organization and Newark Public Schools Central Administration. 


Public Relations Coordinator 

Hannah debated in high school for The Blake School in Minneapolis, currently she is debating for and attending Rutgers University-Newark. She is working on recieving her bachelors in social work. Serving as the Public Relations Coordinator, Hannah runs the website (writing all the stories, updating photos, etc.) and other social media pages, she also organizes a variety of marketing campaigns, organizes alumni information, and helps plan other public events. 


High School Coordinator  

Whitney graduated from George Washington University with a bachelors in psychology. She is currently the high school debate coordinator at NDA, her job is to coordinate all of the paperwork for every high school trip that Newark speech and debate students participate in. She has been an eighth grade math teacher at Mt.Vernon Elementary school in Newark since 2007. She also coaches the Mt. Vernon elementary school debate team, which is consistently in the top debate schools in the city. 


Field Coordinator

Kevon debated in high school for East Side high school in Newark, Kevon then continued to debate for Rutgers-Newark. Kevon is currently receiving his bachelors degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. As the Field Coordinator, Kevon is responsible for managing communication with the debate coaches of the organization, he assists the coaches with any problems they may have and reports back to the main NDA office any larger problems facing the organization in regards to each debate program. He is also responsible for organizing and continuing supervision of the assistant debate coaches. 



Elementary School Coordinator 

Willie debated in high school for the New York Urban Debate League, afterward he attended Lehman College where he continued to debate. At Lehman he received his bachelors in sociology. Currently Willie is the elementary school coordinator for NDA, his job is to run and organize all our of elementary grade tournaments throughout the school year. Willie also works as an assistant debate coach for Rutgers University-Newark. 


Public Debate Coordinator  

As the Public Debate Coordinator he plans, organizes, and runs a public debate about once a month throughout the school year. Some of the public debates include debates that take place in school auditorium settings as well as public debates that are open to the public.