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Saratoga High School Speech and Debate Club

Head Coach Steve Clemmons

Steve Clemmons is the new Director of Forensics for Saratoga High School. Coach Clemmons has served as the Director of Debate from 2009 to 2014, when he left to become the Associate Director of Forensics for the University of Oregon, one of his alma maters. Even when he left, he still coached Saratoga from afar, coming back to coach at many tournaments and invitationals. He returned in 2016 to coaching full-time at Saratoga.

Coach Clemmons was a standout competitor in high school (in our neighborhood rival league, the GGSA) and in college. In college, he won LD Nationals, (top Speaker) was a 2x octofinalist at CEDA Nationals, (top twenty-five speaker) 2x qualifier for the NDT (top twenty speaker) 2x elimination participant at NPDA Nationals (Semi-Finalist, Quarterfinalist, 2x top twenty speaker).

When he is not coaching Saratoga, Coach Clemmons spends his days as a College Professor in the Communications Department at Foothill College and as a High School teacher in Social Studies at Prospect HS in Pleasant Hill. Coach Clemmons has a varied past in the activity, having directed middle school, high school, and college programs. In that time, he has coached champions at the local, state, and national levels. Currently, he sits on the CHSSA board as the Chairperson for the Debate Committee and serves as the California Representative to the National Federal of High School Topic Selection Committee. He is still in love with all aspects of the forensics program and knows that there is an activity for every competitor.

Coach Kiana Young

Kiana Young is a firm believer in the power of language and art as tools for social change. For the past 4 years, Coach Kiana has been a Lead Speech Coach and Curriculum Developer for hundreds of elementary, middle school, and high school students in the CFL and GGSA leagues. She also created speech & debate and creative writing programs at BASIS Independent Fremont and Khan Lab School. Every year since 2018, Coach Kiana’s high school students have been finalists at CHSSA State, NSDA Nationals, and NIETOC; her middle school students have been State and NSDA finalists and finalists at Stanford, Berkeley, and SCU. In 2015, Coach Kiana was the National Champion of Speech to Entertain and the National Runner-up in Parliamentary Debate at Phi Rho Pi. Prior to coaching, she spent 3 years as a sexual violence prevention advocate and educator at UC Berkeley. Coach Kiana graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Rhetoric, concentrating in Public Discourse.

Coach Kiana brings a unique creative expertise to her coaching, as an accomplished spoken word poet and performance artist. In 2016 and 2017, she competed on UC Berkeley’s National Poetry Slam team, helping them earn the ranks of 8th and 13th in the nation, respectively. In 2019, Kiana was honored to be a Mentor-Artist at the inaugural Queer & Asian Performing Artist Residency at San Jose State University. Most recently, Coach Kiana co-wrote and co-starred in a play that premiered in the 2021 CounterPulse Performing Arts Festival.

When not coaching for Saratoga, Coach Kiana teaches a class for middle schoolers called Rhetoric: Persuasion in Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking, and provides additional coaching through her business, Speak Sustainably. When not doing any of the aforementioned, Coach Kiana can be found baking vegan sweets, gardening, or hugging their 12-year-old emotional support dog, Jasper (who is much loved by many students!).

Meet the Officers

President - Harshini Velchamy
Vice President - Selina Chen
Secretary - Anouk Yeh
Treasurer - Shreya Rallabandi

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