Jean Perry, Director of Forensics
For the past thirty years, Jean Perry has coached her many students in all forensics events, producing numerous State Champions and a National Champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate. She has been the Director of Forensics at three high schools and three colleges. She herself participated in debate, extemporaneous speaking, and dramatic interpretation. Jean holds her bachelors and masters degrees in Speech Communications from the University of Southern California.
In addition to directing the Forensics Program at GCC, she is the Chair of the Language Arts Division at Glendale College.
Office: AD 217A Phone: x5504
Ira Heffler, Head Forensics Coach
Ira Heffler has extensive coaching experience at both the high school and college level. A graduate of California State University, Northridge, Heffler coached his high school students to the State and National Tournaments and is now doing the same at GCC. Rather than emphasizing a specific area of competitive speech, Heffler enjoys coaching all the events. Although a published author and a produced screenwriter and playwright, Heffler’s true passion remains with his students.
But be warned: once Heffler “finds” you, he won’t let go until you’ve attended a speech and debate tournament. And then you’ll be hooked.
Office: AD 207 Phone: x3113
Michael H. Miller, Head Debate Coach
Michael began coaching debate full-time in the Fall of 1970 and, among other achievements, mentored the NDT National Champions of 1971 (UCLA), as well as the high school Lincoln-Douglas National Debate Champion in 1982. He was named the California High School Speech Association "Speech Coach of the Year" for his work at Notre Dame High School in 1982-83, was unanimously elected the University of Houston Forensics Society Hall of Fame in 2007, and was a featured character in the 2008 documentary film, "Debate Team."
Michael co-founded Glendale College's NFA Lincoln-Douglas debate program in the Fall of 2008, and, with Professors Perry and Heffler, helped four GCC students qualifty to attend the NFA National Tournament in debate in 2009.
In addition to his debate training, Michael earned his Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.) from the Southwestern University School of Law in 1984, and is a licensed trial attorney.
Desi Chavez-Appel, Assistant Forensics Coach
As an undergraduate at Central Washington State University, Desi Chavez-Appel competed in forensics. She won several awards in oral interpretation, informative and persuasive speaking. After going on to finish her Bachelors degree in religion at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, Desi earned her Masters in Communication Studies from California State Univesity Long Beach. She has taught courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication, and human communication. She is a published author in the Journal of Family Communication in concert with four other researchers. In addition to being an instructor, Desi is an assistant coach with GCC's Forensics and Debate Team.
Office: AD 217A
Sarah Black, Assistant Forensics Coach
Libby L. Curiel, Assistant Forensics Coach
She is the mother of a wonderfully talented and gifted son. Libby and her son spend their free time playing sports, participating in church activities, traveling, and relaxing at home. Some of Libby’s favorite activities include acting, traveling, scrapbooking, landscape design and gardening, horseback riding, relaxing at the beach, and of course, coaching forensics.
Ted Levatter, Assistant Forensics Coach
His courses at the college include Public Speaking, Voice and Diction and Oral Interpretation of Literature. He specializes in coaching oral interp and voice and diction and is also a California licensed Speech Pathologist.
Andrea M. Stark, Assistant Forensics Coach
Her Youth Ensemble Theatre was the most popular Chicago theatre experience for young actors, and was the starting point for Los Angeles actress Jessy Schram, Chicago musician Evan Bregman and many actors currently on academic and professional stages. Three Ensembles of young actors were in production for five years working with organic improvised pieces, traditional scripts and Shakespeare.
She currently hosts a cable show entitled “Film Forum” broadcasting from Glendale Community College’s TV station. She is featured in the Indie Journeyman, www.journeymanthemovie.com, which has recently won at the Twin Rivers Multimedia festival and was an Official Selection at the Idaho Panhandle International Film Festival. She recently shot another Indie, Peterson Manor, in festivals in 2009.
She is published in the 2007 Edition of, Public Speaking: Challenges and Choices
by O'Hair, Stewart, paperback, Bedford/st Martins –Edition which features Her original theatre exercises for the public speaking class and for dramatic and oral interpretation. She is currently working on an acting text for Kendall Hunt Publishing (2009). She taught Speech and Communication at GCC for eight years and continues to coach for the highly decorated GCC Speech and Debate team, she is thrilled to continue to be a part of the team as she is one of their greatest fans. She currently teaches Voice for the Actor, a class she wrote, for the Theatre Arts Divison at GCC.
She feels greatly influenced, as a teacher and actress, by her late mentor Uta Hagen, and by her Linklater voice teacher, Claudia Anderson of DePaul University. She is a Reiki Master and studies energy and healing and works intuitively with students and clients. She teaches privately and at university level. Most of Andrea’s students, adult or younger, come to her because of her creativity, clarity, humor, and her precise ability to diagnose exactly where the student needs to go, and her focused and caring ability to lead them to that place.
She is an accomplished actress, director and writer. Her original piece After The Ball, is in production in Colorado, she has been honored as a finalist in Short Story by GlimmerTrain Magazine and published in Wide Open Magazine and she currently is the staff writer for the not-for-profit, Ninos del lago, www.ninosdellago.org.
Andrea has worked as a theatre professor and private coach since 1991, helping actors of all ages find their voice, their character and themselves.
Alessandrina "Rina" Sweeney, Assistant Forensics Coach
Rina is currently an adjunct professor at Glendale College, Woodbury University, and East Los Angeles Community College. Her philosophy is that every student who walks into her class reminds her of the wonderful opportunity she has to be a part of his or her life.
Lisa Rau, Assistant Forensics Coach
Janice Tessman, Assistant Forensics Coach
Janice is married and has three children who have grown up much too fast. Although her favorite pastime is learning, she also enjoys reading, traveling when she can, and puzzles of all kinds.
Tiffany Brain, Assistant Forensics Coach
Some of the accolades Tiffany received over her three year competitive career are: Phi Rho Pi Prose Silver Medalist, HFO Duo Champion, 1st Place POI performance at Spring Champs, and Duo Quarter Finalist at both NFA and AFA. Tiffany looks forward to coaching for the GCC team as she works on a Masters in Organizational Leadership at Woodbury University.