Who is Chris?
Chris Ostertag is an alumnus of NCFCA and STOA and a current student at Grove City College, where he holds a fellowship to study philosophy and law. An unapologetic nerd, he’s enthusiastic about syllogisms, literature, and esoteric jazz music. In his spare time, he can be found making cold brew, ardently debating epistemology in the philosophy suite, playing gigs as a member of the Grove City College string quartet, and stargazing.
Debate is a universal human project which transcends casual discourse by explicitly emphasizing the ideas that underpin civil dialogue. Learning debate – while laudable for the discipline, courage, and loquacity it promotes – presents a unique opportunity for students to discover where they stand on the great issues that have defined humanity’s struggle to uncover truth. As a coach, Chris emphasizes two skills above all else: theory and persuasion. His ultimate goal is not teaching students what to think, but how to think. That skill elevates students into citizens, capable of offering society solutions to the unique challenges of the 21st century, and equipped to engage their future interlocutors at work and at home with insight and grace. His students exit their tenure in high school with more than a pile of trophies: far more importantly, they gain a robust grasp of argumentation theory that informs the way they reason, and a substantive command of rhetoric that empowers them to inspire and lead humanity into the next century.
As a competitor in NCFCA and STOA LD and TP, and college NPDA and IPDA, Chris has accrued numerous accolades. In high school, he secured the unique honor of the highest all-season at-large score in his region in two separate styles of debate for three consecutive years. During his last high school LD season, he went into NITOC ranked second in the nation on speechranks.com. During the same season, he also won a national open and earned the third-place speaker award at NCFCA nationals. Last year, during his freshman year of college, he went undefeated at IPDA nationals, where he took home a first-place title. As a coach, Chris has authored material for multiple national-level sourcebooks, coached local clubs since 2014, single-handedly organized and taught several LD summer camps, and maintained a roster of online students who’ve won notable regional- and national-level accolades.