Executive Team

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Sal Tinajero
Salvador Tinajero

Founder & CEO

Sal Tinajero, an educator and advocate whose mission has always been to break low-income students out of poverty. Sal started his mission in 2001 with a small team in Fullerton. He has led many teams to State and National awards, and knew he could expand the impact of his program to reach even more students.

 

Now 20 years later, he has created multiple successful speech programs in Orange County, with over 2,000 students. His leadership inspired many others to join the cause, bringing hundreds of renowned coaches to his team, instilling the vision of creating future leaders, critical thinkers, and passionate speakers. 

Founder & CEO

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Adriena Toghia
Adriena Toghia

Vice President

Adriena competed in forensics for 7 years and has now been coaching for 8 years. She has coached numerous National and State champions at the Middle School, High School, and Collegiate level of forensics.

 

Her focus as Vice President is to provide equitable programming to students of all backgrounds, give them opportunities to develop strong communication skills, build collegiate circuit ready competitors, and receive scholarships to further their education.

Vice President

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Mariela 
Garcia-Alvarado
Mariela
Garcia-Alvarado

District Director

 

Mariela has coached at numerous schools and academies in California for over 6 years, helping many students place in final rounds, raise their grades, and get accepted to prestigious schools. 

Her focus as a District Director for the Advantage Center is to help students develop their voice, and to learn important academic and life skills in forensics. Mariela also serves as the Center Director to help parents find quality and personalized coaching for student success. 

District Director

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Joel Anguiano
Joel Anguiano

District Director

Joel Anguino is an elected representative of the Phi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Council. Over the past few years he has helped teams such as El Paso Community College and Wiley College gain national recognition while simultaneously also leading theater programs such as Viva! El Paso.

Joel has served as the District Director of Hacienda La Puente since 2019, and is eager to continue to work with this district.

District Director

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Claribel Gomez
Claribel Gomez

Enrichment Director

After competing with Sal Tinajero's Fullerton High School team, Claribel Gomez decided to share her team's knowledge with other students. She believes that all students deserve an opportunity to explore their public speaking skills to find their voice.  

Claribel has been a part of the team since 2019, and has played a critical role across all of our districts. She is now the Assistant Director of the Hacienda La Puente School District speech program, and will serve alongside Coach Joel.

Assistant Director

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Haleemah Na'Allah
Haleemah Na'Allah

Distrcit Director

Haleemah Na’Allah competed in Speech and Debate for 11 years and recently completed her career as the President of the Bradley University Speech Team. Haleemah strongly believes in the power Speech has to help students find their voice, stand up for what’s right, and embrace themselves unconditionally.

District Director

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Mike Davis
Mike Davis

Distrcit Director

After three years of earning national recognition in Limited Preparation events and Debate for the historically recognized speech and debate program at OCC, Mike Davis has turned his attention to coaching students. He has helped SAUSD and Advantage coach multiple nationally ranked students since 2016.

District Director

MEET OUR STAFF

Raul
Ruano

Learn More About Raul >

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Raul Ruano studied Philosophy and American Studies at Cal State Fullerton. He won many awards competing it a performance style form of Debate, and brings this unique perspective into his role with us.

Raul has coached with Advantage since its start in 2018, and has coached many State and Nationally ranked competitors.

Sarah Sulewski

Learn More About Sarah >

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Sarah Sulewski has won multiple National titles in various Interpretation and Platform events, leading the Tennessee State Speech and Debate squad as the captain in 2019-2020. She is currently hosting Activists of Today, a platform she created to shine light on activists who are committed to being the change they want to see in the world.

Salvador Tinajero Jr.

Learn More About Sal >

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Sal Tinajero is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a graduate student at University of San Francisco. He has 11 years of experience with Speech and Debate as a competitor, and has coached since 2016. In addition to his experience in Forensics, he is a published author.

As a coach, he hopes to foster a safe space for students to develop as speakers and as people.

Josh
Beckles

Learn More About Josh >

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Coach Josh is a graduate of the Bradley University Speech Team. He has found himself in five National final rounds.  When not working on speech, Joshua writes poetry and coaches other students on his team. Josh wants to guide and help students master the skills of public speaking.

Brontë
England- Nelson

Learn More About Brontë >

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Brontë England-Nelson competed in Speech and Debate for four intense years at Fullerton High School on Sal Tinajero’s first team. Her senior year, Fullerton High School won their first National title at the NSDA. 

She is now an actor and teacher based out of New York City. Her coaches taught her how to set goals for my life, equipped her with the tools to achieve them, and is committed to paying that forward.

LaToya
Green

Learn More About LaToya >

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LaToya Green has 15 years of experience in competitive policy debate. Ms. Green experienced significant success in the five years she competed at Emporia State University. 

After competing, Ms. Green turned to coaching at Wake Forest University, and is now the Director of Debate at CSUF.

Stephanie
Rodriguez

Learn More About Stephanie >

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Coach Stephanie participated in Mr. Tinajero's National champion team at Fullerton High School, placing 6th place nationally for Poetry. She has starred in many music videos and film projects all while coaching Speech and Debate.

Sabas
Del Toro

Learn More About Sabas >

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Sabas is from El Paso, Texas and is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University. Sabas began Collegiate Speech at El Paso Community College before transferring to WKU his junior year. Sabas has experience in theater and hopes to share this with his students, while helping students build confidence in their own skills.

Claudia
Hidalgo
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Claudia Hidalgo studied Spanish and Communication Studies and earned in Master’s in Education at California Baptist University . She won two Christian National awards while competing for CBU’s Forensics team. Claudia has also coached the speech and debate team at a private school in Riverside California.

Learn More About Claudia >

Rashon
Leday
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 I have been doing speech and debate for 7 years now. However I didn’t start competing nationally until the latter end of my freshman year of high school, by the time I was a sophomore I was locally competing in 6 events and doing extremely well in all of them. Throughout my time in this activity I have had the incredible opportunity to travel across the nation and achieve the wildest dreams of my speech and debate career like winning state, qualifying for nats or making nats finals. 

Learn More About Rashon >

Imanii
Giles
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Imanii Giles is currently a sophomore at Western Kentucky University. She has been an active competitor in speech for over a decade and is currently continuing that path in college. This is her first year coaching with Advantage, but has more than enough experience to provide an informative coaching experience.

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Miguel
Porfirio
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Miguel Porfirio is a Communication Studies graduate from Texas State University. An award-winning speaker and performer in his undergraduate career, he has now transitioned to the role of coach. Miguel's approach to speech and debate is to help his students find their voice and give them a platform to become strong advocates for their communities.

Learn More About Miguel >

Israel
Beltran Jr.
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Is Beltran JR discovered forensics while attending East Los Angeles College. He continued his studies at Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Communication, Media and Theatre Arts. Israel strives to teach his students how to better understand who they are, share their stories, and master the power of rhetoric.

Learn More About Is >

Raechel
Zoellick
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Raechel Zoellick is a current junior at Bradley University studying Statistics, French, and Music. During her college speech career, she has competed in many interpretation and public address events, receiving 6th place in Duo Interpretation at both AFA and NFA in 2021. Raechel's goal in coaching is to ignite passion for each performance and remind students of why they do and love speech.

Learn More About Raechel >

Amelia
Burns
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Amelia Burns graduated from Bradley University with a degree in Organizational Communication and minors in Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies. While competing for the Bradley University Speech Team, she competed in national finals in Prose and DI, and reached national out rounds in INFO, ADS, and Duo. Amelia’s coaching philosophy is centered on helping students tell their story and trying things that have never been done.

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Emily
Trader
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Bio Coming Soon

Learn More About Emily >

Trijae
Ann
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As an anti-disciplinary artist, Trijae works in necessary spaces that don’t quite fit into any existing academic framework. Graduating from Bradley University(2020), Trijae is a 6 time National Champion in public speaking and dramatic performance and has coached students of all levels to State, Regional, and National recognition and she believes in encouraging students to discover their unique identities as artists and changemakers.

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Rahmane
Dixon
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Rahmane Dixon studied at Wiley College and Western Kentucky from 2017-2021. Between both universities she earned a history and African American studies degree. She has earned many finals in events such as Informative, Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, and Critical Analysis. She hopes to use her first year at Advantage to cultivate meaningful relationships with her students and empower young girls who dare to take on limited preparation events.

Learn More About Rahmane >