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  • Jonathan cohen

    Bachelor of Arts (Majoring in Marketing and Archeology / Ancient History), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia


    Masters in Environmental Management and Sustainability (LMES water management) by Course work and research project UniSA, Ade laide, Australia.

    PhD in Water Engineering at the School of NBE University of South Australia

  • Sylvia Yoo - IBA Debate Coach

    Graduated from University of Pennsylvania
  • Kate Reid - IBA Debate Coach

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it” - Aristotle

    I have a firm belief that the value of education is not in the knowledge we gain but the questions we learn to ask. Similarly, the power in language acquisition is not in the practice, but the application. As a graduate of two of Australia’s top universities with a Masters degree in philosophical and ethical thinking, I will strive to instil these values in the minds of the students I teach at IBA. I hope they can learn, grow and have fun debating and discussing issues with passion in the public forum, just as I did throughout my own elementary, middle and high school careers.

    Graduated the University of Sydney (USyd) with a Masters in Bioethics (MBEth) 

    Graduated the Australian National University (ANU) with honours in science communication and a double Bachelors degree in Anthropology and Genetics (BA/BSc Hons) 

    Experience teaching a wide range of second language learners in Korea, from numerous backgrounds, competencies and ages

    Passion for teaching critical thinking and independent thought

    Thorough knowledge of and experience in debate styles, rules and conventions 

    Debated as a student for almost 10 years 

    Reached Australian state final level in two separate competitions in grade 8 and grade 11

  • Dr. Michael Hester – IBA Head Debate Coach | College Consultant

    Dr. Hester is renowned in the debating community for his achievements in coaching the very best debaters in the nation.

    - Chair of District VI of National Debate Tournaments since 2009

    - Chair of Cross Examination Debate Association Topic Committee

    - 2017 Ross K Smith National Coach of the Year

    - 2017 George Ziegelmueller Outstanding Achievement Award for lifetime achievement

    - Three teams to national championships

    - Two teams to national runner-up finishes

    - Two teams to national semifinalist finishes

    - Four teams to national quarterfinalist finishes

    - High School teams to the Elite Eight of the International Public Policy Forum contest

    College Consulting Service:

    With more than a quarter-century of experience in higher education, including faculty positions held at prestigious institutions such as Cal-Berkeley, Emory, and the University of Michigan, Dr. Hester has advised and mentored hundreds of students. High school students he has worked with have gained admission into prestigious universities across the nation, including Georgetown, Harvard, and Stanford; additionally, the students at UWG with whom he has counseled have gained not only admission, but also full scholarship offers, into top 10 engineering schools, law schools, and medical schools, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, and UPenn.

    Dr. Hester is intimately familiar with the college admissions process and knows how to share his wisdom with students to maximize their chances of gaining admission into the schools of their choice.

  • Patrick Smith – IBA Varsity Debate Coach

    I have been involved in various styles of debate for over 15 years. My experience started with policy debate at Chattahoochee High School, where I won the state championship twice and reached out rounds at multiple national tournaments. After that, I debated at Georgia State University and started working with the Atlanta Urban Debate League. Post-graduation from UGA, I began working with Ivy Bridge Academy and have been there for over 9 years now. During that time, we have grown IBA into a nationally competitive program. Over the past few years, my students have championed MS and HS Harvard, Georgetown, TOC, and NSDA nationals – along with numerous top speaker awards.

    In addition, my experience at GSU and UGA included:

    - Dean’s Honor Roll

    - Security Leadership Fellowship

    - Multiple presentations at the CURO undergraduate research symposium

    - Work with the Roosevelt Institute.

    - Graduated from UGA with a double major in International Relations and Political Science

  • Siobhan Connolly – IBA Debate Coach | Debate Tournament Coordinator

    Ms. Siobhan Connolly is a graduate of UGA (Communication & Public Speaking)

  • Yong Jong Shawn Yen – IBA Debate Coach


    Master of Business Administration, OWEN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT


    Bachelor of Science, and in Intellectual Property Rights

    Coach Yong Jong Shawn Yen has many years of debate teaching experience at middle school to collegiate levels.

    - Credentialized in building debate talent and teams, developing competencies against measurable goals, improving - consistency in performance.

    - Experienced in regulated industries, inspiring and mentoring and coaching talent to become future leaders.

    - Traveled and worked in 12 countries, bi-lingual

    - Enjoy sports, art, food, and US supreme court oral arguments

    Some fun facts about Coach Yong Jong Shawn Yen:

    - Traveled/Worked in 12 countries

    - Favorite super hero: BATMAN

    - Favorite villain: Darth Vader

    - Favorite food: Southern fried chicken (strawberry cream/waffles)

    - Favorite drink: Green Tea

    - Favorite sweets: Twix, Snickers, Butterfinger

    - Favorite ice cream flavor: cookies ’n’ cream

    - Favorite movies: 12 angry men, Recount, The Negotiator, Money ball

    - Favorite songs: hero, the greatest love of all, listen, stronger

    - Favorite books: The Big Short, Money Ball, The Blind Side, The Healing of America

    - Favorite sports to watch: Baseball, Football

  • Viktorija Bezbradica – IBA Debate Coach

    Viktorija Bezbradica received her B.A. in English Literature from Kennesaw State University in 2017 and her M.A. in English Literature (concentration in Literary Studies) from Georgia State University in 2019. Her varied research interests include British folklore and mythology, African literature, semiotics, and trauma studies.

    - Worked in the academic field as a tutor

    - Adjunct instructor for College English 1101 and 1102 for Georgia State University.

    - 2+ years of experience as a Debate and Public Speaking Coach with Ivy Bridge Academy

    - Novice coach for the IBA Marietta campus

  • Dr. Selcuk – IBA Math & SAT Teacher

    I received my PhD in Mathematics from Drexel University in 2012. Since 2000, I have been teaching varieties of Math courses including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, II, Geometry, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB, BC, SAT level 1, level 2, and ACT at 6-12 grade level. I have also been teaching college Math courses including Calculus sequence, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Matrix Analysis. I am also an expert in Python and Machine learning. I have had a deep connection with my struggling students in Math and I put extra time to try to personalize the content for them. My students have responded my efforts by getting perfect scores both in school exams and in standardized tests.

    - MS to HS math teacher

    - SAT math teacher

    - College-level math teacher

  • Eric Lang – IBA SAT Teacher | College Consultant

    For over ten years, Mr. Eric Lang has taught high school English, SAT reading and writing, and essay writing.

    - Graduate of Harvard University

    - Served as Harvard Interviewer

    - Advised students on college essays

    - Serves as college consultant

    - Students gone on to attend Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Duke, Georgetown, and Georgia Tech among many others.

  • Dr. Thinh – IBA MS to HS Math | SAT Teacher

    Dr. Thinh is currently a math professor at the collegiate level.

    Programing language and Skills:

    - Pascal

    - Visual Delphi

    - Phython

    - Java

    - Visual Basic

    - C

    - C++

    - Parallel programing

    - Maple

    - MatLab

    - Mathematica

    - Geometry Sketchpad

    - Sundance

    - Fenics

    - Linux

    - OS X (Mac OS)

    - Microsoft Window

    - MS office

    - LaTex

  • Grace Webster – IBA English & ESL Teacher

    Graduate of University of North Carolina, Greensboro, with many years of experience teaching English Language Arts, book clubs and ESL.

  • Linda Adelman – IBA English Teacher

    I received my BA from Florida Atlantic University and my Masters in Curriculum: Reading from Grand Canyon University. I have 20 years’ experience teaching students ranging from gifted to special education, 3rd to 12th grade. While I am certified to teach all major subjects, my focus is English/Language Arts. I am retired from Fulton County Georgia, but I’ve not stopped teaching. I’ve been at Ivy Bridge Academy for the past 5 years. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than helping students achieve success in academics.

  • Christine Baek – IBA Summer Camp Instructor

    Ms. Christine Baek

    Brown University’s Class of 2025 interested in pursuing English and Literary Arts.

    My writing is published/forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, elementia, and Polyphony Lit, among others, and has been recognized by The New York Times and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. In high school, I also served as Editor for Curieux Academic Journal and Northview’s national award-winning literary magazine The Muse.

  • Eman Sayani – Summer Camp Instructor

    Ms. Eman Sayani is a rising sophomore at Boston University where she is working towards a B.A. in Neuroscience. She graduated from Alpharetta High School in 2020 where she was involved with swim & dive, and as the President of both National Honor Society and Raider Ambassadors. Eman looks forward to working with students this summer to ensure that they are prepared to excel in this upcoming school year.

  • Christy Knoll – IBA After-School Program Director

    Contact Info: ibaafterschool@gmail.com

    IBA Public Speaking & Debate After-School Programs:

    - Elementary Schools

    - Middle Schools

  • Brian Choi – IBA Marietta Center Director | Debate Coach | Math Teacher

    Mr. Brian Choi serves as the director of our IBA Marietta Center.

    - Debate Coach

    - Math Teacher (ES-MS-HS, all math level curriculum)

  • Susan Rhee – IBA Johns Creek Center Director

    Susan Rhee is the founder of Ivy Bridge Academy, and currently serves as the IBA Johns Creek Center Director.

  • Pooja Gupta – IBA Cumming Center Director

    Ms. Pooja Guptai serves as the director of our IBA Cumming Center.



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Ivy Bridge Academy

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