East High School DEFT Coaches
East is very proud of its DEFT coaches, who have led students to championships at speech and debate tournaments throughout the United States. Led by Susan McHugh (debate) and Matthew Murphy (speech), supported by Brent Dysart, who joined the team in 2016, DEFT students consistently garner impressive results.
Matt Murphy: Matt is a Colorado native spending most of his life on the Front Range. Matt attended Colorado State University where he studied English literature and theater. Matt has provided guidance, leadership and education at East High school for the past five years. Over the course of his tenure with East High School, Matt has coached multiple state champions, national finalists and a national champion. Due to Matt’s love for teaching and his passion for diversity, his peers awarded him the 2010 MLK Community Award, given by the MacArthur Genius Fellow, Tommie Lindsey, Jr. Other notable achievements and awards include, but are not limited to, the 2008 Denver East Angel Award, the 2010 Black Student Alliance community service award and a commemorative paver dedicated to Matt’s service in the entryway of East High school.
Susan McHugh: A former lawyer turned teacher, Susan has taught in DPS for five years, and was the DPS coordinator for the Measuring Effective Teaching Project funded by Bill/Melinda Gates. She has practiced labor and employment litigation and has clerked for state and federal judges. Her education includes a BA (cum laude) in government from Pomona College; law degree (JD) from Duke University; and the University of Denver Teacher Education Program. A product of Denver Public Schools, Susan attended Phillips Elementary, Smiley Middle School, and Manual High School, where she graduated in 1988.
Brent G. Dysart is currently pursuing his masters degree at the University of Colorado Denver in the area of Cultural Linguistic Diverse Endorsement (CLDE) after receiving his bachelor’s degree from MSU December of 2015. Brent studied Secondary Education History with a minor in Africana Studies. Brent is a licensed Social Studies and English language arts teacher.
Born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD, Brent fell in love with Colorado while visiting family members here in 1998, and Colorado has been his home ever since. Brent recently retired from the automotive industry where he ran new car franchises for the past twenty years.
Brent has been reaching for the stars in forensics since 1988 when he placed 11th in humorous interpretation at the national tournament in Nashville Tennessee. In Brent’s senior year in high school he placed 2nd at the national tournament held here in Golden Colorado in 1989.
Brent is proud to be an Angel and join the East high school team! Brent is excited to be the new speech coach this fall and help East Angles reach for the stars!