2017 Spring Rostrum

Page 1


VOLUME 91 ISSUE 4 S P R I N G 2017

This organization has been

my life’s work.



Bringing together the speech and debate community

The University of Texas National Institute in Forensics is one of the largest and most successful summer speech and debate workshops in the country. UTNIF has a reputation for engaging students from across the nation in the kind of training that leads rather than follows performative and argumentative trends. UTNIF students have won championships and final rounds at the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament in Extemp, Humorous Interp, Dramatic Interp, Poetry, the House, the Senate, Policy Debate, Public Forum, and more. Our students consistently excel at the TOC and NIETOC. Join us this summer and see for yourself why UTNIF has made such an impact on speech and debate education for over 20 years.

2017 UTNIF Program Dates Individual Events main session

June 29 – July 13

Individual Events (with extension)

June 29 – July 17 June 22 – August 4

CX 6 Week Summer Survivors CX Session 1 (Skills Intensive, Topic Intensive, Sophomore Select) CX Session 2 (Skills Intensive, Topic Intensive)

June 22 – July 12 July 15 – August 4

CX Novice

July 18 – July 26

Public Forum Session 1

June 29 – July 11

Public Forum Session 2

July 15 – July 27


July 17 – August 1

Lincoln-Douglas (with extension)

July 18 – August 4

UTNIF Individual Events www.utspeech.net

UTNIF debate camp www.utdebatecamp.com UTNIF Contact katerichey@utexas.edu


In this Issue : VOLUME 91 : ISSUE 4 : SPRING 2017

From the Cover




From the Editor


2016-2017 Topics


News + Notes

Carol Zanto: A Story of Constancy and Commitment

Governance and Leadership 9 61

Board of Directors Minutes Bridging the Gap in Professional Development for Speech and Debate

Community 36 43 44 46 52

A Statistical Glimpse at NSDA Member Programs

by Nathan Leys

From Administrators to Advocates P.S. Keep In Touch! From Passion to Action: Engaging Alumni Teaching Soft Skills: Helping Youth Transition with Strength by J. Scott Baker, Ph.D. Calling All Students: How to Bridge the Gap Between Debate and Your Professional Life by Rachel Boroditsky and Steven Adler


Member Resources 58 67 68

Recognition 98

102 Coach Profile:

Renee C. Motter

82 91

In Focus: NDCA – “You Just Need to Try”



Opinion – Crossing the Judge and Student Divide: A Plea for Post-Round Disclosure by David Weston


72 76

14 17 23

104 Student Spotlight:

Delanya Storey

106 Team Profile:

Milton Academy, MA

108 Alumni Angles:

Ben Koh


by Cindi Timmons

by R. Shane Stafford and Sandra J. Berkowitz, Ph.D.

National Tournament Preview Overview of High School Tournament Logistics Birmingham Guide Overview of Middle School Tournament Logistics

Team USA Travels to L.A. and Singapore by Ellie Grossman and Ella Michaels

The Case for Continuing Your Speech and Debate Activities in College by Jack E. Rogers, Ph.D., and Nicole Freeman, Ed.D. Big Questions: Bridging Classroom, Team, and Accessibility Gaps In this Time of Fierce Debate, New Speech App Helps Us Say it LikeSo by Audrey Mann Cronin Looking Back: National Speech and Debate Education Day Women in Debate: The Summer Experience


Curriculum Corner What We’re Reading Get With the Program

120 122 125 127

District in Detail: Sunflower (KS) Diamond Coach Recognition Donus D. Roberts Quad Ruby Coach Recognition Triple Ruby Coach Recognition Student Service Citations Academic All Americans Welcome New Schools ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 3

From the Editor

Board of Directors

We all struggle to overcome barriers, whether it’s rallying support and funding for your team or helping your students prepare for next year’s competition. This issue is all about the stories of our members who are bridging the gap. Our cover story is near and dear to my heart. We focus on Carol Zanto, Director of Finance, and her 47 years of service. Carol has done it all, and throughout my years at the Association, she has been right by my side. Carol has welcomed all of us to the organization and helped us through some of our greatest challenges. From the shift from “NFL” to “NSDA” to the move from Ripon, Wisconsin, to West Des Moines, Iowa, Carol has helped our organization forge a new path while always reminding us where we’ve been. We share her story and talk with those who know her best on page 26. Get ready to jump seamlessly from this season to the next with helpful resources and information in this issue. Explore our Curriculum Corner for tips on wrapping up the 2016-2017 school year and preparing students for next season. Once you cover your students’ bases, we have a fun way to hone your own skills! Be sure to read up on an exciting and unique professional development opportunity on page 61. We’ve put together highlights and a guide to making your case to attend our inaugural speech and debate education conference. I look forward to the discussions we’ll have this August. I hope you will find inspiration to look at your own program, and the people who support it, in a new way in these pages. We take a look at the Milton Academy speech and debate team and how they’re bridging the gap between their middle school and high school programs in Massachusetts (page 106). In this issue, you’ll also find ways to help turn your administrators into advocates and your alumni into volunteers. Plus, as we reach the end of the season, explore ways to link competition and fundraising. Check out the Big Questions feature and learn more about how this new form of debate can help your team overcome barriers to pay for entry fees, transportation to tournaments, camp fees, and more. Finally, we sit down with two incredible award winners and learn more about their journeys with speech and debate. We explore how National Educator of the Year Award winner Renee Motter has made an impact on speech and debate education in Colorado and across the country. Plus, you’ll have a chance to learn how Exemplary Student Service Award winner Delanya Storey is using the skills she’s learned through speech and debate to make a difference in her Alabama community. I am lucky to see the amazing contributions our members make to speech and debate and their communities at large on a daily basis. I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am by how the teams and individuals in this issue are overcoming barriers and bringing new voices into the fold. Sincerely,

J. Scott Wunn Executive Director National Speech & Debate Association

401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730

Rostrum A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE ASSOCIATION 401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730 | Phone (920) 748-6206 | Fax (920) 748-9478

J. Scott Wunn, Editor and Publisher Steve Schappaugh, Managing Editor Vicki Pape, Assistant Editor Amy Seidelman, Content Editor Deano Pape, Copy Editor Emily Bratton, Graphic Design Assistant Emily Kriegel, Advertising Coordinator

SUBSCRIPTION PRICES Individuals: $15 for one year | $25 for two years Member Schools: $15 for each additional subscription

(USPS 471-180) (ISSN 1073-5526) Rostrum is published quarterly (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring) by the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), 401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730. Periodical postage paid at Ripon, WI 54971. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to NSDA, 401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730. Rostrum provides a forum for the speech and debate community. The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily the opinions of the NSDA, its officers, or its members. The National Speech & Debate Association does not guarantee advertised products and services unless sold directly by the NSDA.



Don Crabtree, President Park Hill High School 1909 6th Avenue St. Joseph, MO 64505 (816) 261-2661 crabnfl@gmail.com Pam Cady Wycoff, Vice President Apple Valley High School 14450 Hayes Road Apple Valley, MN 55124-6796 (952) 431-8200 Pam.Wycoff@district196.org David Huston Colleyville Heritage High School 5401 Heritage Avenue Colleyville, TX 76034 (817) 305-4700, Ext. 214 david.huston@gcisd.net Jennifer Jerome Millard West High School 5710 S. 176th Avenue Omaha, NE 68135 (402) 715-6000 (school office) (402) 715-6092 (classroom) jjerome1984@gmail.com Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr. James Logan High School 1800 H Street Union City, CA 94587 (510) 471-2520, Ext. 4408 Tommie_Lindsey@nhusd.k12.ca.us Pamela K. McComas PO Box 5078 Topeka, KS 66605 (785) 231-7414 pmccomas1434@gmail.com James W. “Jay” Rye, III The Montgomery Academy 3240 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 272-8210 jay_rye@montgomeryacademy.org Dr. Polly Reikowski, Admin Rep Eagan High School 4185 Braddock Trail Eagan, MN 55123 (651) 683-6902 polly.reikowski@district196.org Timothy E. Sheaff Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Road West Des Moines, IA 50265 (515) 222-1035 tsheaff@dowlingcatholic.org



Current topics, voting links, and resources available at:

www.speechanddebate.org/topics Member students and one chapter advisor per school are eligible to vote!


Public Forum Debate Resolution will be released May 1, 2017, at www.speechanddebate.org/topics.


Congressional Debate Legislation 2017 NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Resolution will be released May 1, 2017, at www.speechanddebate.org/topics.

The national office will release the high school docket by May 10, 2017, which contains 25 preliminary legislation, 12 semifinal legislation, and 5 final legislation..


Policy Debate Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.


Extemp Areas for IX, USX, Commentary Topic areas will be released May 1, 2017, at www.speechanddebate.org/topics.


World Schools Debate Prepared motions will be released May 1, 2017, at www.speechanddebate.org/topics.

Storytelling Any Theme

Coaches and Students: We need your input! The PF and LD Topic Wording Committees are seeking PF topic areas and LD resolution

ideas for the 2017-2018 school year. Access the online submission forms by visiting our website: www.speechanddebate.org/topics. Submission

deadline is May 15.


Dear School Administrator, One of the statistics I like to share about our school that surprises many people is that our speech and debate team is the largest team at Hawken—bigger than our football team. One out of every four students at our school participates in speech and debate, and this has made a huge difference in the lives of those students and to the ethos and culture of our school. I was fortunate, also, to have a son who participated in Public Forum Debate, and it changed him in extraordinary ways. So, in short, I am writing to encourage you to support, enhance, and grow your school’s commitment to this vital activity. It is clear that students who participate in speech and debate learn a host of life skills that will serve them well in college and beyond. They learn not only great speaking skills, but also logic, critical thinking, teamwork, listening, planning, outlining, and many more. Speech and debate also creates a unique sense of team and community that allows students to “bridge the gap” with those who may come from different backgrounds, have different experiences, etc. I see speech and debate as being a “great equalizer” in many respects, as it provides students of all backgrounds with the opportunity to use their voice. Students from very different backgrounds and worldviews work together and compete in ways that help each understand the varied perspectives of others. In addition, speech and debate encourages students to be engaged citizens in a time when we certainly need more engagement, not less, to bridge the gap and solve the challenges facing our society. Having witnessed the impact of speech and debate as a Head of School, let me also mention the impact I saw as a father. My son entered high school as a shy student who lacked confidence on many levels. In his first week of school, an older student encouraged him to attend the opening speech and debate team meeting, and his journey began. For four years, my son got up early on Saturday mornings to go all over the country to various tournaments, only to come home with a sense of pride and fulfilled exhaustion. He left high school as a confident, engaged person with extraordinary public speaking skills—skills which helped him become president of his fraternity and land his first job. So, my appeal to you is both professional and deeply personal. If you have the ability to add, grow, or enhance your school’s speech and debate program, I urge you to do so. There are so many benefits to students and to the impact they will later have on our world. Sincerely,

D. Scott Looney D. Scott Looney Head of School, Hawken School Gates Mills, Ohio

Find this and other letters of advocacy on our website:

www.speechanddebate.org/resources 6


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Congress Debate July 16-22, 2017

Individual Events July 23-29, 2017

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Leadership Board of Directors Minutes


he National Speech & Debate Association Board of Directors met March 1, 2017. Present were President Don Crabtree, Vice President Pam Cady Wycoff, David Huston, Jennifer Jerome, Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Pam McComas, Dr. Polly Reikowski, Jay Rye, and Timothy Sheaff. President Crabtree called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

2020 National Tournament Host Site Moved by Rye, seconded by Jerome: “Accept the bid proposal to host the 2020 National Tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico.� Passed: 9-0 Following a productive site visit and recap by the Executive Director, the Board unanimously agreed to bring the National Speech & Debate Tournament to New Mexico. The dates of the tournament will be June 14-19, 2020.

Judge Nomination Form Based on thoughtful recommendations brought forth by the Inclusion Committee, the Board reviewed

March 1, 2017

suggestions for updating the National Tournament Semifinal/Final Round Judge Nomination Form, which district chairs complete online, with the aim of recruiting additional National Tournament semifinal and final round judges from diverse backgrounds, diverse schools, and diverse ideologies. National office staff will work with the Executive Director to finalize and implement changes to the form for the 2017 Nationals.

Board Committee Updates The Board heard updates from the Governance, Finance, Competition and Rules, Development, Strategic Planning, and Inclusion standing committees; Administrators ad hoc committee; and the Curriculum and National Education Conference working committees.

Professional Development The group reviewed short- and long-term goals for expanded training and development in key interest areas identified by Board members and national office staff alike. The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.




members—to develop in concert, so that each achieves its goals but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

NSDA Staff Attends Arts Advocacy Day Amy Seidelman Named Assistant Executive Director Executive Director J. Scott Wunn is pleased to announce that the Director of Operations, Amy Seidelman, has been promoted to the position of Assistant Executive Director. In her new role, Amy will join Scott in fulfilling the executive level responsibilities of the Association. Speech and debate activities and the need for the essential skills derived as a result are growing and developing nationwide, as is the scope of work of the NSDA in meeting its mission, vision, and strategic purpose. “Amy has been instrumental in the strategic direction of the NSDA over the past four years,” Scott says. “Her outstanding focus and dedication to our internal operations and mission-driven processes have led to incredible improvements within the organization. The Board, myself, and the entire staff are extremely excited for Amy to take on this new and challenging role.” Amy joined the national office in 2013. She is a lifetime member of the Association and a qualifier to the 1998 National Tournament. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa, where she received the Purple and Old Gold Award recognizing conspicuous achievement in forensics, and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. Amy’s professional experience, primarily in local government and health care, includes leading and managing project teams, directing communications, and facilitating organizational improvement. Many of her previous responsibilities will continue in her new role, including leading operations and strategic planning, overseeing customer service and membership recruitment, and guiding efforts to define and improve processes, projects, and programs that achieve strategic goals. As she looks ahead, Amy says she most looks forward to adding value to the great contributions already being made by everyone involved in speech and debate. “My ultimate priority is helping all parts of the organization—its Board and staff, its culture, its



Executive Director J. Scott Wunn and Director of Community Engagement Steve Schappaugh traveled to Washington, D.C., last month in support of Arts Advocacy Day. On Monday, March 20, the team participated in interactive advocacy training and peer-to-peer learning and networking. Then, on Tuesday, March 21, they and more than 700 other advocates met with congressional representatives to showcase the impact and transformative power that the arts—speech and debate activities in particular—have in our communities. According to the Americans for the Arts website, “In partnership with more than 85 national arts organizations, Arts Advocacy Day is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations. Grassroots advocates from across the country come to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress to garner support for issues like arts education policy, the charitable tax deduction, and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.” Steve says it was an honor to participate with Scott in D.C. “As a national organization that represents more than 5,000 coaches, 141,000 students and 1.5 million alumni, it is our duty to help ensure those voices are represented. I look forward to continued efforts to advocate for speech and debate and the unique role our activity serves in championing the development of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking for learners.”

Discounted Liability Insurance for Speech and Debate Educators The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) has partnered with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to offer liability insurance at a reduced

rate to the NSDA membership. The coverage will be available for coaches and teachers to purchase beginning with the 2017-2018 school year at a low cost of $14. For added convenience, purchase of the insurance can be bundled with membership dues. Working with our partners at Dissinger Reed, the NFHS and the NSDA will provide coverage for the following types of incidents: • Personal and advertising injury • Damage to premises rented to you • Premises medical payments • Sexual abuse and molestation

forward,” explains Steve Schappaugh, who serves as Managing Editor for Rostrum. “Since Rostrum is traditionally geared toward coaches, we wanted an avenue to celebrate our members in a format that everyone—students, parents, administrators—could get behind.” In the fall, quarterly issues of Rostrum will be named by the month in which they are published (September, November, February, and April) instead of by season, which should assist in communicating deadlines to prospective authors and advertisers. “Our editorial team is working hard behind the scenes to develop engaging themes that resonate within the entire speech and debate community,” Steve affirms.

• Participant legal liability • Crisis response • Various accidental medical As James Weaver, Director of Performing Arts and Sports at the NFHS, explains, “There are many reasons to have liability insurance. The insurance covers you basically anytime you are with students outside of your regular teaching duties, when you are traveling with students for a speech, debate, or theatre event, and when you are judging or managing a speech, debate, or theatre event.” He concludes, “Please consider this valuable resource before you need it—because when you need it and don’t have it, that’s when it’s too late!” Watch for more information to be released on our website and in future coach newsletters.

Introducing Nationals Chronicle Arriving in mailboxes this August, the Nationals Chronicle is a bonus commemorative edition of Rostrum magazine that will feature highlights from the Birmingham Nationals. The fifth installment is designed to have fewer pages and will serve as a sleek, color tribute to the hard work of the national champion students, coaches, and volunteer leaders at the summer event. It won’t be a one-time publication, either. “We’re excited to make this an ongoing tradition moving

We’ve settled into our new home in West Des Moines, Iowa. Our business office is now located at:

National Speech & Debate Association 401 Railroad Place West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730 Please use this address for all future correspondence and payments. Be sure to share this with anyone at your school who sends mail to our organization. Thank you!


The American Legion Oratorical Contest

LOOKING FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS?  LOOK NO FURTHER. As part of the National Speech & Debate Association’s ongoing partnership with The American Legion, the top three finishers from the Legion’s National Oratorical Contest may earn the right to compete in Original Oratory or United States Extemporaneous Speaking at the National Speech & Debate Tournament! The firstplace finisher is awarded an $18,000 scholarship, second-place $16,000, and third-place $14,000. The scholarships may be used at any college or university in the United States.

Want to get involved? Follow these simple steps!

• Visit www.legion.org/oratorical to learn more. • Click “Request Information” or contact your state’s American Legion Department to learn when the first contest will be. • Also click on “Assigned Topics” to learn the extemporaneous topic areas. • Prepare your original oration on some aspect of the Constitution with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.

Washington student Benjamin Crosby placed first at the 2016 Oratorical Contest.

Watch examples of past winning orations online at www.legion.org/oratorical/videos.

National Speech & Debate Tournament JUNE 18-23, 2017 | Birmingham, Alabama OVERVIEW OF HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENT LOGISTICS SUNDAY • JUNE 18 (Registration and Expo) This year, tournament registration and the expo will take place Sunday, June 18, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham in downtown Birmingham, AL. The Sheraton Birmingham is the host hotel for the tournament and is located near the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), where the final rounds and awards assembly will be held. Schools staying in any of the recommended properties will find this extremely convenient.

MONDAY AND TUESDAY • JUNE 19-20 (Prelim Rounds/Early Elims/Local Host Posting Party) Seven venues will be used for preliminary competition, June 19-20. All main event preliminary and early elimination competition on Monday and Tuesday will occur between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. High school Congressional Debate will be hosted at the Sheraton Birmingham. The Sheraton Birmingham will also host preliminary rounds of Extemporaneous Speaking. Jackson-Olin HS will host preliminary rounds of Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Carver HS will host preliminary rounds of Public Forum Debate. Mountain Brook HS will host preliminary rounds of Policy Debate. Huffman HS will host preliminary rounds of Humorous, Dramatic, Duo, and Program Oral Interpretation. Woodlawn HS will host preliminary rounds of Original Oratory and Informative Speaking. A. H. Parker HS will host World Schools Debate competition. The student posting party will take place at Uptown Birmingham, the premier entertainment district at the BJCC, adjacent to the Sheraton and Westin. Students eliminated from main event competition on Tuesday may reregister for Wednesday supplemental events at The Westin Birmingham during the student posting party.

WEDNESDAY • JUNE 21 (Elim Rounds/Supplemental Events) Five venues will be used on Wednesday. All competition will occur between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Students who qualify for elimination round 9 of all main speech and debate events (including World Schools) will compete at Carver HS. High school Congressional Debate semifinals will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham. Those students re-registered for supplemental speech events will compete at Jackson-Olin HS. Those students re-registered in Extemporaneous Debate will compete at A. H. Parker HS. Note: Middle school competition begins Wednesday at Huffman HS.

THURSDAY • JUNE 22 (Elim Rounds/Supp-Cons Events/Interp Finals/Diamond Awards)

Online Registration Ends May 1

Thursday morning, debate elimination rounds will continue at Carver HS. High school Congressional Debate will hold its final round sessions at the Sheraton Birmingham. Extemporaneous Debate will compete at A. H. Parker HS. All supplemental speech and consolation events will occur at Jackson-Olin HS. Note: Middle school competition continues at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday at Huffman HS. On Thursday afternoon through the evening, attendees will enjoy the national final rounds of World Schools Debate, Program Oral Interpretation, Humorous, Dramatic, and Duo Interpretation, as well as the Donus D. Roberts Diamond Assembly, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC).

FRIDAY • JUNE 23 (Supp-Cons/Main Event Finals and National Awards Assembly) The remaining main event final rounds (Informative Speaking, United States Extemp, International Extemp, Policy Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Original Oratory), as well as the supplemental and consolation event finals, will be held throughout the day on Friday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), culminating with the National Awards Assembly Friday evening.

The National Speech & Debate Association has appeared on the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities since the origination of the list. 14


See you this June in the


All schools should stay at one of the Association recommended hotels in downtown Birmingham or the surrounding areas. The lowest rates have been negotiated for our members. Please do not stay outside the block. The large volume of room sales within the block allows the Association to continue to negotiate the most affordable rate list. Properties that do not appear on this list are likely inconvenient for participation in the tournament, including lack of safety, amenities, and proximity to restaurants and are providing no benefit to the overall cost of the tournament. Morning and afternoon traffic could add substantial time to your commute if you are located outside the block. In addition, hotels not on the list have no contractual obligation to the Association, and therefore, we cannot provide any level of reservation protection at these properties. Middle school teams are encouraged to stay in airport hotel properties as they are closest to Huffman HS.


When calling hotels, all coaches must mention the “National Speech & Debate Association block” to receive the posted rate. All room reservations within the block are subject to an automatic two-night, non-refundable deposit per room at the time of booking. This avoids double booking and allows all attendees equal opportunity to book in the best available properties.


All hotel properties on the Association’s list are easily accessible and are within 15-20 minutes by interstate or surface streets of competition venues. The tournament website has a link to an interactive Google map of every hotel including the Sheraton Birmingham, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, and all competition sites. You can print all needed maps before ever leaving home.


The high school Congressional Debate headquarters is the Sheraton Birmingham located in downtown Birmingham. All Congressional Debate rounds and the PRELIMS of Extemporaneous Speaking will occur at the Sheraton complex. It is recommended that high school teams with Congressional debaters and/or extempers stay at the Sheraton Birmingham or at one of the downtown properties to avoid substantial rush hour traffic issues. These hotels are an excellent choice in both price and feature.


It is recommended that all coaches visit the individual websites of the hotels to determine which property fits the needs of their program. All hotels on the list are conveniently located to various aspects of the tournament. The Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham are the most conveniently located hotels for access to the high school Congressional Debate competition, registration, final rounds, and the National Awards Assembly. Schools are encouraged to book early as hotel blocks will fill up quickly.


Key Travel Times to Note: a. Sheraton and other downtown hotels to Schools (less than 20-minute drive) b. Sheraton and other downtown hotels to Congressional Debate and Finals (less than five-minute walk) c. All other Hotels to Schools (less than 20-minute drive) d. All other Hotels to Congressional Debate and Finals (less than 20-minute drive)


PLEASE LOOK AT A MAP! Before reserving rooms, all coaches should consult a map of the Birmingham area to get a better perspective on travel logistics. Maps are available on the tournament website. The key to a less stressful week is to consider following the above lodging suggestions provided by the national office.

We offer more than 30 hotel properties to make your stay in Birmingham comfortable and enjoyable! Visit www.speechanddebate.org/hotels to check out the complete list.

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 15

NATIONAL TOU RNAME NT TE ES AVAILA BLE FOR PRE-ORDE R! RESERVE YOUR #NATS17 SHIRTS DURING ONLINE REGISTRATION – THROUGH MAY 1 *Limited quantities available at tournament. Pre-order is recommended to ensure your size selection is available!

VENUE GUIDE • BIRMINGHAM NATIONALS Downtown Birmingham will be an excellent location for the 2017 National Speech & Debate Tournament. To make planning easier, below is an overview of key hotels, venues, and schools that will be used for competition throughout the week. Keep in mind that all details are tentative and subject to change.

HOTELS AND VENUES | See our website for additional hotels! Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North, Birmingham, AL 35203


» Finals and Awards (Thu-Fri)


Carver High School

3900 24th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35207

Sheraton Birmingham Hotel 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North, Birmingham, AL 35203 » Registration and Expo (Sun) » Congressional Debate (Mon-Thu) » Extemp (Mon-Tue) » Middle School Registration (Tue evening)

» Public Forum Debate (Mon-Tue) » Main Speech (Wed) » Main Debate (Wed-Thu) » World Schools Debate (Wed-Thu)


Huffman High School

950 Springville Road, Birmingham, AL 35215

The Westin Birmingham

» Interp (Mon-Tue)

2221 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North, Birmingham, AL 35203

» Middle School Competition (Wed-Thu)

» Supplemental Re-registration (Tue evening)


Jackson-Olin High School

1300 Avenue F, Birmingham, AL 35218 » Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Mon-Tue)

Uptown District-Birmingham 2221 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North, Birmingham, AL 35203 » Student Posting Party (Tue evening)

» Big Questions Debates (Mon-Thu) » Supplemental Speech Events (Wed-Thu) » Consolation Events (Thu)


Mountain Brook High School

3650 Bethune Drive, Mountain Brook, AL 35223




» Policy Debate (Mon-Tue)


A. H. Parker High School

900 4th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35204 » World Schools Debate (Mon-Tue)




» Extemp Debate (Wed-Thu)


Woodlawn High School

5620 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212 » Oratory and Informative (Mon-Tue)

Visit our interactive Google map for an overview of the 2017 site plan at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 17

TRANSPORTATION GUIDE • BIRMINGHAM NATIONALS Receive discounts off your flight when you book online with recommended carriers. Some restrictions may apply.

Birmingham-Shuttleworth International Airport (BHM) 5900 Messer Airport Hwy Birmingham, AL 35212



Meeting Event Code:

Offer Code: *


ZY6D 622499

* UNITED: U.S. 50 States and Canada Customers: call your professional travel agency, book online via www.united.com, or call United Reservations Meetings Desk at (800) 426-1122 and provide the Z Code ZY6D and Agreement Code 622499. For all tickets issued through United Meetings Reservations Desk, there will be a booking service fee per ticket collected. This fee is subject to change without notice. Such service fee is nonrefundable and applies to all itineraries, one-way or round-trip.

Hertz is the Association's official rental car company! For more information, call (800) 654-2240 or visit hertz.com today. Some restrictions may apply.

CV #022Q8414

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. 18


ACCESSIBILITY GUIDE • BIRMINGHAM NATIONALS Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about accessibility at the National Tournament. Q

Meet Your Local Host Committee Q





(from top, left to right) Jay Rye, chair; Dr. Kenny Barfield, Victoria Boyd, Chris Colvin, Nate Conoly, Tonya Hatch, Rebecca Helms, John McWilliams, Jessica Newman, Katy Olienyk, Oliver Parker, Rachel Puckett, Ondreja Turner, Dr. Ian Turnipseed, Elizabeth Wood Weas, and Hannah Zarzour



Where can I rent handicap accessible vans for my team?




MobilityWorks of Birmingham has handicap accessible vans for rent. Van rentals start at $129 per day with limited delivery options for an additional fee. | Phone: (205) 426-8261 | Website: www.mobilityworks. com/mobilityworks-locations/birmingham-al.php

Where can I rent a wheelchair or scooter for myself or a student for the week?




What are the best options for public transportation with a wheelchair?



Elrod Mobility services the greater Birmingham area. Wheelchair rentals start at $60 per week. Scooter rentals start at $200 per week. Both require a minimum 30-day advance notice. Delivery is possible for a $25 fee, although please be sure to alert your hotel about the delivery ahead of time. | Phone: (205) 823-8181 | Website: http://myelrodmobility.com

According to the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority website, “All BJCTA buses meet the American with DIsabilities Act (ADA) requirements, offering wheelchair lifts and other features to accommodate riders with disabilities.” For more information, visit www.bjcta.org/riding-on-max/accessibility-info.


Are all venues handicap accessible?



Yes, all competition sites are handicap accessible, and tournament officials will have access to elevator keys. Also, some of the schools will only have one floor of competition rooms.


Does the Sheraton Birmingham have valet parking?




Which hotels have disabled access rooms available?



| A

Yes, valet parking is available for $22. The cost for self-parking is $12.

If you or one of your students/judges need disabled access rooms, all of the hotels should have them available, but you must proactively reserve those rooms early on. For your students or judges, it also may be important to discuss in advance their needs and specify if you need a tub or a roll-in shower room.

Where can I find information on accessible tourist venues and answers to other specific questions?


The Birmingham Independent Living Center has a robust set of resources available on their website and may be a useful tool. Visit http://drradvocates.org to learn more.

Compiled by Jan Friedman-Pizzo, Butte Falls Charter School, Oregon

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 19


Join Us Tuesday Evening • June 20!

Supplemental Re-registration will be held adjacent to the Uptown Entertainment District at The Westin Birmingham hotel.

Student Posting Party 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Supplemental Re-registration 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

UPTOWN is Birmingham’s fresh new take on entertainment. Just down the street from the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex) and the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, the district attracts locals and visitors to enjoy a variety of dining selections. Texas de Brazil, Cantina Laredo, Todd English P.U.B., and The Southern Kitchen & Bar are just the beginning! Other eateries serve up good dining selections, from gourmet burgers and premium steaks to fresh-roasted coffees.

Watch the tournament website for more details coming soon! UPTOWN Entertainment District | 2221 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd North | Birmingham, AL 35203




Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. 20


BIG QUESTIONS CAPSTONE EVENT • TOURNAMENT LOGISTICS Entries/Qualification Process • The top-placing student at each district’s Big Questions division will be invited to participate at Nationals. • To host a district Big Questions event, fill out the online application by April 1, 2017. To get started, visit www.speechanddebate.org /big-questions or email lauren.burdt@speechanddebate.org. • Big Questions entries will not count toward a school’s district entry limits. • The district Big Questions division may be held in conjunction with the district tournament or as a standalone event on a separate date as long as it occurs before May 15, 2017. The district event must meet the following requirements: • Minimum of 15 high school competitors. • All students must compete as individuals. • Must be more than one school in attendance. • The event must be organized through or with the permission of the district chair. • The event will either a) follow the double elimination format of other district debate events or b) hold a minimum of four preliminary rounds and semifinals. • The top-placing student will not be eligible to compete in the Big Questions Capstone Event if they have qualified in a main event. • If the Big Questions district event is held before the district’s main National Qualifying tournament, the top-placing student’s name may be withdrawn and replaced with an alternate’s if the top-placing student qualifies in another event. • Beginning April 15, at-large invitations will also be sent to individual students who have performed well in the event throughout the season and who did not qualify at their district tournament. • Only entries composed of individual debaters may compete at Nationals. The cost of entry is $50 per student. • For a tentative schedule overview, visit www.speechanddebate.org /nationals and scroll down to the Big Questions tab. Judges • Each district must provide a full-­time judge for each entry available for the entirety of the competition. The judge may not be entered into any other judging pool at the National Tournament. • There are no hired judges available. • Judges must attend judge training on Monday at 9:00 a.m. at Jackson-Olin High School. Topic • Students will debate the 2016-2017 topic, Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will. • Students must attend the topic discussion on Monday at 9:00 a.m. at Jackson-Olin High School. Supplemental and Consolation Events • Students who are eliminated from competition on Tuesday are eligible to enter in supplemental events if pre-registered. Teams must re-register during the student posting party Tuesday evening. • Students who do not advance to Thursday’s rounds may enter in consolation events if pre-registered. Teams must re-register Wednesday evening.

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 21

WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE INVITATIONAL • TOURNAMENT LOGISTICS Entries • World Schools teams are comprised of three to five students. The cost of entry is $50 per student. • Each NSDA district may enter up to two teams to the National Tournament, provided they offer a second judge to cover the commitment for the second team. Districts that do not provide a full-­time judge for each team will not be permitted to enter. • Students must attend an NSDA district qualifying event to be eligible for selection to their district’s team. • Students who attend the district tournament and qualify in a main event for the 2017 National Tournament may forgo their qualification and participate in World Schools Debate instead, if they are selected for the team by their district and have preferred it on the Single Entry Letter of Intent prior to the District Tournament Series. Refer to the Single Entry Letter of Intent regarding preferences in partnership events. • Guest nations may enter teams, as well. Visit our website for more details. Judges • Each district must provide a full-­time judge for each team available for the entirety of the competition. The judge may not be entered into any other judging pool at the National Speech & Debate Tournament. • There are no hired judges available. • Judges must attend judge training on Sunday! Motions • There will be a mix of prepared and impromptu motions for the competition. • Prepared motions will be announced by May 1, 2017. Tentative Schedule Sunday

Judge and Competitor Training; Demo Debate (Sheraton/Westin Complex)


Preliminary Rounds (4) (Parker HS)


Preliminary Rounds (2) and Double-Octafinals (Parker HS)

Wednesday Octafinals/Quarterfinals/Semifinals (Carver HS) Thursday

Final Round (BJCC Concert Hall)

Supplemental and Consolation Events • Teams who are eliminated from competition on Tuesday are eligible to enter in supplemental events if pre-registered. Teams must re-register during the local host posting party Tuesday evening. • Teams who do not advance to Thursday’s rounds may enter in consolation events if pre-registered. Teams must re-register Wednesday evening.

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. 22



Middle School Overview | JUNE 20-23, 2017 Tentative Schedule TUESDAY • JUNE 20 Registration will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham. WEDNESDAY • JUNE 21 Middle school competition begins Wednesday at Huffman HS. Rounds begin at 8:00 a.m. and last until 6:00 p.m. Time has been built in for lunch. THURSDAY • JUNE 22 Middle school competition continues Thursday at Huffman HS. Rounds begin at 8:00 a.m. and last until 7:00 p.m. Time has been built in for lunch. FRIDAY • JUNE 23 Starting at 8:00 a.m., final rounds of Speech, Policy, and Congress, as well as semifinal and final rounds of Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum, will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham and Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). The awards assembly will commence at 4:30 p.m. in the BJCC Mary Jane Teall Theater, followed by the high school awards assembly at 6:30 p.m., where middle school champions will be recognized on stage in the BJCC Concert Hall.

Important Middle School Dates • Coaches can register online starting February 15. • Entries are due April 24. All entries will be placed on a waitlist. Entries will be taken off the waitlist once payment has been received (space permitted, up to five). Additional entries will remain on the waitlist until the payment deadline of May 12. Entries will be taken off the waitlist based upon the payment date and not the registration date. • Congressional Debate legislation is due April 24. • Title, author, and ISBN information for Interpretation events must be posted on the registration website by May 1. • Media release forms, signed by each student’s parent/ guardian, must be submitted by May 12. • All fees, including judge bond, must be received in the national office by May 12. • A late fee of $200 will be assessed for fees and forms received after May 12. A school risks forfeiting participation if fees and media release forms are not received by May 19.

Other Details • Coaches are asked to carefully review all information on the tournament website. • Please note that each school is limited to five entries per event. A team may place an additional three entries in the system to try and secure additional spots. The first five slots are first come, first served, based upon the date that payment is received. Any slots beyond the five will not be available until after the payment deadline of May 12. • We will continue to rigorously train high school student judges. Middle schools are required to bring judges for each division in which they have students (Policy, LD, or PF, Speech, and Congress) as a condition for registering.

Please Read Before Selecting Lodging! Middle school coaches should review all information relative to lodging on page 15. Be sure to mention the “National Speech & Debate Association block” when booking rooms, and only book with recommended hotels for the reasons listed. The host hotel, Sheraton Birmingham, requires a minimum five-night stay. Middle school programs needing reservations of less than five days must book at properties other than the Sheraton. Middle school teams are encouraged to stay in airport hotel properties as they are closest to Huffman HS. All room reservations within the block are subject to an automatic nonrefundable two-night deposit per room at the time of booking or upon cancellation, depending on the property. This avoids double booking and allows all attendees equal opportunity to book in the best available properties.

Important Notice: The 2016 Salt Lake City Nationals was the last time a club or non-school member may enter the Middle School National Tournament. The Board of Directors affirms the creation, support, and development of speech and debate programs at the middle and secondary levels through accredited public and private schools. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, all members of the Association must be school-based. For any club or organization that does not currently have a school-based membership, the Association is eager to work with you to create school based speech and debate teams. Students who are currently Association members through their area non-school-based clubs and organizations may request to have their memberships transferred to their accredited public and private schools. Homeschools and virtual schools that are recognized by the state in which those schools compete may join the National Speech & Debate Association.

Additional tournament information is available at www.speechanddebate.org/nationals. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 23

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We dedicate this issue of Rostrum, which explores ways to bridge current gaps between people, places, and resources in speech and debate, to retiring NSDA Finance Director Carol Zanto. Carol has bridged every gap with us for the last 47 years.


A Story of Constancy and Commitment by Amy Seidelman

Finish this sentence. Carol Zanto is dedicated to


o work? To family? To coaches and students? To the office she manages? To the employees she counsels? To friends, to neighbors, to the community of Ripon, Wisconsin? There isn’t a thing Carol Zanto does to which she is not dedicated. It is not a quality that describes her approach to any one thing. It is just her. Her dedication is transcendent. I have to imagine most reading this article know who Carol Zanto is, but if you haven’t been part of the National Speech & Debate Association very long, or you’ve never had a question about a financial issue, you might not. Carol is the Finance Director for our organization. Wrapped up in that title are things like serving as office manager for the Ripon location (she buys paper towels and brings treats, along with managing the upkeep of the building). She ensures employees get paid on time, deals with audits and taxes, processes membership and National Tournament revenues, works with the budget, and a long list of other responsibilities that one tends to gather over a 47-year career with one organization. Carol tries to stay out of the limelight, but this time, she doesn’t have a choice. She’s retiring after the 2016-2017 school year, and when you work somewhere for nearly 50 years, your departure generates attention, celebration, and a reflection on your impact.

Why So Loyal? I think Carol has chosen well in life. She prioritizes what is important and commits to it. Which leads you to ask, in

regard to her working life, why us? Why did the National Forensic League, and for a shorter time the National Speech & Debate Association, get to be part of Carol Zanto’s life? “This organization has been my life’s work. I feel that if you work for an organization you should do your best and be loyal or leave,” Carol says. She has seen a lot of people come and go over nearly five decades. “In the office, you either became committed or left to find what you wanted to do. As far as coaches, I think most of us agree that programs live and die by the coach.” Carol prizes the commitment of speech and debate coaches and its centrality to our mission, and it drives her own commitment, as well.

“Carol retires having led the organization from a multi-thousand dollar non-profit to one of multi-millions, all with a finance staff of no more than three.” — J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director


How It Started Carol shares how her story with the organization started in 1970: “Lester Tucker (the second Executive Secretary of the National Forensic League) hired me, and for the first six months I recorded student points. At the time, coaches sent in the application for membership (a blue form), the membership fee, and a point sheet containing at least 25 points for student membership. We checked to make sure the points were correct, that we had proper fees, and that the application was signed by the principal and coach.” Even for someone detail-oriented and great at math, all of that point recording was not simple. She continues: “At that time I was no longer living at home. After working for two weeks, I asked my parents if I could move home because I was sure I would never learn the points system and that I probably would be fired.” By that November, Carol was still employed and was offered the finance position when the prior employee left. From that point on, she was primarily responsible for keeping up the journal books they used to track the money, but she continued to play a role in other organizational projects including shipping insignia, mailing renewal letters and Rostrum, and preparing for the National Tournament. “I have done all jobs except compile Rostrum,” Carol notes. The bookkeeping was more in line with Carol’s strengths, but even that was a bit unique. Marilyn Hageman, who started at the NFL in 1965 and retired ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 27

in 1996 (but came back for several years afterward to help Carol with the books), worked with Carol for more than 30 years. Marilyn reports that although Bruno E. Jacob, founder and first Executive Secretary of the NFL, had retired the year before Carol started, he always came back to the office. “Mr. Jacob helped her with the bookkeeping, to get her started on how the NFL did it. It was different from other business, as an ‘organization of education.’”

The “Lean Times”

Fulfilling Bruno Jacob’s Legacy Bruno Jacob played an important role in the birth of Carol’s commitment to the National Forensic League. According to Diane Rasmussen, former Financial Office Associate for the organization who spent 34 years as Carol’s assistant, “It was her daily mission to keep to the core mission that Mr. Jacob put forth when he started the NFL. That is what drove her along with the rest of us.” “He instilled that kind of loyalty,” Marilyn confirms. “He used to have all of the employees come in his office at coffee time and talk for 15-20 minutes. You just felt for the NFL. It was a job, yes. It was a paycheck, yes. But that wasn’t the main thrust. It was the NFL itself.” Carol came to respect Bruno Jacob a great deal. She recalls that he had a knack for prediction, from current events—like recognizing that President Richard Nixon would resign six months before it actually happened, to local weather—including ensuring Carol left the office before a major snow storm hit so she could get to her home 15 miles away. “I really respected his judgment,” Carol says. The importance of that leadership and the impression it made on a young Carol Zanto can’t be underestimated. Jackie Oakes, another co-worker, didn’t start at the NFL until 1990 but understood how it impacted Carol for 20 years prior: “She grew up as the NFL grew up.” Despite Carol’s youth, her role models and colleagues helped her quickly develop the skills and know-how necessary to help run the organization. It wasn’t long before her own sense of judgment would be put to the test.



“We wanted to do more for young people and take care of the great staff, but it was a year before we were back on track. Marilyn, Carol, and that group kept things going.” — Don Crabtree, Board President

The cover of the January 1990 Rostrum honoring the support staff of the NFL office.

There is a time in the organization’s history, in the mid 80s, known internally as the “lean times.” The organization’s third Executive Secretary, Dennis Winfield, resigned in 1986 and thenBoard President James Copeland became interim director. Jim, after 25 years of coaching and teaching, had recently retired and joined Hall of Fame coach Esther Kalmbach’s Ocean Blvd. Realty in Pampano Beach, Florida. Four months into retirement, the NFL’s Board of Directors came calling to take advantage of Jim’s business experience in the wake of a serious financial shortfall. According to current NSDA Board President Don Crabtree, who was first elected to the Board in the 1987-1988 school year, the organization was in dire financial condition in 1986. The accountant revealed there to be less than $800 left in the entire NFL account. President Crabtree recalls: “The attorney recommended we close the organization down and move on. It was disheartening, disturbing news.” The financial situation was such that Jim and fellow employee Albert Odom didn’t cash paychecks until it got back on track. “I remember one day early in 1987, I was leaving on a fundraising trip when Carol came to me and said we did not have enough to make payroll,” Jim confirms. “I gave Carol my personal check for $10,000 in case we ran short when I was on the road. I do not believe that money was ever used, but the staff was always paid on time.” “Staff weathered that—the uncertainty of their jobs,” President Crabtree continues. “We wanted to do more for young people and take care of the great staff, but it was a year before we were back on track. Marilyn, Carol, and that group kept things going.” Jim Copeland accepted a more permanent role as Executive Secretary later that year. Until then, Marilyn and Carol maintained a stable office. As Marilyn remembers, “All we did was keep going with what we normally did. Albert Odom was there and took care of Rostrum. We took care of the rest.” Carol felt that the nature of their

working relationship got them through that time. “Running the office without a director was a very big challenge, but Marilyn and I discussed every issue before making a decision so that we were in full agreement before implementing any transaction or change.” President Crabtree describes that time period as very tense. “We kept everything moving so there was no mass panic, but we were just existing, not growing. It was pretty scary. Fortunately, the staff stayed and we got back on track and over the course of the years built this back to a stable, dynamic organization.” Committing to one organization is often not the easy route. Seeing it through the good times and the bad, and taking on just about everything to carry the organization on your back, is a rougher road. Carol’s recollection of the time is not one of complaint, or self-pity—it is a sense of pride and duty that prevails.

More Change, More Challenge After Bruno Jacob, Lester Tucker, and Dennis Winfield, Carol was apprehensive about working for Jim Copeland. “I have to admit, I did not think I would be working for the organization very long because Jim had a reputation as a strongminded coach, which made me nervous.” However, Carol’s worries were quickly assauged. “I was wrong. The longer Jim ran the office, it improved, and we have become great friends.” Carol’s grandson Cooper was born on Jim’s birthday, and each year he sends Cooper a gift. In September 2003, J. Scott Wunn, current Executive Director, began his tenure. “Again, I think everyone was nervous, because you never know what to expect. But Scott fit in well and we all worked together very well,” Carol remarks, with special emphasis on one time she was able to play a role in his life. “I will always remember when Scott and [his wife] Megan came to me, told me they were adopting a child from Korea, and asked me to help with some paperwork they needed from our human resources records. At that time, the adoption was not public knowledge, so I kept their secret. It was very special.”

Carol saw a lot of people begin and end employment at the NFL/NSDA, and she was also responsible for bringing them to the table. Kathy Dumke, Carol’s co-worker in the finance department, remembers how she got her start after being Carol’s neighbor for years. “One day, Carol walked across the unplanted cornfield and saw me with my high school aged daughter. ‘Would you be interested in coming to work?’ she asked.” Carol wasn’t just dedicated—she could spot dedication across a cornfield. Kathy started full time in 1999 and officially retired in 2013, but like Marilyn, came back to work for the NSDA, and for Carol, in her retirement. Carol also experienced five office moves, and she paints the best picture of those changes. “When I started, we were on the third floor of Ripon College in Smith Hall. It was a great place to be. The campus was beautiful. In November of 1975, we moved to the old First National Bank building on Watson Street. It was a large building, but we utilized all of it by storing our paper historical records there. We used the vault for our supply room. In 1987, we moved to a small building on Highway 23 on the east side of Ripon. The building was too small, desks were crammed together, and no one had good space to work, but it saved a lot of money, especially on heat. In 1990, we purchased and moved to the Hayes Law Office. I loved my office there, but the building was not really big enough. In October of 1993, we moved to the 125 Watson Street address, which gave us the room we needed.”

Top: The NFL national office circa 1995. • Center: Carol at the 1999 Phoenix Nationals, where she was inducted into the NSDA Hall of Fame. • Bottom: Carol works at the 2002 Charlotte Nationals.


Other than people and places, the change that revolutionized the way work had to be done at the office was the introduction of the computer. “She doesn’t like change. Computers weren’t a very good friend to her. She still used paper for a while,” Jackie shares. But Carol adapted, because “for her, this was home.” “No single person in our organization has dealt with more change than Carol Zanto,” Scott adds. “Her career started at a time when the organization was making a historic change from its founder to new leadership. Since that point, Carol has been present for every major milestone, pitfall, and success. She has literally lived through the digitization of the Association.” He points to the advent of the online points system, the development of a resource-driven website, and the creation of an online store and finance system as examples that created massive changes in the finance department both in size and scope. “The requirements of the organization’s finance department are five times what they were in the 70s. Carol retires having led the organization from a multi-thousand dollar non profit to one of multi-millions, all with a finance staff of no more than three.” Carol’s willingness to see the organization through change, and her commitment to learning what was

Keep ‘em Laughing

“...It is just so clear how much she loves her family and life, and you can’t help but want to jump on a motorcycle and have an adventure of your own. Her joy for life is infectious!” — Renee Motter, 2017 National Educator of the Year

needed to grow with the NFL, prompted her 1999 nomination to the Hall of Fame, the highest honor for any high school speech and debate coach to which only a handful of other non-coaches have been elected or appointed. “She truly belongs in the Hall of Fame, which it was my honor to present to her at the Phoenix Nationals,” says Jim Copeland.

Jackie recalls that one of her first impressions of Carol was her good sense of humor. Carol had that impact on coaches as well as coworkers. Cheryl Gilmore, a former coach and district chair from Louisiana, befriended Carol through their longdistance contacts about membership issues and eventually starting helping Carol at the National Tournament. “In 1999, when the tournament was in Phoenix, Carol and Jim Copeland were the first people I ran into when I got to the hotel. Carol had a small compact car that was packed full of boxes for the tournament. When I went to pick up my rental car, the agent saw that I had an AARP discount and gave me an upgrade. I ended up with a Lincoln Continental. When I told Carol the story, she decided she needed an AARP card, too. Our birthdays are only a few days apart, and we laughed about the advantages of being old!” The National Tournament was fodder for other laughs, as well. Marilyn and Carol used to assist James Hawker, a former NFL Board President, with judging assignments, which was one of the tournament’s toughest tasks before computers. As soon as tournament Monday hit, they began working on assigning judges with Mr. Hawker,

“Even though our hearts were always toward the work, it doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun on the side.” — Diane Rasmussen, former Financial Office Associate The NFL office staff sharing a fun moment during the 2006 Texas Nationals hosted by Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 30


which was unusually entertaining in spite of—or perhaps because of—the grueling nature of the work. “We would work all day, break for supper, and then get back to work. I remember going to Mr. Hawker’s room to work, and students were also there practicing.” She remembers one especially endearing performance of ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and several instances of late-night giddiness. “Another time, it was about 3:30 a.m. and Marilyn and I were so tired that we became giggly, so much so that Mr. Hawker had to reign us in. He just wanted to get some sleep, too.” Marilyn adds, “We were so tired, you had to be close to get along. It was an unbelievably tedious task.” As always, Carol goes the extra mile to recognize the people she worked with on the task. “I have great respect for Mr. Hawker and I am glad I had the opportunity to work with him, as well as Ron Steinhorst, who I truly respect and with whom I’ve maintained a longtime friendship.” Despite the long hours and tediousness, Carol claims to miss the days of judge assignments, likely because of the bond it created with Marilyn, James, and Ron. Diane recalls the 2004 National Tournament in Salt Lake City when a co-worker talked the staff into driving to Park City for dinner. They took advantage of the opportunity to take a ski lift ride up a mountain. Just as they started out and were taking in the beautiful view, Diane commented to Carol, “I hope Jim Copeland doesn’t call for some reason right now.” Of course, the phone rang almost immediately, and it was Jim. Carol held the conversation on the ride. “When you are at Nationals, you feel like you are working 24/7,” Diane shares. “Even though our hearts were always toward the work, it doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun on the side.” Carol’s favorite thing about the tournament has less to do with laughs and more to do with helping people. Although it is long, she loves registration on Sunday. “We can help everyone resolve their problems, make them happy to be there, and have their students ready to compete.” During registration, Carol could be found at the “problem table,” a space

Carol received the Association’s Brother Gregory “Rene’” Sterner Lifetime Service Award in 2011. She was called to the stage and surprised by her two daughters, Andrea and Erika, both former NFL employees, as well.


aptly named because that’s what she did—address any lingering problems with tournament registration. Cheryl assisted Carol in that capacity for several years, relaying: “I used to work in Congress as a scorer, parliamentarian, or tab official, and had very little time with my students at Nationals, so I asked if I could work registration instead. One day, either Jackie or Carol asked if I’d work with the problem table. I’m still not sure if they asked me because I was a problem or because they thought I could deal with people who had problems! I became Carol’s helper and have enjoyed my time in that position.” At face, holding court at the problem table doesn’t seem like an envious task. But Carol made it fun. “Carol is so organized and wonderful when dealing with coaches,” Cheryl says “She has a great memory and tries to make the financial problems a pleasant situation for each coach who comes to the table.” Carol’s sense of fun has helped her build other relationships, through the tournament and otherwise in the community. Renee Motter, district chair from Colorado and this year’s National Educator of the Year, has appreciated having Carol as a go-to resource all these years, but even more so because she enjoys just talking with Carol. “Some of my favorite chats have been about her motorcycle trips with her husband. In talking about their adventures, it is just so clear how much she loves her family and life, and you can’t help but want to jump on a motorcycle and have an adventure of your own. Her joy for life is infectious!”

A Hard Worker When you say someone works hard, you picture long hours, stress, and someone who can’t get work out of their head. Carol meets that picture. “There was no harder worker at the NFL than Carol Zanto,” Jim Copeland confirms. “She always worked late and often came in weekends or took work home.” Jim describes Carol’s school year, reporting that in the fall, a flood of school dues were handled. Throughout the year, the flow of student membership fees, merchandise sales, Rostrum ad sales,



charitable contributions, bills, and payroll checks was neverending. Mid-winter meant preparation of tax documents, meetings with the auditor, and financial reports requested by the Council for their meetings. Spring was all about processing the National Tournament fees and ad sales for the tournament book. Carol’s sense of responsibility didn’t change over the years. “I have never met anyone who feels more personally responsible to meet expectations,” shares Scott. “The funniest email I ever received from Carol was an apology because she was running a few minutes late and would not be making it into the office by 6:30 a.m., as was her norm.”

“There was no harder worker at the NFL than Carol Zanto. She always worked late and often came in weekends or took work home.” — Jim Copeland, Director Emeritus

In addition to her aforementioned roles at the National Tournament, Carol also ran the bond checkout process and took care of completing bookkeeping and paying final bills after the tournament. It’s clear that there is no break in the school year for finance. “She knew what needed to be accomplished, and she put in additional hours to get the work done. She never complained, she just did it,” Diane says. President Crabtree affirms, describing Carol’s most outstanding trait as “an absolutely incredible work ethic. She never offered a complaint over 18-20 hour days at the tournament. When we worked those

long shifts, she’d be back at the crack of dawn.” That hard work translated to supporting coaches, as well. Renee says, “I’ve never once called or talked to Carol when she said she couldn’t help me. If she didn’t know the answer, she found it. If there was a discrepancy, she didn’t freak out, she figured out what the issue was and solved it! While her job was the business of the NSDA for nearly 50 years, she never once treated me or my coaches as if it were simply a job. She has always been about helping people—even if that meant she was inconvenienced.” For Carol, solving issues during the day also meant hauling home paperwork at night. “The very first day I started, I saw this four-feet tall icon pulling a suitcase up the spiral staircase at the office, and I thought she was moving out!” Scott relays. “I learned that every single day after a longer than average shift, Carol packed up work to take home and wheeled it to her car!” The thing Carol worked hardest at, which is indeed hard work, was friendship and kindness. In this case, the testimonials really do tell it best.

Cheryl Gilmore: I can’t remember ever NOT knowing Carol. In the beginning, I’d speak to Carol and Jackie Oakes on the phone if I had a question or problem, and we became phone friends. Sometime in the 1980s, I was driving my students to an NCFL tournament and we detoured to Ripon so we could visit the NFL headquarters and put faces to names. During my years as district chair, I’d call many times with questions, but the conversation always ended with a friendly chat. Over the years, I can’t begin to tell you how many coaches have come to the problem table just to say hello or meet Carol because she has been such a help to them during the year. I love working with Carol and the NSDA will not be the same without her. Sue Anderson, North Dakota coach and district chair: When I went to my first National Tournament, the first person who greeted me with a

“I can’t begin to tell you how many coaches have come to the problem table just to say hello or meet Carol because she has been such a help to them during the year... NSDA will not be the same without her.” — Cheryl Gilmore, former coach and district chair Carol and the NFL office staff pose before departing for the 2001 Oklahoma Nationals.

smile was Carol Zanto. Throughout my 24 years as an NSDA coach and District Committee member and chair, she has been the answer to my unending financial questions, a cheery smile at the National Tournament, and the person who has always cared about what was happening in my personal life. In other words, she has not only been a vital part of the national office, she has been a caring and giving friend who I will miss beyond words.

Jackie Oakes: You can’t always talk to just anybody about something that’s bothering you. When you needed to vent, she was always there. When I left we were very good friends. She always had my back. I love that best about her. We’d laugh a lot, and it didn’t seem like work. Diane Rasmussen: I worked 34 years at the NFL/NSDA. I could not have asked for a better person to work with, and train under, than Carol. She always made time to answer my questions and train me in whatever we were doing. Carol was more of a second mother to me than a friend. She was someone who I could go to and talk over my life problems as a sounding board, and I valued that time with her. Scott Wunn: Carol understands that at the heart of customer service is relationship building. She takes the time to understand each individual’s situation and develops bonds

with them and their school that are building blocks for a long-standing connection. She has an impeccable memory for the history of the school and those who have led it.

Kathy Dumke: She is very fair, with great integrity. If someone doesn’t get along working with Carol, there’s something wrong with them, not Carol. Knowing that I can sit down with her as an employee, and if I don’t get quite the right answer, she will take time to re-explain it to me, and that it’s ‘no biggie’ to her—that tells me she wants me to understand it above anything else. President Crabtree: The first time I met Carol, I believe it was 1982. At that time, we had to hold onto yellow judging chips at the tournament, and when we turned them in we got $10 back. Carol had heard from someone that I had been mugged off-site, and she gave me all mine—and a couple extra— back. She was kindness. At that point, I knew who she was but I hadn’t been formally introduced to her. She is still doing things like that, though. It’s no surprise, then, what Carol says she will miss most of all: “I will greatly miss all of the personal contacts I have made with coaches over the years who have become personal friends.”

well, because she made a point to treat every day like a story that needed a good intro and a great finish. “My favorite time with Carol was sitting down in her office in the mornings and talking over what needed to be done that day,” Diane reflects. “We also chatted about our home life and made the day start out well so that we could accomplish the work that needed to be done for the NSDA.” “She had a way of making us feel good at the end of the day,” Kathy states. “Even if we didn’t have all the answers, she always knew we could figure it out in the morning. And she was right—the solution always came. She was able to look at things anew.” During Carol’s time, more than a million students have graduated from our organization with more than 30 million Honor Society degrees among them. You can’t connect, support, and inspire that many young people without a backbone that keeps the operation moving. “She epitomizes our mission,” concludes President Crabtree. “Through work ethic and kindness, you cannot put a value on her investment in this career. She has moved us along, kept us steady, and we’re very blessed to have had Carol through so much.” For nearly 50 years, day in and day out, change was not the only constant. Carol was.

A Good Beginning, A Good End Any story needs a good beginning and a good end. Carol’s journey with this organization began well, and will end

Amy Seidelman serves as the Association’s Assistant Executive Director.



A Statistical Glimpse

at NSDA Member Programs Based on a 2013 Exploratory Survey by Nathan Leys


This survey was conducted before the NSDA changed its name from the National Forensic League (NFL). In the interest of clarity, this paper will refer exclusively to the NSDA.

Figure 1: Frequency of Percent of Students on Free/Reduced Lunch



















n 2013, the National Speech & Debate Association 1 (NSDA) conducted an online survey of forensic coaches across the country. Of 2,950 member programs, 471 responded from 45 states, for a response rate of 16%. This survey produced one of the largest and most detailed datasets ever on the characteristics of U.S. high school forensic programs. By describing this dataset, this study is intended to help educators, coaches, and the forensic community improve and advocate for speech and debate programs across the country. This study proceeds in five sections. The first describes characteristics of respondents’ schools and the role of speech and debate in the classroom. The second examines the size and types of teams represented in the survey. The


10 0






6 100%

Percent of Students on Free/Reduced Lunch

LEGEND OF STATISTICAL SYMBOLS AND TERMINOLOGY F() and t() values  : Statistical tests used to determine if differences are significant or the result of random chance. mean : Average. N or n : Sample size. Different analyses have slightly different n values because some questions had different numbers of responses than others. p : Probability of obtaining a certain result by chance (e.g., p = 0.05 means there is a 5% chance this result is the result of random chance). r : Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The r values measure how closely two variables are correlated, and their absolute values range from 0 (weak) to 1 (perfect correlation). Negative values indicate that as one variable increases, the other tends to decrease; positive values indicate that as one variable increases, the other tends to increase. SD : Standard Deviation. This measures how dispersed the data are from the mean. SE : Standard Error. This is similar to the standard deviation, but measures how far the sample mean is likely to differ from the population mean, while the standard deviation measures how far the sample differs from the sample mean. 36


third assesses teams’ practice routines and coaching staffs. The fourth covers financing, budgets, and fundraising. The fifth evaluates programs’ relationship with the NSDA. There are several limitations to note about this survey. First, some free responses were recoded to allow quantitative analysis. 2 It is possible some subjective bias in the recoding process could result in skewed data. Second, some responses (for example, estimates of team size) were given in the form of a range. These data were transformed to be the median of each range (i.e., a range of 2,000-3,000 becomes 2,500). Third, response bias could skew the results. Fourth, the data are three years old. Used for internal organizational purposes up to this point, they are just now being made available for external use. With these limitations in mind, this study should be taken as a useful but exploratory survey, not a definitive census of the U.S. speech and debate community.

71.2% of schools offer a speech and debate class (n = 469), with a margin of error of ±4.1%. Of schools that reported offering a speech and debate class, 108 offered one section, 94 offered two sections, and 119 offered three or more sections. 21.6% had an enrollment between 1-20 students, 32.8% had between 21-50 students, and 35.6% had 51 or more students enrolled in their speech and debate class.

School Characteristics and Speech and Debate in the Classroom

Figure 3: Number of Full Time Coaches

The schools represented in this survey had a mean enrollment of 1,350.5 and a median enrollment of 1,300 (n = 464). When more than one enrollment figure was given for different grade levels, the total for grades 9-12 was taken. Enrollment ranged from 70 students to 5,000 with a standard deviation of 846.4. 342 respondents answered a question about the percentage of students at their school receiving free or reducedprice lunch (FPL) (see Figure 1). The average percentage was 33.16%, with substantial variance (SD = 24.98) and a margin of error of ±5.0%. At 75 schools, between 0-10% of students received FPL, while 12 schools reported percentages between 80-100%. This indicates a wide range of socioeconomic need at schools with speech and debate programs. 2

Unless otherwise specified, α = 0.05 and percentages reported are based on valid responses (that is, they exclude invalid or missing responses).

Of schools with a speech and debate class, 69.0% include competition as a factor in determining students’ grades, with a margin of error of ±5.0% Some respondents noted that at their schools, this requirement could be waived under certain circumstances or only included competing at one or two local or novice tournaments. 32.4% of respondents with speech and debate classes stated their school offered separate sections for

Figure 2: Team Size by Number of Full Time Coaches


Mean Team Size






























Cumulative Percentage
























Figure 4: Number of Part Time Coaches




Cumulative Percentage
























– ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 37

Team Characteristics

The following graphs present self-reported descriptive characteristics of the speech and debate teams in the survey. Figure 7: Tournament Attendance Per Year

Figure 5: Team Size



Mean team size: 42.76 students Largest team: 300 students 53.45% of teams have between 20 and 60 students

6 to 10: 23.0%




10 to 15: 36.1%

1 to 5: 4.1% 15 to 20: 17.2%





20 or More: 19.6%



14 15 10 7 0





Figure 8: Overall Genre Participation by Team

1 3







1 320

Number of Students


Public Address Events


Debate Events Interpretation Events

Figure 6: Team Size by Tournaments Attended

Limited Prep Events


N= Number of Teams Responding 200


Mean Team Size


79.2% 56.3% 0




73.1322 N = 163




Figure 9: Number of Genres Per Team

N = 103 40


36.2331 26.9563

30 20



N = 87

Three Genres: 27.6%

One Genre: 8.1% N = 19


Two Genres: 15.1%




6 - 10

10 - 15

15 - 20

Tournaments Attended





Four Genres: 46.5%

N/A: 2.8%


required interscholastic competition as a component of students’ grades were 29% larger (mean = 50.52 students, SE = 2.93) than teams that did not require interscholastic competition as a factor in grading (mean = 39.21 students, SE = 3.25). This difference was statistically significant; t(254) = -2.587, p = 0.01. The years of experience of a team’s most experienced coach was significantly related to the existence of a speech and debate class, t(292.225) = -2.731, p = 0.007.

novice competitors, with a margin of error of ±5.0%. Schools with a speech and debate class had teams 46% larger than schools without a speech and debate class. Teams at schools with a class had a mean size of 47.0 students (SE = 2.27), while teams at schools without a class had a mean size of 32.3 students (SE = 2.37). This difference is statistically significant; t(350) = -4.484, p < 0.001. Of schools with a speech and debate class, teams that

Figure 10: Team Practices Held per Week







74 60





































Number of Practices

At schools without a speech and debate class, the most experienced coach had on average 13.58 years of experience (SD = 9.44), while at schools with a speech and debate class, the most experienced coach had on average 16.45 years of experience (SD = 11.67).

Practice Routines and Coaching Staffs The mean number of coaches was 2.52 (n = 426, SE = 0.10). 65.1% of teams reported having one or two coaches. Number of coaches and team size were positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.45, p < 0.001), as were the number of full time (FT) coaches and team size (F(4, 444) = 7.59, p < 0.001). The mean student-to-coach ratio was 20.09 (n = 417, SE = 0.90). This ratio showed significant variation (SD = 18.33, min = 2.50, max = 150.00). While teams with 0 FT coaches had 4.19 more students than teams with one FT coach, this difference was not statistically significant (see Figures 2, 3, and 4). Next, the survey asked respondents several questions about their teams’ practice habits (see Figure 10). Several coaches responded their teams held more than 7 practices per week (n = 5). It is possible that these coaches interpreted the question to mean how many individual practice sessions are held a week (i.e., working with two students in a day counts as two practices). Given the small number of cases, these data can be safely excluded. For the remaining cases (n = 394), the mean number of practices held per

Figure 11: Mean Number of Years of Experience by Hours Spent in Hands-On Coaching per Week



Mean Years of Experience of Team’s Most Experienced Coach

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

< 1 hour







1 - 2 hours







3 - 5 hours







6 - 10 hours







11 - 15 hours







> 16 hours














95% Confidence Interval for Mean

Lower Bound Upper Bound




Figure 12: Administrative Hours per Week

Administrative Hours Per Week









6 - 10

17 21

11 - 15 > 16




3.8% 4.7%






Figure 13: Distribution of Team Budgets

DISTRIBUTION OF TEAM BUDGE TS *Seven schools reported budgets exceeding $65,000 per year. These were excluded in interest of readability.






Numner of Schools



week was 2.95 (SD = 1.41). The median was 3. The number of full time coaches had a significant effect on the number of practices held per week, F(3, 390) = 5.148, p = 0.002, as did the number of genres a team competed in, F(3, 388) = 6.122, p < 0.001. Teams that offered a speech and debate class were 8.32 percentage points less likely to offer practices after school than teams that did not offer a speech and debate class, t(332.4) = 2.67, p = 0.008. The number of years of experience for a team’s most experienced coach was significantly related to time spent in hands-on coaching per week, F(5, 441) = 5.024, p < 0.001. Post-hoc analysis using Fisher’s LSD revealed coaches who spent less than one hour per week in hands-on coaching had an average of 9.57 fewer years of experience than coaches who spent 11-15 hours per week in handson coaching, and 8.62 fewer years of experience than coaches who spent 16 or more hours per week in hands-on coaching. Coaches who spent 1-2 hours in hands-on coaching had 5.10 fewer years of experience than coaches who spent 11-15 hours coaching and 4.15 fewer years of experience than coaches who spent 16 or more hours per week in hands-on coaching. No group of coaches had significantly more experience than a group of coaches who spent more time coaching. The data of mean number of years of experience by hours spent in hands-on coaching per week are presented in Figure 11. The number of coaches on a team and hours spent in hands-on coaching per week were not significantly related, F(5, 413) = 2.163, p = 0.057. This may be because the presence of other coaches does not affect the time a given coach spends in hands-on coaching, especially if the other coaches specialize in other genres of events (e.g., the presence or absence of an interp coach may not affect the time a debate coach spends coaching). Coaches spent substantial time on administrative duties. Two-thirds of coaches (67.6%) reported spending






0 0








1 40

2 45

3 50

1 55



Annual Budget, Thousands of Dollars between 1-5 hours on administrative work per week. 8.5% of coaches reported spending 11 or more hours per week on administering their teams. These data are presented in Figure 12. Time spent on administrative duties per week and tournaments per year were related, χ2 (20, N = 451) = 69.162, p < 0.001. In general, coaches whose teams travel to more tournaments spent more time on administrative duties. Coaches whose teams travel to 20 or more

tournaments per year are 3.22 times as likely to spend 3 or more hours per week on administrative work as coaches whose teams travel to between 1-5 tournaments per year.

Experienced Coach Portrait This section examines how the programs of the most experienced 46 coaches in the sample differ from less experienced coaches. This subset represents the most experienced 10% of coaches. The two categories were coded as a dummy

Figure 14: Annual Budget by Tournaments Attended

BUDGE T BY TOURNAMENTS AT TENDED Mean Budget: $9,662 20,000

N= Number of Teams Responding 150

$18,516 N = 122



Annual Budget ($)

15,000 90

N = 74

N = 85

10,000 60

26.9563 $6,312

5,000 30

N = 13

N = 69


$1,080 0


6 - 10

10 - 15

15 - 20


Tournaments Attended

variable, with coaches having 0-30 years of experience coded 0 and coaches having ≥31 years of experience as 1. As a distinct group, the teams of the most experienced coaches did not vary significantly in size, budget, fundraising, tournament attendance, or hands-on coaching time from teams of other coaches. The most experienced coaches were more likely to have a speech and debate class than were other coaches. 30.2% of non-top 46 coaches did not have a class, while just 15.2% of top 46 coaches lacked a class. This relationship was statistically significant, χ2 = 4.547, p = 0.033. There was also a relationship between being one of the most experienced coaches and the number of full time coaches on staff, χ2 = 15.308, p = 0.004. 10.9% of the most experienced 46 coaches reported their teams had 4 or 5 full time coaches, while just 2.5% of other coaches reported the same. Slightly less than half (47.8%) of the most experienced 46 coaches reported they were the only full time coach for

their team, while almost two-thirds (64.5%) of other coaches said the same.

Financing, Budgets, and Fundraising Team budget 3 and number of tournaments attended were significantly related. One-way ANOVA shows F(4,358) = 10.686, p < 0.001. This relationship does not necessarily imply that a large budget for one year causes a team to travel more; it could be the case that both team budgets and travel schedules are based on the previous season. Additionally, these data do not account for the distance of travel, different travel restrictions imposed by state leagues or school districts, or the amount and level of competition near a school. The data are presented in Figures 13 and 14. Budgets were significantly correlated with non-tournament expenses, r = 0.33, p < 0.001. This may simply be because as budgets increase, coaches are able to spend more on all types of expenses. Additionally, more experienced head coaches were correlated with larger

budgets (r = 0.12, p = 0.024). Because P-P plots revealed the data for team budgets violated the assumption of normality, team budgets were recoded into a logarithmic variable, log(TeamBudget). Using this transformation as the dependent variable in a linear regression with the number of years of experience of a team’s most experienced coach, a significant linear regression model was generated, F(1, 303) = 14.113, p < 0.001. β1 = 0.010, with 95% C.I. (0.005, 0.016). This suggests for each additional year of coaching experience for a team’s most experienced coach, team budget increases by roughly 1%. 4 It is unclear exactly why budgets increase with coach experience, but there are several potential explanations, including the possibility that more experienced coaches are recruited to better-funded programs, that they may be more adept at negotiating for budget increases, or that they have more to show for the potential investment from their years of experience. In addition to examining the relationship between team size and budget over time, a longitudinal sample including data on coach movement between programs would be helpful in determining exactly why budgets increase with coach experience. Team budgets had a significant negative correlation with the proportion of students receiving free or reducedprice lunch (FPL), (r = -0.247, p < 0.001). log(TeamBudget) was regressed against FPL proportion. The resulting linear regression model was significant, F(1, 228) = 15.181, p < 0.001. β1= -0.005, with 95% C.I. (-0.008, -0.003). This suggests that holding all else equal, for every 10 percentage-point increase in the percent of students at a school receiving FPL, speech and debate budgets decrease by approximately 5%.


If a range was given for budget, the median of the range was used.


Note: this relationship does not account for inflation.


At schools where students do not pay their own tournament entry fees, the proportion of students receiving FPL is 26.55% higher than at schools where students are required to pay their own tournament entry fees. This relationship is significant, t(299) = 2.089, p = 0.038. Among teams that take a bus to tournaments, the proportion of students at the school receiving FPL is 48.65% higher at schools where students do not pay a bus fee than at schools where students do pay a bus fee. This relationship is significant, t(265) = 3.123, p = 0.002, and suggests teams at schools with higher levels of socioeconomic need try to reduce the financial burden of competition on their students. Interestingly, the budget was not significantly related to the ratio of students to coaches or school enrollment. 89.6% of teams reported fundraising. Among teams that reported fundraising any amount and reported the number of years of their most experienced coach (n = 299), there was a significant correlation between amount fundraised and years of experience of the most experienced coach (r = 0.20, p = 0.001). Like team budget, amount fundraised violated assumption of normality and therefore was logarithmically transformed. This transformation was used to create a linear regression with a dependent variable of years of experience of a team’s most experienced coach. This regression was significant, F(1, 277) = 20.75, p < 0.001, and had β1 = 0.013 with 95% C.I. (0.008, 0.019). This suggests for each additional year of coaching experience of a team’s most experienced coach, fundraising increases by approximately 1.3%.

Nathan Leys Is the 2013 national champion in International Extemporaneous Speaking. He is currently studying Government and International Politics at George Mason University in Virginia.



A Few Things We Learned by Amy Seidelman

1. This analysis reiterates how important it is to keep experienced coaches in the activity. It’s no surprise that the coaches with the most experience are: • more likely to have one or more speech and debate classes during the school day; • more likely to have larger coaching staffs, and less likely to shoulder the coaching burden alone; • more likely to have larger budgets (1% larger for each year of coaching experience); and • more likely to raise money via fundraising (1.3% more fundraised for each year of experience). Longevity in the activity helps build credibility, both within a school and beyond. The NSDA is continually working to enhance efforts to support our coaches through professional development and connections with peers and mentors who’ve shared similar experiences. In expanding our professional development offerings, we are both translating the work of coaches into recognizable accomplishments in their school and community and providing opportunities for peer to peer learning. Efforts like National Speech and Debate Education Day and the statelevel initiatives that accompany it help to raise general awareness and create more advocates, both among parents and decision-makers, for the activity.

2. While we don’t differentiate between schools that offer a speech and debate class and those that treat it as an extracurricular activity, this study supports that having one or more

classes boosts a program in terms of student recruitment (average team size of 47 versus 32), and that a class which involves some interscholastic competition generates an even bigger team than a class which doesn’t (average team size of 50 vs. 39). While we run programs designed to make speech and debate a sustainable part of the school day, including Evidence-Based Argumentation and Communicators in the Classroom, it is a larger challenge to encourage class adoption on a school by school basis. Our goal for the 2017-2018 school year will be to continue to produce high quality curriculum that supports classroom speech and debate instruction, as well as increase outreach to administrators to generate support for all forms of speech and debate at the school.

3. In this survey, there are only 12 schools reporting to be in the highest range (80-100%) of free or reduced-price lunch (FPL). The schools in that category face lower budgets and are less likely to ask students to pay tournament and transportation fees. We know, outside the realm of this survey, that about 140 of our current member schools are at or above the 80% threshold based on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, and another 60 or so member schools are above the 75% threshold that NCES indicates is a “high poverty school.” Starting in 2017-2018, we will offer a specific type of membership grant for schools meeting that threshold.

Amy Seidelman is the Assistant Executive Director for the NSDA.


From Administrators to Advocates Helping key decision-makers become ambassadors of your program

by Annie Reisener


any programs struggle with demonstrating the value of speech and debate to their administrators. Schools continually face difficult budgetary decisions, especially when it comes to extracurriculars. 1 We’ve put together a few ideas for involving administrators in your program and introducing them to all our activity has to offer. From the actively engaged to those who are new to the speech and debate world, we have ways to draw them in. It’s time to turn your administrators into advocates!

Introduce Them to Speech and Debate It can be difficult to support an activity you’ve never experienced, so reach out and ask your administrator to judge at a tournament or even attend a practice debate. Expose them to what speech and debate looks like in action. Sarah Watkins, Principal of Plano Senior High School in Texas, was invited to attend a tournament with her program’s head coach, Cheryl Potts, to introduce her to speech and debate. Prior to accompanying the students to Harvard, Sarah was told she would be listening to and critiquing the Policy debaters the night before the competition started. “When I indicated that I didn’t feel qualified, Cheryl sent me a dozen articles to read,” Sarah explains. “Then she had me come to class and watch her critique the students so that I could learn how to flow a debate. I came away with a better understanding of all the skills our students learn—they really could earn English credit for the


“I came away with a better understanding of all the skills our students learn and became an even more vocal advocate for speech.” — Sarah Watkins, principal work they do—and I became an even more vocal advocate for speech. I also felt a little smarter myself because of everything Cheryl made me learn.” By extending the invitation to experience speech and debate up close, you can create a new supporter of your program who has seen firsthand what our activity does.

Recognize the Role They Play Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Show your appreciation for your administrator’s contribution to your program and forge a stronger connection between your principal and speech and debate program by nominating them for local, district, and national awards. If you’re hosting a tournament, consider honoring your administrator during the award ceremony to acknowledge the role they played in giving all the students in attendance the

Wong, A. (2015, January 30). The activity gap. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/01/the-activity-gap/384961/

chance to compete and improve. Be on the lookout for any opportunities to nominate your administrator for recognition, like District or National Principal of the Year, and remember to ask that a copy be sent to them any time you complete a nomination. Even if they don’t win, they will still know you believed in them! If you host a tournament at your school, try giving away a Community Award during the award ceremony and make sure your principal or superintendent hears about it. You can even ask them to present the award! Honoring a member of your community recognizes that speech and debate is about more than competition; you and your students also uphold the highest standards of integrity, humility, respect, leadership, and service—so recognize someone in your community who is doing the same. That’s a concept that any administrator can get behind! You can also induct your administrator into your chapter’s Honor Society. A chapter may elect one honorary member for each 100 members and degrees earned by that chapter, not more than one a year. Honorary members must be adults who have contributed in some significant way to the speech program of the local chapter, but have not earned Association membership as a student or instructor. Just because they aren’t an alum doesn’t mean they can’t be connected to your program’s history. You can find the Honorary Membership Request Form by using the “Forms and Manuals” filter on our Resources page. If the application meets the guidelines, we’ll send the chapter advisor a custom Honorary Membership Certificate to present to the inductee. Hold a special ceremony or present the certificate at your next tournament. This is a great way to get your principal involved and invested in your program.

Annie Reisener serves as Operations Coordinator for the NSDA.

For more resources, including letters of support from fellow administrators, visit our site and use the “Advocacy” filter.

www.speechanddebate.org/resources ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 43


If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few simple ways to utilize your alumni!

P.S. Keep In Touch! From Passion to Action:

Engaging Alumni by Annie Reisener


hen we speak to our alumni, we consistently find that they aren’t interested in sharing stories of their competitive successes but of the skills they built and the friendships they made in the activity. Time and time again, we are told that their speech and debate team was like a family, that it was the place in their school to which they felt the strongest sense of belonging. Your alumni may graduate and move away, but many of them are still deeply tied to your program and can play a crucial role in your team’s success. The first step to taking full advantage of what alumni have to offer is deciding how you will keep track of them. Many students have school email accounts or will create new addresses after graduation, so we encourage you to create an Alumni Facebook page or LinkedIn Group and connect with your students there. Posting judging opportunities, big tournament updates, fundraising requests, or upcoming public events on the page once a month or so throughout the competitive season is a light and fairly easy way to keep your alumni connected to the program and with each other. To turn your alumni into volunteers and donors, focus on tapping into intrinsic passion. The students whom you’ve coached for years care deeply about this activity. (They must to have spent their free time preparing speeches and 1



their weekends getting up early, riding buses, wearing suits, and working on their skills!) This activity meant something to them, and you can use that commitment to help your program continue to thrive. Five-year data from ACHIEVE 1 found that intrinsic passion for a cause is what inspires millennials to act charitably. When you draft messages or requests to alumni, pay careful attention to language and focus on the passion they have for the activity. For example, if your goal is to get alumni to donate to help with tournament travel expenses, your messaging might be: “Your support is crucial to securing Amy and Ryan’s life changing opportunity to build their skills and compete against the best of the best [in the state/region/nation]. If you are able, please consider pitching in to help provide them with this experience.” When you ask your alumni to volunteer, remember that your former students aren’t necessarily interested in what they get out of giving back, but what their contribution can do for the current students at the program. Focus on the value of their experience and express that their background is vital to the team’s success, thus you need them to stay involved. In a survey of millenials, ACHIEVE found “77% would be more likely to volunteer if they could use their specific skills or expertise to benefit a cause.” Be specific about the skills and what they bring to the table. Do you need them to watch practice rounds of their former event (in person or on video) and give feedback? Do you need their help cutting cards before a big tournament? If you’re having trouble recruiting students to your team, ask your alumni for testimonials to persuade students. If you’re struggling to persuade a student to try a new event, think about reaching out to set up a call with an alum who was successful in that event! Consider whether your alumni have backgrounds that could help your team train for competition from an

Research by ACHIEVE, “The Millennial Impact Report Retrospective: Five Years of Trends,” November, 2016. Retrieved from http:// fi.fudwaca.com/mi/files/2016/11/FiveYearRecap_MIR_Achieve.pdf

Training Sessions – Invite alumni to do some coaching at your annual camp or pre-season training. This is great for folks who may be off at college and are only available to you during the summer months. Tournament Staffing – If you have alumni in the area, ask them to help staff your next tournament. The more hands you can have on deck, the better! Be sure to ask as soon as you know your tournament dates to avoid conflicts. Volunteer Judging – Provide

opportunities for volunteer judging when you’re in need. Recent graduates especially may relish the chance to be the decision-maker in the round for a change! Even if they’ve moved away, by keeping track of alums in an Alumni Group, you can identify whether you have any former students living in the area where your tournament is being held.

expert’s point of view. For example, it may be helpful to reach out to an alum who works in the state department of education or a related field on the upcoming Policy Debate topic, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.” There are countless ways to use alumni to build your program. Keep in mind that millennials enjoy volunteering in groups and are more likely to get involved if asked by peers. Utilize current students to reach out to recent alumni and share photos of alumni giving back to tap into this peer-linked engagement. By staying connected, appealing to their first-hand experience with the value of speech and debate, and being specific about what their skills bring to your program, you can make the most of your alumni’s skillsets.

Annie Reisener serves as Operations Coordinator for the NSDA.


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Teaching Soft Skills: Helping Youth Transition with Strength by J. Scott Baker, Ph.D. Coaches, encourage your graduating seniors to emphasize this unique skill set when applying for college, grad school, or future job positions.


ransitions are difficult. Whether it be on a macro level, transitioning from President Obama to President Trump with their respective administrations, or a micro level, transitioning from high school to college or from college to the business world, transitions are tough, emotional, nerve-racking, and often frightening. As educators, part of our responsibility of teaching the next generation is preparing students for these transitions. One way we, as speech and debate educators, do this is through cultivating and engaging soft skills. During a 2015 national survey of speech and debate alumni, the concept of skill acquisition through speech and debate participation was discussed repetitively by former competitors. While previous articles highlight this data (Baker, 2016; Baker, 2017), it is important speech and debate educators consider with their students, parents/guardians, supporters, and administration an emphasis on soft skill acquisition as a key benefit to program

perseverance during budget cuts across the country. Moreover, while we as educators know academic benefits within the activity, we should always reinforce the benefit narrative to others, regarding what we teach in our programs. As soft skills dialogue among collegiate and business communities continues, speech and debate educators must bolster the connections between competition, college, and corporate worlds. The phrase ‘soft skills’ is a term of art regaining recognition in the business

world to describe “character traits, attitudes, and behaviors—rather than technical aptitude or knowledge”; likewise, they “are the intangible, nontechnical, personality-specific skills that determine one’s strengths as a leader, facilitator, mediator, and negotiator” (Robles, 2012, p.457). These non-technical skills are crucial to almost any occupation and run the gamut of careers, including: business (Watson, 2015), medicine (Lazarus, 2013), management (Stein, 2015; Rangnekar, 2011), military, (Moore & Frank, 2013), and teacher education (Shawer, 2017) to name a few. So, what exactly are these skills? While many think good communication skills are synonymous with soft skills, “no formally agreed upon, universal set of soft skills exists” (Matteson, Anderson, & Boyden, 2016, p. 75); yet, building off that notion, Rao (2012) stresses: “There are other skills—such as interpersonal skills, team building skills, negotiation skills, etiquette, motivation, time management, and critical thinking—that constitute soft skills” (p. 50). Simply put: soft skills are epitomized in well-behaved, articulate, cooperative, team players who are motivated and know how to negotiate effectively with others oneon-one. Sound familiar? If that’s not a description of what coaches are looking for in a successful speech and debate contestant, I’m not sure what one is. In essence, participation in interscholastic speech and debate competitions inherently reinforces soft skills colleges consider when reviewing applications and businesses search for in prospective employees. Our curriculum, unlike others, offers the soft skills training needed to easily transition from high school to college and from school into the business world.

The narratives of alumni from across the country bolster the argument that speech and debate provides a basis in soft skills vital to success in the business world.” 46


From High School to College Gore (2013) explains, “For long, languages, arts, history, geography, civics, mathematics, sciences, etc., have been the core subjects, and the entire education system all over the world has been busy in offering courses in these disciplines” (p. 8). This single-mindedness harms students who need practical skills when they leave the safety of their parents/guardians. Skills taught in speech and debate focus students on “themes like global awareness, business, economics, civic literacy, health literacy, etc., [and] these themes have come to the forefront in the contemporary world” (Gore, 2013, p. 8). Results from alumni survey narratives illuminate how acquiring soft skills in speech and debate activities helps smooth the transition into post high school academia. First, presentation skills are heightened for those who compete. An alum offers, “I entered the university with sound communication skills, both oral and in writing”; whereas, another alum explains, “Speech prepared me for college much more than those who did not compete. I already had the skills to present in front of classes; whether that be speeches or presentations.” Furthering this understanding, an alum notes, “Having seen a few awkward, confusing presentations from my lab colleagues and fellow peers, the value of my training in writing and delivering effective, meaningful, and understandable presentations is readily apparent to me.” However, these presentational skills extend beyond public speaking and rhetoric courses in college. Explains one alum, “Even in my science classes, having the ability to effectively state an argument and present information, particularly in front of a group, was a strength I directly attribute to debate.” Agreeing with this thought, another former competitor offers, “I consider myself fortunate to have debate experience as a science major. My ability to communicate scientific findings is

Portable Skills Learned Through Speech and Debate Alumni report how their experiences learned in high school competition transferred to their success in college. Interpersonal Relationships – “My one-on-one communication skills are much better than they would be without my speech participation.” Receptivity to Criticism – “It gave me an ability to take feedback and examine ideas critically.” Work Ethic – “Debate gave me the work ethic I needed to be successful in college.” Agility – “I’m better prepared to study and handle the stress of short deadlines after case and speech prepping nights.” Time Management – “Participating in the activity itself, helped me learn to manage my time and prioritize tasks so that I can work more effectively.” Integrity – “I also feel that I developed a deeper sense of integrity in my high school speech program that I would not have developed otherwise—I hold myself to high standards, am proud of my work, and always strive to be as virtuous as possible in all that I do. Those were values that my debate coach worked hard to instill, and they stick with me to this day.” Grace – “During the course of my debate career, I learned that it was okay if something didn’t come easily initially, as long as I continued to work at it and asked for help when I needed it. I learned that if I failed or didn’t get something right away, it didn’t undermine my intelligence, it just meant that I needed more practice or support.”

vastly ahead of many of my classmates, because of debate.” The concept of communication skills is clearly linked with speech and debate experiences, although other soft skills are articulated by alumni who saw their impact on their transition to college, too. An alum states, “It is all the intangible stuff that speech taught me that I carry with me to this day.” As another explains,

“Being on the debate and speech team in high school taught me first of all, patience; with others and with myself.” These “intangible” skills taught in speech and debate participation (also see sidebar) are important to success in higher education. However, Dixon (2015) explains: “Extensive admissions processes mean children’s lives have to be engineered at a very young age to


prepare them for acceptance to a top college… which means getting straight A’s and participating in a number of extracurricular activities. But that’s not the same thing as learning how to think” (p. 37). Thus, the ability to learn how to think becomes a crucial element for educators to instill in their students, even at a young age. Experiences in speech and debate allow students to interact, discuss, and argue social, political, and theoretical concepts with peers, but they also teach empathy, work ethic, patience, and cognitive abilities often ignored in core curriculum focused on mandated testing. Claxton, Costa, & Kallick (2016) explain: “There are no right answers to prove a student has developed one of these traits, no test scores to compare, no averages or standard deviations to yield. So ‘soft’ also implies that these outcomes are impossible to measure and fall outside any framework of accountability” (p. 62). Lacking an effective measurement instrument to determine accountability of soft skills, school systems evaluated only by test scores can suffer; therefore, skill acquisition is often overlooked, ignored, or simply forgotten. As soft skills “are often intangible and cannot be quantified or easily learned” (Perkins, 2011, p. 1), curriculum within some classrooms can focus too much on knowledge base needed for exams, not application of skills needed to be effective post high school. This disconnect between academic knowledge and ability can cause students to be unsuccessful in their transition to college. Adding to the difficulty of teaching skills outside mandated accountability, Adams (2013) contends, “The work of promoting life skills is bigger than high school counselors can handle alone, especially since many have caseloads into the hundreds. College counselors try to help incoming freshmen, but resources are stretched and their priority is serving the most-troubled students. And many experts believe those soft



skills need to be taught before students get to campus” (p. 22). So, if colleges are expressing their need for incoming first-year students to have more than a knowledge base, why are high schools not focusing on programs, such as speech and debate, which teaches these skills needed for collegiate success? “Many experts blame the changes that have taken place in education at all levels; that is, teaching to the test has become all too common. Unfortunately, it is rare that schools teach students to assemble and evaluate evidence, construct competing arguments, and understand multiple sides in a debate, let alone untangle seeming inconsistencies and wrestle with complexity” (Tulgan, 2016a, p. 28). However, in order for students to excel, they must learn more than core curriculum, and speech and debate provides those relational skills needed to be successful beyond the secondary classroom. While academic discussions of learning and schooling continue during transition from one political party to another, it is important to remember, as one alum explains, “Without these foundational skills, I would not have had the skills to succeed in undergraduate or graduate school.” Our alumni see “participation is clearly paying dividends. It has helped me obtain and succeed at an internship within government and better enables me to contribute in a college classroom where people are legitimately committed to discussions.” Hence, we must encourage those outside the world of speech and debate to understand what competition provides students: a strong knowledge base in core curriculum, as well as opportunities to learn, explore, interact, and develop relational skills which benefit their growth as citizens.

From School to Work Whether students transition directly from high school to the workforce, college to business, or some specific

training to a career, what proficiencies do employers want to see from prospective job candidates? And, as educators in secondary schools, how do we facilitate and reinforce what is needed in the business world? Successfully executing soft skills in a burgeoning career is critical for young employees, especially since “the world of work itself has changed. There no longer exists a job for life, and so the ability to adapt to different environments and cultures, the talent to manage change, and the mental resilience to deal with the stress of the modern workplace are all key ingredients of success” (Coleman, 2014, p. 44). As secondary speech and debate educators, we cannot assume other core classes, or even college and/or technical schools for that matter, are providing essential soft skills for future personnel. Pierce (2016) explains, “While universities are good at imparting knowledge, they don’t always help students learn the social etiquette required to function in the business world” (p. 12). As Mota (2015) further contends, “Core education requirements can cover a plethora of subjects, including accounting, economics, law, finance, and information management systems. Proficiency in these alone will not guarantee professional success, however” (p. 34). Consequently, students are not being challenged to develop interpersonal skills, relationships, and effective character traits needed in the business world. As Dabke (2015) argues, “Academic institutions should take cognizance of the fact that soft skills are highly valued by practitioners and recruiters and invest appropriately in training and sharpening the students’ soft skills” (p. 36); furthermore, educators should help students focus on “valuable outcomes— beyond literacy, numeracy, test scores, and grades—young people will need in life” (Claxton, Costa, & Kallick, 2016, p. 60). As alumni discuss perceived influence of speech and debate participation on their lives, they reinforce how soft skills made it easier for them to transition

to the business world. Alumni explain how their experiences helped them to “think logically,” “understand what it means to struggle,” “become a leader,” “be a more effective negotiator and team collaborator,” and know “how to listen.” One alum explains, “In my day-to-day job, I’m especially able to fine-tune what I say in real-time in order to persuade those in a more powerful position to adopt/believe in my ideas... I’ve impacted technology direction, concept adoption, and generally the nature of work in several organizations. I believe that forensics helped me discover that I had these skills and continued to improve and extend them over time. [Forensics] give me the confidence to know that whatever challenge came my way, I had a strong basis of quick thinking and speaking ability to be able to leverage throughout my life and career.” Regardless of career choice (see sidebar), participants articulate similar responses: “It was the single biggest influence on my career path,” while another explains, “In business, I constantly need to think critically and creatively. The beginnings of those skill sets were developed on the debate team.” The narratives of alumni from across the country bolster the argument that speech and debate provides a basis in soft skills vital to success in the business world. Alumni explain they “use these skills every day,” “do great leading meetings,” “know how to be competitive while keeping a friendly attitude” “compete for a job,” “ask for help and guidance,” “accept and implement criticism,” and to “realize the end goal of certain things will outweigh the seeming burden of work.” Stein (2015) argues many employers must train their staff to be effective; however, “development of soft skills is no overnight effort; it’s always time consuming and it’s often prickly and personally challenging for managers” (p. 26). This begs the question: what would it look like for employers who have staff already trained in those skills? For employers who hire former speech and

Occupational Applications for Speech and Debate While many outside the field of speech and debate correlate the activity with the field of law, soft skills provided through participation benefit students who venture into numerous occupational fields. Analyst – “It gave me excellent research skills, honed my writing skills, improved my ability to speak in front of groups, sharpened my ability to think quickly, and honed my ability to find what’s wrong in the logic/argument being presented—which I have found so very important as a people manager and also as a Compliance Analyst for a pharmaceutical company. It gave me the skills to investigate and keep digging into more and more layers to uncover more facts and more truth, which is crucial in a Compliance role.” Public Service – “Post high school working in public service you must learn to speak to people. Not only must you be friendly but you must be easy to understand and you must flow with your words. Without speech and debate I would have never learned those skills on my own.” Marketing – “Forensics gave me the tools necessary to tackle life head-first. I’m a full time writer for a high-profile content creation and marketing agency for celebrities, athletes, and people of interest. Speech and debate allowed me to understand how to form arguments properly, how to interact with people on a human level, and how to look at social issues from every angle.” Management – “Speech and debate taught me how to think in a structured manner. I now work for a prestigious management consulting firm that uses a rigorous case interview process to select its employees. The case interview tests both the ability to apply a structured framework to a complex problem and the communication skills of the candidate who is solving the problem. The skills learned in high school debate certainly transferred to this post-undergrad interview process: framing and structuring problems, thinking quickly on your feet, articulating viewpoints in an easy-to-follow manner, etc. I’m convinced that without the skills that debate taught me, I would have not been able to make it through such a grueling interview process.” Military – “I still find my skills that I learned in debate being used every day as an active duty Marine. The judgement, decisiveness, knowledge, these are all cornerstones of a Marine leader, things instilled in me from the time I was in debate. I am required to speak in front of large audiences, brief people far above me in the chain of command, and ultimately serve my country better, in part, because of my background in debate.”


As soft skills dialogue among collegiate and business communities continues, speech and debate educators must bolster the connections between competition, college, and corporate worlds.”

debate students, they reap the benefits of employees who enter the job with these interpersonal skills vital to career success. Deepa & Seth (2103) offer, “in the most progressive companies, managers are looking for people’s ability to communicate clearly and openly, and to listen and respond empathetically. They also want them to have equally well-honed written skills so that their correspondence (including emails) does not undo all the good work their faceto-face communication creates” (p. 12) because “how you treat and speak to customers and colleagues can go a long way to securing your company’s future and your own” (Mota, 2015, p. 35). Interactive abilities are a cornerstone of speech and debate experience. One alum explains, “I can shake someone’s hand, look them square in the eye, and speak confidently to them. I am still a shy person at heart, but my experience with speech and debate helped me to tame my social fears and interact with people.” Furthering the idea, another alum explains, “sometimes, you have to explain your point of view to different people: your boss, your client, your peer, your employee.” Yet another extends, “The reason I was hired into my current job was because I am able to speak more eloquently than many of my peers. Plain and simple. Debate got me my job. I have no technical background but was hired for my ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to clients.” Ryan (2016) expands, “Given the rapidity with which change is occurring in almost all areas, having a flexible nature implies a willingness to learn and grow to meet demands in new ways when necessary,” (p. 12); thus, success depends on an employee’s ability to adjust to their environment. Alumni argue this is part of what makes them successful. “Being able



to quickly and concisely communicate ideas has allowed me to promote quickly” offers one alum. Another states, “I have been the beneficiary of countless opportunities at work because I have made an impression as someone who can think on their feet, present any topic to any audience, who is never caught flat footed, and thoroughly prepares for their work. I owe ALL of that to debate.” Bodell (2014) offers, “Individuals who confidently handle unforeseen scenarios will become extraordinarily valuable in the Conceptual Age” (p. 37). One alum provides a specific example of their ability to be flexible: “I was once asked to teach a class on a subject I knew little about to a group of experts in the field— showing them how a product could work to improve their productivity at the office and give insight into their business. I had three days to prepare a five-day course, including software labs and instructions. If not for my Extemp training and experience, there’s no way I [could have] survived 40 hours of teaching that week.”

From Competition to Practice There is much discussion about rethinking who is to blame for the lack of soft skills in business (Hurrell, 2016); yet, Kyllonen (2013) enlightens: “Arguments about the validity and fairness of standardized cognitive admissions tests such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE have dominated discussions” and “in the workplace, companies and the military have historically focused selection testing almost exclusively on cognitive abilities”; thus, “a generation was taught that other variables, such as personality, were unrelated to workforce outcomes or to just about anything else” (p. 17).

Hence, as educators, our job in the classroom is to develop and strengthen relationship skills vital to future achievement. Our alumni know participation helps shape who they are through their narratives, but we need to ensure we present those arguments to our community, our parents/guardians, and our administration. “The very nature of soft skills is such that these skills are hard to develop without the help of another person who can serve as an objective third-party observer and the source of candid feedback” (Tulgan, 2016b, p. 38). In speech and debate, this objective third party, known as the judge, provides feedback on the ballot, imparting their thoughts, ideas, and recommendations for how students can progress as communicators. The act of performing for a judge is a practice embedded within the structure of our activity, where encouraging and developing soft skills is fulfilled. Yet, it is imperative that speech and debate educators continue during practices and rehearsals to guide students’ learning, use, and mastery of these skills. As an alum comments, “Recently, I realized that most of the things that come ‘naturally’ to me (and which my colleagues have to learn) are those skills rehearsed and cultivated by my years competing in speech.” Another alum states, “I work as an engineer, and I can see how the skills I learned in debate made writing, presenting, and participating in meetings much easier for me compared to my engineering peers.” These “social skills and various soft skills would have taken me years to acquire otherwise,” adds another former competitor. Speech and debate educators know what is learned through participation; we

are not surprised by the narratives of alumni in the survey. Nevertheless, are we advocating soft skills as important components in the education arena? Experts argue soft skills far surpass knowledge tested by core curriculum, while simultaneously, they become the bedrock for successful student transitions to college and/or the workforce. “Soft skills are a critical set of skills set for professional success and advancement” (Dabke, 2015, p. 36), yet “there is an ever-widening ‘softskills gap’ in the workforce, especially among the newest young workforce” (Tulgan, 2016a, p. 26), and students who participate in speech and debate are poised to be successful in both college and business due to their understanding and implementation of soft skills in whatever context they find themselves. The skills we teach in speech and debate provide easier transitions for our students throughout life. As one alum explains: “Competitive speech and debate definitely made me smarter and more of a go-getter in life. It boosted my confidence, and made me realize that there was more out of life than just being stuck in a small town. It made me have a desire to do bigger and better things in the world. I wanted to go to college—which I did. I moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry, and now, hold a high level entertainment job. I’m the only person in my family that ever had that kind of drive—and I think I owe much of this energy to the competitive experience of debate and forensics.”

J. Scott Baker, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Prior to his work at UWL, Baker was a high school speech, debate, and English teacher outside of Houston, TX while working on his Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University. Baker is a three-diamond coach with the NSDA.

References Adams, C. J. (2013). ‘Soft skills’ seen as key element for higher ed. Education Digest, 78(6), 18-22. Baker, J. S. (2016). Why are our best advocates not fully advocating for us? Rostrum. 91(2), 48-51. Baker, J. S. (2017). Alphabet soup: Regardless of event preference, alumni make connections. Rostrum, 91(3), 75-79. Bodell, L. (2014). Soft skills for the future. T & D, 68(3), 34-38. Claxton, G., Costa, A., & Kallick, B. (2016). Hard thinking about soft skills: Habits like persisting and drawing on past knowledge are some of the most essential dispositions we can teach. Educational Leadership, 73(6), 60-64. Coleman, A. (2014). The post-recession leader. Director, 67(6), 44-48. Dabke, D. (2015). Soft skills as a predictor of perceived internship effectiveness and permanent placement opportunity. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 9(4), 26-42. Deepa, S., & Seth, M. (2013). Do soft skills matter? – Implications for educators based on recruiters’ perspective. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 7(1), 7-20. Dixon, L. (2015). Hard arguments for soft topics. Chief Learning Officer, 14(10), 34-49. Gore, V. (2013). 21st century skills and prospective job challenges. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 7(4), 7-14. Hurrell, S. (2016). Rethinking the soft skills deficit blame game: Employers, skills withdrawal and the reporting of soft skills gaps. Human Relations, 69(3), 605-628. doi:10.1177/0018726715591636 Kyllonen, P. C. (2013). Soft skills for the workplace. Change, 45(6), 16-23. Lazarus, A. (2013). Soften up: the importance of soft skills for job success. Physician Executive, 39(5), 40-45. Matteson, M. L., Anderson, L., & Boyden, C. (2016). “Soft skills”: A phrase in search of meaning. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(1), 71-88. doi: 10.1353/pla.2016.0009 Moore, R. R., & Frank, C. C. (2013). Blended learning solutions for military soft skills training. Journal of Applied Learning Technology, 3(3), 34-43. Mota, D. (2015). Developing soft skills helps businesses grow. Business Credit, 117(2), 34-36. Perkins, C. A. (2011). Recognizing leaders that excel at people skills – a perspective from global women executives. Diversity Factor, 19(2), 1. Pierce, E. (2016). Practically speaking. San Diego Business Journal, 37(5), 11-12. Rangnekar, S. S. (2011). Soft skills in management. International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation, 5(1), 108-109. Rao, M. (2012). Myths and truths about soft skills. T & D, 66(5), 48-51. Robles, M. M. (2012). Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 453-465. doi:10.1177/1080569912460400 Ryan, B. (2016). Hard truths about soft skills. New Hampshire Business Review, 38(2), 12. Shawer, S. F. (2017). Teacher-driven curriculum development at the classroom level: Implications for curriculum, pedagogy and teacher training. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 296-313. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2016.12.017 Stein, A. (2015). Supply chain talent: A practical approach to hardening soft skills. Supply Chain Management Review, 19(4), 20-26. Tulgan, B. (2016a). Bridging the soft-skills gap. Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 42(4), 25-33. doi:10.1002/ert.21536 Tulgan, B. (2016b). Taking the lead with soft skills. School Business Affairs, 82(2), 38-39. Watson, H. J. (2015). Soft skills for professional success. Business Intelligence Journal, 9-13.



CALLING ALL STUDENTS: How to Bridge the Gap Between Debate and Your Professional Life by Rachel Boroditsky and Steven Adler Editor’s Note: Coaches, if your students are looking for creative ways to utilize their speech and debate skills after graduation and beyond, please share these perspectives from our friends (and former debaters) at McKinsey & Company!


here are many reasons to love debate: researching and learning about new topics, problemsolving and thinking on your feet, and being part of a team that’s also a close knit community. As former debaters, we often found ourselves wondering how to “bridge the gap” between our experiences in debate and our professional life. Whether you’ve had your first job or haven’t even thought about what you want to pursue, we want to share how our careers in management consulting at McKinsey & Company have allowed us to experience what we love about debate on a daily basis. You may be wondering what management consultants do—good news, we’re here to tell you! We advise different organizations on how to solve some of their largest challenges. For instance, we might advise a business on what new products could expand its consumer base, a government considering the impact of autonomous vehicles on transportation, or a nonprofit developing a strategy to increase early-childhood reading. By bringing prior experience and expertise to the organization, we work together to help organizations achieve their goals. One of the most exciting parts of debate is having a platform and a voice with which to effect change. You address important issues about government and social policy, and you work to convince the judge of your position. While careers in government and law are a logical place to continue



these discussions, a career in the business world can also serve that purpose—by helping inform decisionmakers on how to create tangible impact across society. At McKinsey, you attend frequent meetings with influencers—executives, government officials, entrepreneurs—and speak up, ask questions, and collaborate to find a solution. And you’ll often see change firsthand—anything from improvements at your client’s storefronts, advertisements about a new policy program, or friends coincidentally mentioning a news story about a change you’ve helped shape. For others, the most invigorating part of debate is learning about a new topic. Whether the topic changes every month or once a year, debaters have to quickly become experts on multiple sides of an issue. In consulting, our projects can last from one week to a few months, and we must quickly learn about a new industry, guided by colleagues and expert interviews. Similarly, consultants have a lot of variety in their projects— working on everything from education policy to retail pricing to social media marketing. A good consultant can see multiple sides of an issue and bring diversity of experience to better understand the problem. In the process, we consider stakeholders’ views and exercise our empathy muscles. Switchside debate has prepared us for this work by broadening our perspectives and helping us appreciate nuances in differing opinions.

For many debaters, the people you meet are the highlight of the experience. Your teammates support you, push you to improve, and, above all, are your friends. In consulting, our work is similarly team-focused, and our dedication to mentorship means that colleagues who care deeply about your development will help you reach your potential. The time we spend together, working on challenging intellectual questions, forges tight bonds that last long after a project ends. Teammates support you in your personal and professional life and have your best interests at heart. Like your tight connection to the debate community— which will continue long after you graduate—the McKinsey community is one that will stay with us long after we leave its four walls. We hope you find our experience interesting and that it provides an opportunity for you to think about your career and life goals: What do you enjoy doing? What would you like to accomplish? What matters to you in your personal and professional life? Consulting could be the bridge you walk across to continue pursuing your interests, aspirations, and values from your debate experience and translate these into the professional world. We hope you will reach out to us or the many other former debaters at McKinsey if you would like to learn more! Be confident that debate equips you with many skills, and that by spending time in the community, you are well-positioned for future successes in the areas you care about. Rachel Boroditsky debated for four years at Glenbrook North High School (IL), where she was a Policy Debate finalist at the Tournament of Champions and Illinois Debate State Tournament. Steven Adler debated for four years at Mercer Island High School (WA), where he won the Dukes and Bailey Cup for toprated Lincoln-Douglas debater.

For more information, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/debaters.

How can you use your debate skills in a professional context?

“The critical thinking and speaking skills I learned in debate are at the center of what I do every day at McKinsey.” – Claire Branch, Past President of Princeton University Debate Panel, 2014 Champion Harvard APDA Tournament

“At McKinsey, I’ve helped implement federal financial regulation and

tackled critical

questions of public sector financial

management. These are the sorts of

topics that fascinated me as a debater; to work on them professionally right out of college has been an incredible experience.” – Josh Zoffer, Past President of Harvard Speech and Parliamentary Debate Society, 2009 NSDA National Champion in Public Forum Debate

McKinsey & Company is a consulting firm that works with senior executives to help them solve their most pressing issues in technology, healthcare, government, and many other industries. College graduates join McKinsey to collaborate

on teams, gain exposure to many industries, and enhance their leadership capabilities, working hand-in-hand with clients. As a debater, you'll bring sharp analytical skills, breadth of knowledge on today's issues, and public speaking prowess to a career that will develop you as a leader. Learn more at www.mckinsey.com/careers.


The Case for Continuing Your Speech and Debate Activities in College Why the Skills You’ve Learned Could Pay Big Dividends by Jack E. Rogers, Ph.D., and Nicole Freeman, Ed.D. Editor’s Note: Coaches, here’s another way to motivate juniors and seniors to continue with speech and debate activities after high school. Invite students and parents to check out this article from two veteran collegiate Pi Kappa Delta coaches.


irst, congratulations on your achievements. As teachers and coaches, we know the hard work, commitment, and sacrifices you have made throughout your high school years to compete with your debate and forensic teams. There was a lot to learn, often in a short period of time, and although it was fun, it often meant late nights trying to get ready for competitions while trying to balance other commitments like homework and extracurricular activities—not to mention the toll competing can take on your family and social life. The question you may be asking yourself right now is given all the hard work, stress, and time commitments, why would I want to continue to compete by joining a college speech and debate team? What’s in it for me? Your parents may also be concerned with how your competition on a college team might impact your successful transition into college. Sure, they want you to enjoy your college experiences, but if competing on the speech and debate team doesn’t help you to become a better student, prepare you for your chosen career, or give you valuable life skills, is it worth the potential distraction? The intent of this article is to give you the information necessary to not only answer those questions but to empower you and your parents to make thoughtful and intelligent decisions



Given all the hard work, stress, and time commitments, why would you want to continue to compete by joining a college speech and debate team? Allow us to explain.

regarding your future. First, we will talk about what continued participation teaches and how it will change you as a student and person. Next, we will discuss the potential financial benefits. Finally, we will attempt to give you some guidance regarding how to go about finding and approaching college programs to ensure the right fit.

The first question is, what would you learn from continued participation and how might it change you and your future? To begin, literally hundreds of studies over the past nine decades have attempted to examine exactly what competitive debate is, what it should teach and to whom, and what benefits,

if any, our student competitors should look forward to as they leave the competitive experience. Competition on a speech and debate team is credited with increased critical thinking, better presentational skills, a better understanding of and commitment to social responsibility and the world around us, offering excellent professional training, increasing knowledge, self-confidence, poise, and a wide range of skills necessary for academic success including leadership, organization, analytic reading and comprehension, and time management. How do we know these claims are true? Is there documented evidence to support these claims? In 1997, the authors began a longitudinal study which compared incoming college freshmen who had joined and would compete for the speech and debate team with those who would not. A national sample of more than 700 volunteers was collected, analyzed, and eventually narrowed down to 100 debate and 100 non-debate study subjects. We did everything we could to isolate participation on the debate team as the only major difference between the groups. Everything else about the two groups—gender, ethnicity, ACT, SAT, GPA, type of high school, public or private, and socioeconomic background—were taken into consideration to ensure that the two groups were as similar

as possible. At the end of each year for the first four years, we collected survey information from the two groups for statistical comparison hoping to identify significant differences in five critical areas: 1) Social Responsibility, 2) Cultural Understanding and Tolerance, 3) Academic Success, 4) Moral/Ethical Issues, and 5) Psychological Multipliers. What we found as our groups graduated from college was remarkable. In 2002, the results of the first four year study was released (Rogers, 2002). Within the critical outcome area of Social Responsibility, those students who participated in debate experienced significantly higher positive outcomes than their non-debate peers. Debate students were much more likely to consistently vote in political elections both on campus and in the local, state, and national elections. The positive correlation between debate and political volunteerism was also very strong. Over three-quarters of the debate students were directly involved in political campaigns, political party work, and/or political student organizations. Additionally, debate students were more likely to hold positions of leadership in those organizations. Finally, debaters were more likely to be involved in social advocacy; that is, using their speaking/persuasive skills in direct attempts to influence social activism and policy outcomes. Within the critical outcome of Cultural Understanding and Tolerance, debate students were slightly more likely to enroll in cross-cultural coursework. The most significant positive difference noted between respondent groups was within the outcome of social norming. Debate students were much more likely to reject classical definitions of social norming. As debaters become exposed to various resolutions and topics for debate, conduct research on both sides of a usually controversial subject, organize and write briefs for both sides, and go through the process of arguing those positions, they have the opportunity to develop a wider view of differing social perspectives. It could be argued that the beginning of increased social tolerance is the rejection of what the dominant culture considers “normal,” and thus, acceptable. As our definition

of “normal” widens, we become more socially tolerant of previously “taboo” outlooks and perceptions. Comparisons of Academic Success were examined third. This critical outcome area was perhaps the most straightforward area of comparison. Debate students maintained slightly higher GPAs, were less likely to change their majors, and as a result were more likely to finish their degree on time. There was also a strong correlation between debate involvement and increased involvement in professional internships, which was linked to higher rates of job offers or acceptance into graduate programs or professional schools. The fourth critical outcome examined was a comparison of the Moral/Ethical dimension of the respondent groups. No significant differences were reported between the subject groups in the areas of propensity to distort the truth or a belief in or use of situational ethics. Thus, any inference that debaters are more likely than their peers to distort the truth or to resort to situational ethics to “win the point” received no statistical support in this study. In addition, debaters were less likely to ignore evidence that conflicted with their previously held beliefs and to demonstrate a stronger belief in the ability of concerned citizens to make a difference than their non-debate peers. The final critical outcome for comparison was Psychological Multipliers. Debaters reported significant differences in five critical areas: 1) significantly less feelings of depression and anxiety; 2) significantly less feelings of being overwhelmed under pressure; 3) significantly higher feelings of confidence and positive outlook; 4) significantly higher confidence in their ability to communicate their feelings and positions through oral and written communication; and 5) significantly more flexible in managing their thoughts and feelings. In summary of the first comparison study (Rogers, 2002), the positive outcomes of debate participation were overwhelming and included greater political and social awareness and participation; an increased awareness of and tolerance for intercultural differences; better academic performance while in college; increased

involvement in professional internships, acceptance to graduate programs, and job offers at graduation; a deeper understanding and respect for ethics and the proper evaluation of evidence; and stronger, healthier personality profiles. Debate participation, in this case, was significantly correlated with positive outcomes.

Okay, so continuing to participate in speech and debate during college has positive benefits, but isn’t that only half of the story? Do those benefits change or persist after graduation as you move out into the post-graduation world? Good question. In an effort to answer that very question, as soon as the students in our study graduated, we began collecting a new set of data from them. We looked for any persistent positive outcomes as they moved through the first four years of their post-graduation, professional worlds. Again, what we found was both exciting and profound. In our 2005 study (Rogers & Rennels), we again compared those who had participated in debate in college with those who had not. All five of the original critical outcomes remained relevant for respondents: 1) Social Responsibility, 2) Cultural Understanding and Tolerance, 3) Academic Success, 4) Moral/Ethical Issues, and 5) Psychological Multipliers. The first critical outcome reexamined was Social Responsibility. Former debate participants were much more likely than their non-debate peers to consistently vote in political elections. Voter participation for both debate and non-debate respondents increased after graduation. However, the increase for former debate participants was much higher; thus, yielding a stronger positive correlation for propensity to vote—in effect, widening the gap between groups. The debate respondents increased their participation in social volunteerism, and reported slight decreases in both political volunteerism and participation in social activism. During the same fouryear period, non-debate respondents reported a modest decrease in social volunteerism, but dramatic reductions


in both political volunteerism and social activism; in effect, widening the gap between debate and non-debate respondent pools. In summary, in the four years after graduation, the debate group was much more likely than their non-debate peers to continue to act in a way that reflected the acceptance of social responsibility through voting, volunteering their time to participate in social and political campaigns, and to use their skills to advocate for social change. Next we re-examined Cultural Understanding and Tolerance. Former debate participants reported increased correlations to positive outcomes in behavior when compared to their non-debate peers. In the four years after graduation, the debate group was much more likely than their non-debate peers to continue to act in a way that reflected social tolerance and understanding of cultural identities other than their own through the maintenance of intercultural relationships, membership in intercultural organizations, enrollment in cross-cultural course-work and the rejection of social norming. In the third critical outcome, Academic Success, increased positive outcomes continued for the debate group. The successful completion rates for graduate and/or professional degrees were 90.2% for the debate grouping and 76.92% for the non-debate group. A cursory examination of this study group would seem to indicate that the debate group was somewhat more successful in terms of completing their graduate programs than their nondebate peers. In addition, the debate group was much more likely to maintain a GPA above a 3.5 while enrolled in their graduate or professional studies. Whereas there was no statistical difference in either group to matriculate on time as undergraduates, graduate debate subjects were much more likely to finish their graduate studies on time. Finally, the debate respondents had a much higher rate of job offerings postgraduation than their non-debate peers. When the data was examined for differences between the two groups in the critical area of Moral/ Ethical Issues, we found that during the four-year, post-graduation period the debate respondents continued



to report statistically significant differences between themselves and their non-debate peers. During the four years after graduation, the positive outcomes reported for undergraduate debate participants held somewhat steady or increased. Undergraduate debate participants continued to be far less likely to ignore evidence that conflicted with their beliefs than their non-debate peers as they moved through the post-graduation, graduate programs and professional world. The debate group continued to be much more likely to believe in a just society tradition. Finally, though the 2002 study reported no statistically significant differences between the two groups, in this follow-up study, the debate group was much less likely to distort the truth or to believe in situational ethics than their non-debate peers. The fifth and final area the authors re-examined was that of Psychological Multipliers. The debate group demonstrated much higher positive outcomes than their non-debate peers. In the four years after graduation, the debate group was much more likely than their non-debate peers to continue to benefit from a much healthier mental outlook through higher overall confidence in themselves and their communication skills, lower levels of depression, anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed under pressure, a more positive mental outlook, and an ability to more successfully maintain long-term relationships. One additional area of comparison was developed and advanced in the 2005 study. We asked the question of whether there were significant differences between the debate group and the non-debate group in their performances and career paths. Again, what we found was both positive and dramatic. The debate group had considerably more job offers in their field of study upon graduation than their non-debate peers. They reported being able to change jobs voluntarily more, were forced to change jobs much less, and had experienced a slight edge in terms of receiving an increase in pay. When asked to identify key factor(s) that contributed to positive evaluations, the debate group cited good communication skills and an ability to think and analyze problems.

Therefore, there are at least some differences in performance between groups in their career paths postgraduation. Interestingly enough, the debate group reported being happier in their various career choices than their non-debate peers.

We continued to track our study groups as they continued in the careers and engaged in all of those things that you and your parents want for you: life, careers, and family choices. In 2012, we published additional findings. To make a long story short, once again, in every critical outcome, those who had participated in debate during their undergraduate careers continued to outperform and outpace their non-debate peers. The most notable differences were: 1) more promotions, higher average pay, and stronger performance evaluations; 2) overall higher rates of continued involvement with socio-political causes hoping to make positive changes to create a better nation and world; and perhaps, most importantly, 3) they reported much higher rates of personal satisfaction and enjoyment with their career choices, the work they participated in, and their lives outside of professional settings. They reported stronger coping mechanisms, much lower rates of both anxiety and depression, and higher marital satisfaction. Finally, in 2016, we completed a 20-year follow-up to our study. The number of participants had shrunk somewhat due to attrition, but we were still able to collect data from 49 debate and 37 non-debate subjects. After 20 years, the former debate participants finished the study with impressive results. In the area of Social Responsibility, they continued to be more likely to get involved, to work toward positive change, to make a difference in their local communities, and to vote. They widened the gap between themselves and their nondebate peers in the area of Cultural Understanding and Tolerance. They continued to be significantly more likely to engage in and pursue crosscultural relationships and memberships in cross-cultural organizations, and reflected a much deeper commitment

to and understanding of cultural understanding, respect, and tolerance. They widened the gap in terms of Psychological Multipliers from previous data collection points reflecting stronger confidence in their communication skills and their ability to more successfully maintain long-term interpersonal relationships. This led to higher rates of marital satisfaction and overall happiness. Former debaters were also significantly stronger in their approach to Moral/ Ethical Issues. They reported a deeper commitment to strong moral and ethical behaviors, to include honesty, fairness, and dealing with others. In their professional and career choices, former debaters reported better pay, increased opportunities, a stronger ability to make voluntary job moves, stronger positive job evaluations, and greater job satisfaction. At this point, we can answer your question and your parents’ concerns: what are the benefits of further participation on a college speech and debate team? What valuable life skills can I expect to learn? Obviously, there is a lot to be gained over a lifetime of outcomes. Before you think, but haven’t I already learned these skills from my high school experiences, remember—these studies were conducted on college speech and debate students, all of whom had already had high school participation. We measured the differences for which college participation could be credited.

So what about that second question regarding the financial benefits? Simply put, literally hundreds of junior colleges, colleges, and universities offer scholarships for participation on their speech and debate teams. While they may not be enough to pay the entire tuition bill, many colleges can help to significantly defray the costs of attending and many may offer out-of-state fee waivers. At our university, for example, the amount of scholarship dollars our program is able to award is second only to university athletics. Even if the scholarship dollars at the college or university you plan to attend are comparatively

low, every scholarship dollar is one less that you or your parents will have to take out of your pocket. Competing on your college or university debate team may well be one of the wisest investments you can make.

Finally, let’s answer the third question: how can you find and approach college speech and debate programs? Start with your high school coach. They will often have a relationship with local college coaches who may be recruiting. Visit the National Speech & Debate Association’s website and do some research. Follow the links that will lead you to discovering the right fit for you. If you do some searching, we guarantee that you will find a team that is exactly the right fit for you. There are schools that focus on forensics, others that focus on debate, and many who compete in both. If you already have some colleges in mind, contact their admissions representatives and ask them for information on their college’s speech and debate team. Many teams have web pages that link

directly to the official web pages of the university. Many teams, like ours, have Facebook pages. Once you have identified some likely candidates, contact the coach directly via email. Ask intelligent questions, highlight your experiences, and, if possible, schedule a visit during your upcoming campus tour. One suggestion: don’t wait until you are a senior. We would suggest that you begin the process as a junior. The only thing left is to encourage you to make the most of your hard-won experiences for which you have worked. There is a lot to take advantage of and to continue to learn. Continued participation in speech and debate is an important key to unlocking your future potential.

Jack E. Rogers, Ph.D., is the Director of Forensics at the University of Central Missouri.

Nicole Freeman, Ed.D., is the Assistant Director of Forensics at the University of Central Missouri.

References Rogers, J. E. (2002). Longitudinal outcome assessment for forensics: Does participation in intercollegiate, competitive forensics contribute to measurable differences in positive student outcomes? Contemporary Argumentation and Debate, 23, 1-27. Rogers, J. E. & Rennels, A. R. (2005). Graduate school, professional and life choices: A four-year follow-up report for participants in the longitudinal outcome assessment for forensics measuring positive student outcomes for participants in competitive intercollegiate forensics. Contemporary Argumentation & Debate, 26, 13-40. Rogers, J. E. & Rennels, A. R. (2012). Outcome based life choices: An outcome assessment confirmation study measuring positive social outcomes beyond undergraduate experiences for participants and society in competitive intercollegiate debate. Conference Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, Maribor, Estonia. 19-34. Rogers, J. E., Freeman, N., & Rennels, A. R. (In Press). Where are they now(?): Two decades of longitudinal outcome assessment data linking positive student, graduate student, career and life trajectory decisions to participation in intercollegiate competitive forensics. National Forensics Journal. n.s.

If you plan to continue speech and debate competition after high school, you can explore one of many scholarships available for college participation!

www.speechanddebate.org /scholarships ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 57


Curriculum Corner Check out these practical ideas for speech and debate teachers to use in the classroom. Each activity is constructed to last one hour, but plans may be altered to work with your setting.

All Events Corner Through in-class discussion and an end-of-year essay, students will reflect on their personal successes and challenges from the current competition season and establish specific goals for next year. Prerequisite Knowledge Required: Season of competition Common Core Standard Addressed: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.E Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. • Bell Ringer Activity: Spark students’ ability to recollect the journey they’ve been on during the course of the year. Options will vary based upon what’s been done in your classroom. Ideas include handing students a list of goals they established for themselves at the start of the year, providing students a packet of ballots from the season, showing students a video of their first practice or tournament, etc. Ask students to consider where they started and where they ended. Have them make notes on their reflections. (10 minutes) • Class Discussion: Have students share their reflections with the group. As they do, ask pointed follow-up



questions to identify why they felt the way they did or to have them describe specific actions they took throughout the year. (30 minutes) • Essay: Provide students an overview of their end-ofyear essay. Establish the length, deadlines, and revision process appropriate for your class. (18 minutes) • Students’ essays will answer four basic questions: What did you do well this year? Why did those things go well? In what areas did you struggle? What can you do to improve upon them from now until the start of the year? • Essays will include artifacts. The essay must include in-class feedback, ballot feedback, and samples of the work they’ve done this year that demonstrate growth, such as revisions of a case or speech, block files, cutting adjustments, etc. • Essays will include three goals they have for the following year if they are not a graduating senior. The goals need to be specific, measurable, and timebound. Seniors will write about how what they learned this year will help them after high school. They should cite three specific examples. • Conclusion: As students walk out of the room, hand them an individual note card with a statement that shares your perception of their greatest growth this year—e.g., This year you made significant improvements in time allocation/pacing /eye contact. Congrats – you should be proud! (2 minutes)

Debate Corner Following in-class polls and discussion, students will develop topic analyses geared toward helping next year’s novices. Prerequisite Knowledge Required: Season of competition Common Core Standard Addressed: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2.B

Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic. • Bell Ringer Activity: Provide students a list of debate resolutions from the year (Policy, LD, and PF). Ask them to identify the best topic and outline their reasons why. (8 minutes) • Poll/Class Discussion: Using Poll Everywhere or another method, have students complete a poll to select the topic they feel was the best. Discuss the results as a class. Why did the result pan out that way? Did the results align with the makeup of the events of the students in the class? How do the wording of the topics shape the debate? How does the debate evolve over the course of the topic? (20 minutes) • Novice Topic Analysis: Inform your students they will write a topic analysis, geared toward next year’s novices, based upon the event they do. Establish the length, deadlines, and revision process appropriate for your class. The topic analysis should provide background information/ context, overview of key terms, resolutional burdens analysis, and key affirmative and negative arguments, along with a works cited page of research for each side of the resolution. (10 minutes) • Policy Debate students will write about the 2017-2018 topic, Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States. • Lincoln-Douglas Debate students will write about the novice topic, Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. • Public Forum Debate students will be given a current topic area. They will be asked to write a sample resolution and then develop an analysis on the topic they’ve chosen. • Group Work: Break students into groups, by events, and have them start discussing ideas for their individual papers. Encourage students to look up the terms and begin identifying key definitions and basic resolutional analysis. (20 minutes)

Public Speaking Corner

Based on their own experiences in Original Oratory or Informative Speaking, students will write detailed guides to help novices get started in these events. Prerequisite Knowledge Required: Season of competition Common Core Standard Addressed: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. • Bell Ringer Activity: Have students write their worst experience in their public speaking event on a piece of paper. Students should also write how they responded to or overcame the situation. (5 minutes) • Class Discussion: Have students share their experiences and provide feedback on their reactions. Personalize as much as possible: What did you witness? How did you think they responded? What did you feel was the turning point? (25 minutes) • Novice Guide: Explain to students they will write a guide for next year’s novices interested in doing Oratory or Informative. Establish the length, deadlines, and revision process appropriate for your class.The guide will provide an overview of the event, structural considerations for writing and performing their speech, tips for the revision process, and an overview of the most important lessons learned throughout the year. The guide should also include the example they wrote about in the bell ringer activity. (15 minutes) • Non-seniors will also include a separate assignment that identifies possible topics for the following year that they wish to explore, while seniors will write about topics they would encourage others to do. Students should identify three possibilities and explain why each is viable. They should provide research that shows there is literature to support the topic. (10 minutes) • Closing: Provide students with a note card containing an inspirational quote about the writing process/continual reflection/not taking time for


granted/forging ahead. Pick something specific that applies to each student. (5 minutes)

and revision process appropriate for your class. The analysis should cover a range of topics. (25 minutes) • How was the dramatic structure improved?

Interp Corner Students will analyze their interp performance(s) from the current school year and establish goals for next season. Prerequisite Knowledge Required: Season of competition Common Core Standard Addressed: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.2.E Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). • Bell Ringer Activity: Have students write down their favorite interp performance that they’ve seen this year, outside of their team, and why it’s their favorite. (5 minutes) • Class Discussion: What makes an interp performance stand out? What are revisions you’ve made to your performance based upon trends you’ve seen? What do you think will be popular from a tech perspective next year? (20 minutes) • Self-Analysis: Students will do a self-analysis of their year in interpretation. Establish the length, deadlines,

• What characters made the most significant progress in development over the year? • What was the best blocking decision you made? • What was a decision you regretted and why? • What are your goals for next year? (Seniors: What is the best advice you could give underclassmen? Why?) • What type of piece do you think would serve you best and why? Cite any examples that you may have already considered. If you have none, how will you go about finding some? (Seniors: What are examples of pieces you would encourage others to do? Why?) • What are realistic goals given your progress this year? What is your stretch goal? (Seniors: How does the process of interp help you think about making progress beyond high school?) • Closing: Show an interp performance from the final round videos available at www.speechanddebate. org/resources. Choose a performance you feel would be inspiring and motivating for students as they leave the room. (10 minutes)

Written by Steve Schappaugh, Director of Community Engagement for the National Speech & Debate Association



The National Speech & Debate Association believes communication skills are essential for empowering youth to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our global society. We connect, support, and inspire a diverse community of honor society members committed to fostering excellence in young people through competitive speech and debate activities.

We envision a world in which every student has access to competitive speech and debate activities. We are the leading voice in the development of resources, competitive and ethical standards, curricular and co-curricular opportunities, and recognition systems for our vast network of student, coach, and alumni members.

To learn more, visit www.speechanddebate.org. Questions? Email info@speechanddebate.org or call (920) 748-6206. 60



Bridging the Gap In Professional Development for Speech and Debate


by Steve Schappaugh

Big Impact for a Small Investment!


very year you stay behind as your colleagues in Math, Science, World Language, Social Studies, and other disciplines are afforded unique, subjectbased professional development conferences. While other educators have opportunities throughout the school year that are readily available and funded by schools, speech and debate teachers often are left trying to exchange lesson plan ideas between coaching students and judging rounds.

Here are the top reasons we’re excited about our inaugural conference:

3 More than 40 education sessions 2 Inspirational keynote addresses 1 Networking with colleagues and friends

Not anymore! At the NSDA, we hear regularly from our members that you need more professional development support. To that end, a big part of our resource development strategy over the last year has focused on bringing you a conference opportunity during which you can connect with and support each

Oh—and beautiful Denver, Colorado!

other. The Board of Directors heard the voices of the membership and encouraged the staff to organize a national education conference.

“Our learning, understanding, and knowledge as educators are developed in participation with others.​We felt an education conference would sharpen skills, invite networking, explore new ways of teaching and coaching, and allow us to have a little fun with our fellow teachers,” says NSDA Board President Don Crabtree. A talented and dedicated group of educators has been working to put together an incredible experience for our inaugural conference. The conference planning committee has provided valuable insights on our theme, keynote speakers, session offerings, and more. We are thrilled with our line-up of presentations and cannot wait to host everyone who attends the conference. The motivation for the work of the committee is summed up well by

Interp: Bringing Characters to Life Presenters: Joe and Pam Wycoff Apple Valley High School, Minnesota


Understanding Interp skills and creating believable characters transcends the competitive realm.

For complete session descriptions, and to register, visit our website!

speechanddebate.org/ conferences


Kentucky educator Steve Meadows: “Being a speech and debate teacher is a lonely job. Even at large high schools, there is usually just one teacher in that field, so collaborating and sharing materials requires you to leave your school building. Having so many fellow Lone Rangers in one place makes sharing ideas, methods, and materials much easier! It’s ironic that we who teach communication often have no one else to talk to about our field. These conferences create conversations that create more education.” Renee Motter, Colorado educator, continues: “I’m so excited for this opportunity to come together and learn from other speech teachers and coaches! We spend so much time and energy training our kids and helping them become better communicators, which is important, but I’m looking forward to learning new things that I can bring back to my team and classroom.” These are just some of the reasons we are excited to host our inaugural education conference. Be on the lookout for further updates and announcements on social media, in our newsletters, and on our website at www.speechanddebate.org/ conferences.

Making the Case to Attend If you’re ready to attend our conference but need some help convincing a decision maker at your school, we’re here to help you persuade them. After all, it’s what we do best!

Research Take a few moments to list out your school’s goals and challenges. Consider which sessions at the conference would help your organization reach its goals and/or overcome its challenges. List out a few examples and you’ll be prepared to bring these to your administrator’s attention. We’ve outlined possible examples on our website.

Cost/Benefit Analysis Chart your expenses for attending the conference including registration, transportation, lodging, and meals. Make a rough estimate of potential savings for your school due to your attendance. Will some of these sessions teach you strategies that can save your school money in the future? Write them out and discuss this with your administrator. Be sure to account for graduate credit hours and up to 20 hours of professional development!

Make Your Case Put your request in writing using our sample email template (available online). Be sure to include a link to learn more about the conference and a list of available sessions.

Schedule a Meeting When you sit down with your administrator, come prepared. Bring them a copy of the available sessions in case they didn’t have a chance to look it over and ask for feedback on the ones you’re planning to attend. There may be others of interest to them that could help push your case over the top.

Follow Up Steve Schappaugh is the Director of Community Engagement for the NSDA.

If your administrator says yes, get started planning to attend! We can’t wait to see you. We encourage you to do a little something to thank them for their support. Be sure to create a strategy for how you’ll share what you learned upon your return. If your administrator says no, follow up and find out why. Is there something you can do to make a better case in the future? If you aren’t presenting, would applying to lead a session have made a difference? Use this feedback to plan for the future.

SESSION SPOTLIGHT Discovering Your Voice: A Perspective on Helping Students of Color Excel in Forensics Presenter: Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr. Logan High School, California



Visit www.speechanddebate.org/conferences/#makingthecase for additional information.

More than 90% of Tommie’s students move on to four-year colleges and have been able to carry their commitment to social justice and their dedication to service well beyond the classroom.

Register Today! AUGUST 24–27, 2017

Join the National Speech & Debate Association for the inaugural national education conference in DENVER, COLORADO with our gracious hosts Cherry Creek High School and the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA). Attendees can earn up to 20 hours of professional development as well as possible graduate credit hours!







To view the complete list of sessions, and to register, please visit:

www.speechanddebate.org/conferences M EM B E R




Visit www.debatecamp.utdallas.edu | Follow us on Twitter at @MeanGreenComet

Mean Green Comet Debate Institute The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas are excited to announce the inaugural year of the Mean Green Comet Debate Institute. The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute brings together the North Texas region's largest debate programs and most established debate camps to offer the very best in debate education. The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute combines outstanding staff, exceptional facilities and competitive tuition, to provide the best debate camp experience anywhere in Texas. The 2017 MGC offers both novice and advanced tracks allowing students in Policy CX, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congressional Debate, Individual Events, Middle School, Model UN, and Mock Trail debate formats, to learn at a pace appropriate for their skill level. The MCC offers a residential camp experience at UT Dallas’ state‐of‐ the‐art dormitory and a commuter option for students who live near campus. The Mean Green Comet Debate Institute focuses on building effective speaking and strategic skills for debaters at any level. Affordable pricing – No other debate institute offers more for the price. Our sessions range from $800 – $2,100, offering affordable tuition options for every student. Exceptional Staff – Over the last 15 years UTD and UNT have provided students with exceptional and award winning staff by bringing together some of the best strategic thinkers and educators from the high school and college debate communities. Practice debates, performances, and congressional sessions with experienced judges – get one‐on‐one time with our exceptional staff in structured practice sessions. Small lab sizes for more contact with nationally recognized staff – get more direct feedback and interaction with the exceptional staff in smaller classroom settings. 10- and 20-Day Sessions Available to Best Meet Your Debate Needs

10-Day Sessions Dates:

June 30 ‐ July 9 July 9 ‐ 19

20-Day Session Dates:

June 30 ‐ July 19 Flexible commuter and residential sessions.

Pricing: 

Policy Debate

Starting at $1,000


Public Forum


Middle School


Model UN

 

Starting at $1,000 Starting at $1,000 Starting at $800 Starting at $800 Starting at $800 Starting at $800

Mock Trial

Starting at $900

Coaches Camp Starting at $300

Deadline: June 16

Complete rate and date information available by session at http://debatecamp.utdallas.edu/



Speaking of Champions Bradley’s Summer Forensics Institute can help your students claim the top spot at their next tournament! • Personalized Instruction • Championship Tradition • Tournament-Ready Results

July 9– 22, 2017

Because Forensics Isn’t Just a Hobby Bradley’s Summer Forensics Institute is about more than teaching students how to deliver better speeches. The university’s coaches design a curriculum that will help participants develop a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the skills that are essential to communicating ideas — not just in competition but in all of life. During this two-week program, your students will experience: • Individualized coaching customized to state and national rules • Daily presentations geared to all skill levels — novice to expert • One-on-one guidance to develop a competition-ready speech • Thoughtful final performance reviews by several staff coaches • Lifelong relationships with new friends and mentors Plus, scholarships are available for new and returning students!

For more details and to register:

bradley.edu/sf i


What We're Reading by Amy Seidelman


ometimes I think the world can be divided into two types of people: those who enjoy talking to the stranger seated next to them on an airplane, and those who don’t. I classify myself as the latter. I semidread the prospect of an unwelcome airplane conversation, especially when I’m eager to get back to a book that regular life has prevented me from finishing. Other than general introversion when it comes to strangers, what is at the heart of this fear—especially considering that on the rare occasion I find myself connecting with someone over a favorite author, a shared city, or a similar stage of motherhood, my aversion to airplane small talk disappears? Claire Raines and Lara Ewing, authors of The Art of Connecting, would say I’m violating at least two of five core principles that can successfully guide our interactions with other human beings— there’s always a bridge, and curiosity is key. I’ll share a little more about those concepts with you to give you a feel for this book. There’s always a bridge. At heart, this principle asserts that a belief in commonality will take you far in communication. By asking yourself, “where’s the bridge in this scenario?” you establish an expectation to connect, rather than to judge or label. The fodder for shared experiences is plentiful, although not always obvious. As the authors write, “A child losing a tooth in Lima, Beijing, or Rome is exactly that—a child losing a tooth.” But short of giving each other dental exams, we have to inquire about others in order to uncover

that shared experience. There are two things to keep in mind when bridge building. First, learn to make and respond to offers. Raines and Ewing describe an offer as a piece of information one puts forward about oneself in pursuit of the bridge. If you are on the receiving end of an offer, be conscious that you accept it by responding to it directly, rather than changing the subject or countering— what they refer to as “blocking the offer.” Even better, work to build upon the offer by relating a common experience or digging in and asking a followup question about it. Second, be persistent, which Raines and Ewing define as being “unconditionally constructive.” Always keep the end game— where you are going with the interaction—in mind. This is less important on an airplane, where your end game is not about the other person so much as arriving at your destination, and more important during critical conversations with family, friends, students, and co-workers. Building the bridge isn’t always easy, and is sometimes interrupted by feelings of self-righteousness, blame, or judgment. By staying focused on the outcome you want, you can block those derailments and continue to search for the thing that will make it possible to connect. The second core principle that would serve me well in moments of potential connection is that curiosity is key. In The Art of Connecting, curiosity is considered ”the universally resourceful state of mind.” In addition to being one of the top five qualities of people who are most satisfied in life (Psychology Today), curiosity creates open-mindedness and stimulates lifelong learning, provides

focus, and keeps you mentally sharp. Curious people are more likely to be up to date on current events, are better equipped to deal with change, and react more positively to unusual circumstances. When we allow our curiosity to get the best of us, we direct our attention outward, setting us up to be successful in connecting with others. Specifically, directing our attention toward people and cultures that are different makes us more flexible overall, because we learn that we have more choices in life (and that there are several ways of looking at and doing things). Chapter 5 is especially useful for people who find themselves facilitating groups or presenting to groups on a regular basis. It’s a short primer on using your time and words to answer the questions going through the participants’ minds right off the bat, including things like: • Will this be valuable? • Is this a safe environment for me? • Who else is here? • Will I fit in? • Will I be interested or bored? The authors also cover the importance of being able to read cues in groups of different cultures and help diverse cultures connect when in the same room, although they acknowledge that any details about specific cultural adaptations will need to be sought elsewhere. While the entire book, full of case studies and tips from people the authors deem master connectors, is interesting, I found these pieces most useful. Pick up the book to see all five core principals. It’s been on my bookshelf for 10 years, which means it’s a little old, but a used version can be procured very cheaply! And, if you end up next to me on an airplane, we already know our bridge—a passion for speech and debate! Amy Seidelman is the Assistant Executive Director for the NSDA.



Get With the Program Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas Online Topic Workshops Join us for these two-day, intensive, online workshops focused on the September/October topics. For as little as $100, students can learn from some of the finest educators in the country! Need-based scholarships are also available.

ONLINE TOPIC WORKSHOPS PUBLIC FORUM Saturday-Sunday, August 12-13 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT • Stefan Bauschard PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Jenny Cook PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Andrew Dolberg PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Jeffrey Miller PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Martin Page PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Chase Williams PF Instructor, Co-Curriculum Coordinator

• Abraham Fraifeld PF Guest Lecturer

LINCOLN-DOUGLAS Saturday-Sunday, August 19-20 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT • Kris Wright LD Instructor, Curriculum Coordinator


Thousands of students race off to debate camps across the country each summer. They attend to grow their skills and knowledge on specific topics, as well as to learn from some of the best coaches in the nation. While thousands get this unique experience, more are not afforded the chance. This summer, the NSDA is pleased to announce an opportunity for online workshops in Public Forum Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. The workshops are a two-day intensive focus on the September/October topics. More importantly, they are affordable! For as little as $100, students can learn from event experts, well known for their insights and competitive debate success. This year, we are excited to offer a limited number of scholarships to assist individuals who cannot afford to attend the institute. What’s more, any proceeds from the workshops will be directed toward Resource Package grants for schools with demonstrated financial need. We are eager to not just bring together great minds in the activity, but help students get a jump start on their school year. We hope the exposure to high level instruction, research support, and argument development will assist all students, but especially those who are not able to obtain this training otherwise.

Questions? Contact steve.schappaugh@speechanddebate.org.

Resource Package






Need-based scholarships are available. Priority will be given to those who have not been to a summer institute in the past due to financial constraints.

www.speechanddebate.org/online-topic-workshops 68


Zoe Lovelace, 2016 Coolidge Cup Winner

2017 COOLIDGE CUP The Coolidge Foundation is setting out to find the top debaters in America! The Coolidge Cup National Debate Tournament begins in winter 2017 with regional qualifying tournaments. Top placers from these qualifying events will earn the right to compete in the Coolidge Cup Championship Tournament taking place July 3-4, 2017, in President Coolidge’s historic village, the picturesque town of Plymouth Notch, Vermont. Qualifiers earn a free trip to Vermont to compete. More than $10,000 in scholarships and prizes will be awarded to the winners of the 2017 Coolidge Cup!

LEARN MORE www.coolidgefoundation.org/events/2017-coolidge-cup


BIG QUESTIONS: Bridging Classroom, Team, and Accessibility Gaps (Plus, it’s a GREAT way to earn up to $1,700 for your school, team, or district!) by Lauren Burdt


ducators across the country have been using Big Questions in creative and diverse ways to reduce the financial burden of debate competition for their students. Teachers are doing Big Questions in their classrooms to pay for textbooks, coaches are hosting intra-squad events after school to help cover the cost of tournament attendance, and districts are holding Big Questions divisions to pay for travel to Nationals. In addition to increasing student access to debate opportunities, Big Questions helps bridge gaps between classroom subjects and teammates, as well. Coaches and teachers who invite students to debate the new Big Questions format may earn up to $1,700 per event. All you need is a minimum of 15 high school students to compete in three rounds to earn money for your classroom or team. The amount of money awarded to event hosts depends on the number of students who compete. Free resources for students and coaches are available on the NSDA website!

Bridging Gaps in the Classroom Debating the compatibility of science and free will provides a unique opportunity for educators to integrate science, philosophy, and argumentation into an engaging activity for students. Educators have been using the interdisciplinary topic to broaden their curriculum and integrate hands-on learning into their classrooms.

(right) Students grapple with Big Questions at Carrollton High School in Georgia

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Big Questions funding opportunity.

Coach Jeff Stutzman from Concord High School in Indiana says, “My class demographics range from Honors level all the way to students with Individualized Education Programs and low English skills. Once we talked about the topic and the students began exploring the resources provided, I was really pleased with how well ALL of my students did.” He continues, “A level 2 English as a New Language student who also struggles with speech issues competed. He was so proud of his speech and how he understood the topic after reading the novice level analysis brief that he wasn’t even nervous when he stood up to debate. In the end, the format and topic offered my students the opportunity for a more rigorous challenge that they benefited from. I plan on using this format and the selected topics for as long as the format is offered.”

Bridging Gaps on the Team With large or diverse teams, it can be hard to engage students from all events and all levels of competition in a meaningful way. Big Questions can be a great way to foster collaboration among teammates. Brian Levinson, coach at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in New Jersey, is impressed with the way students from different debate backgrounds approached the format. “I was judging a first-round debate that pitted a senior against a pair of underclassmen. We could hardly believe how much

research and preparation went into their constructives and rebuttals,” he explains. “One of the freshmen, who I’d only known to be shy at meetings, was forceful and eloquent during the question segment. The final rounds left the greatest impression, with at least 25 attendees staying to spectate. Our debate club president led an ‘expert panel’ of five judges, who not only scored, but then provided constructive critiques at the end.” Annelise Hatjakes from Davidson High School in Nevada used Big Questions to introduce debate to community members. “The students had a great time at this event. While I expected this from the debate students, I was surprised to see how much the non-debate students and judges enjoyed the event,” she notes. “I got two science teachers to judge, since I thought they’d be well-suited to discussing this topic, as well as some of my fellow graduate students who write science fiction. A couple of students’ parents also judged. They were impressed by the students’ abilities, and many said that they’re now interested in judging at other local tournaments.” As an event that incorporates both partner and individual elements, prepared and extemporaneous speeches, and philosophical topics, Big Questions is a great way for students to experience the different formats in which their teammates participate. Laura Herrera, coach at Eastwood High School in Texas, explains,

2016-2017 Topic – Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will. 70


(left) Big Questions participants from Morristown West High School in Tennessee (below) Florida students from Westglades Middle School

New to Big Questions? Free resources are available to help you and your students with the topic! Visit www. speechanddebate.org/resources to learn more.

or more splits the money from the tournament. We did a North and South tournament to make travel easier. We split 80% of the money between schools, and 20% will go into a fund to assist new programs in their first two years of competition.” Districts that host a Big Questions division with at least two schools and 15 students even get to send their top-placing student to Nationals!

Getting Started “Students loved the event. It allowed them to think outside the box on a different level than what they are accustomed to. Judges and coaches really enjoyed the fact that it is so different from traditional speech and debate resolutions.” Hosting an informal Big Questions competition with your team can also be a great way to introduce debate to students who have never competed!

Bridging the Accessibility Gap The National Speech & Debate Association is committed to ensuring that every student has access to competitive speech and debate activities, and our coaches are using the Big Questions grant funding to further that mission. Robert Bischoff of Albany Academy in New York describes the possibilities that the Big Questions funding opens up for his team: “We will use the grant award to help our team travel to state and national tournaments and to continue to support the growth of our team by increasing the reach of our recruitment efforts. We can use it to create scholarship support for students attending summer debate institutes, and to provide scholarship support for graduating seniors who plan to continue debating at the college level.” Bethannie Ramirez from AB Miller High School in California is using the grant money

to support her administration’s focus on access to higher education. “We will turn the grant award into scholarship money for our seniors. Higher education is not always a student priority, and finances is one of the major reasons that students are reluctant to go to college. Being able to pay for some credits or buy students a couple of textbooks will alleviate some of the stress on them and their families.” Districts and states have worked together to use the Big Questions funding as a way to support speech and debate in their local communities. As district chair Nick Bollas explains, “Eastern Ohio will use the grant award to help reduce the need to increase fees for our National Tournament qualifying series. Funding is a serious concern for Ohio schools. We are determined not to price speech and debate competition out of the range of our cashstrapped public schools. We are also looking at expanding our mentorship and coach retention efforts.” Maine Forensic Association President Matt Leland is promoting Big Questions as a fundraiser for all participating schools. “Every school that brings five students

Earning money by hosting a Big Questions event is easy—even if you are new to debate! 1) Fill out an application on the NSDA website. Apply as soon as you can, even if details are tentative. Once we receive your information, we will send you three plaques and $300 to help you cover any upfront costs. 2) Hold an event! 3) Have students and judges complete a brief, online survey. Send the results of your event to the Big Questions Project Manager, and give feedback on the reporting form on the NSDA website. We will get you the second portion of your grant award based on the number of students who competed in your event. To learn more about Big Questions, or to apply to host an event, please visit our website or contact Lauren Burdt, Project Manager of Big Questions Debates.

GET INVOLVED VISIT www.speechanddebate.org/big-questions

EMAIL lauren.burdt@speechanddebate.org

This publication was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 71


In this Time of Fierce Debate, New Speech App Helps Us Say it LikeSo by Audrey Mann Cronin


as there ever been a better time for our students to both understand their positions on the issues and be able communicate their stances articulately, confidently, substantively, and persuasively? For students, a welcoming and safe haven for this kind of serious discourse is their speech and debate team. Our coaches deserve a shout-out for the time and dedication they put into training our future generation of leaders. Whatever race, gender, religion, or political bent, students can join debate teams to engage in the issues of the day in an environment that demands reasoned arguments. “In this day and age, it is easier than ever to lob insults about people and ideas from the safety of our screens. Actually engaging with widely differing opinions—speaking face-to-face with those who might challenge us—can be terrifying,” says Iain Lampert, West Los Angeles District Chair.” That’s why it’s so important to develop one’s public speaking and argumentation skills. No one is born a great public speaker. It takes commitment and practice.” Say It Media, Inc., creators of the mobile app, LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach, have partnered with the NSDA to use LikeSo as an educational tool, both inside and outside



the classroom. LikeSo offers a fun and effective way to train against verbal habits and practice speaking articulately, confidently, and without all of those “likes” and “sos.” The NSDA has also contributed content to LikeSo’s Topic, Debate Team, with prompts based on current events and timely issues, all vetted by its educators and coaches. According to NSDA Executive Director J. Scott Wunn, “LikeSo is a one of a kind tool to help students, coaches, and teachers practice their communication skills. LikeSo will help our members learn to articulate their thoughts clearly and confidently and prepare students not only for competition but college, a career, and beyond.”

How LikeSo Benefits Speech and Debate Teams No matter what form of debate, every word matters. For a winning speech, it’s important to teach our students to be conscious of their word choice and effective in their communications. LikeSo is designed to bring awareness to our speaking skills and motivate, track, and measure improvement. As with any kind of training, establishing goals and tracking progress are key motivators to improving skills. LikeSo offers the ability to set Goals and Reminders for upcoming speaking opportunities (debates, interviews, presentations, auditions, etc.), and to view progress and results over time (day/week/month/year). LikeSo offers two modes of play: TalkAbout and FreeStyle. TalkAbout is a conversation game to practice speaking extemporaneously with Topics including Debate Team, The Job Interview, The

College Interview, Pop Culture Favorites, Teen Scene, etc. FreeStyle is your open mic to practice for any upcoming speaking or debating opportunity. Using voice recognition technology, LikeSo provides users with a real-time analysis of their speech fitness. The app calculates an Articulate Score grade (A+ thru Uh Oh!) based on a formula that looks at the percentage of non-filler words over total words spoken and your pace—with optimal pacing understood to be approximately 150 words per minute. With practice, you can achieve your speech fitness goals and ultimately improve how you speak! We practice, and tell our kids to practice, so many things. How about practicing how to be a powerful, persuasive, articulate speaker—the most pivotal skill that gets us what we need out of life? In our polarized society, there is so much to debate. Communication and debate are the keys to making civic life and civil discourse possible. There is no better time to join a speech and debate team—and to use all the tools available to unite our democracy.

GET THE APP | www.apple.co/1QBuByY LEARN MORE | www.sayitlikeso.com Audrey Mann Cronin is a communications and media strategist in technology, and the storyteller behind many of the biggest leaps forward in digital innovation. She is founder and president of Say It Media, Inc. and creator of its mobile app LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach, founder and president of Mann Cronin PR, and leads the community, Our Digital Daughters. Audrey is a graduate of Cornell University and mentor for Entrepreneurship@Cornell.

Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, Congress Interpretation, Original Oratory, and Extemp

Sessions for any schedule! Commuter and Residential options available

June 26 - July 9 Ft. Lauderdale

July 10 - July 23 Dallas


What is CBI? CBI is a two-week speech and debate workshop for high school students. Throughout the session, our



Sta to Student Ratio


students through unique seminars, practice rounds, and personalized

Every student gets the attention they deserve

coaching to improve persuasion, public


July 24 - August 6 Ft. Lauderdale


and performance skills.

What is a Champion? At CBI, becoming a Champion is about more than winning trophies. We teach students the leadership and advocacy skills that will be useful for the rest of their lives. While our approach doesn’t focus on trophies, CBI scholars have won




achieve incredible success at local, regional, and national tournaments.




LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION PROGRAM Summer Session Claremont Summer offers advanced communication training for academic and career success. The Claremont program uses the same instructional sessions, practice exercises, and curricular materials that its staff developed for higher education institutions, non-profit and government organizations, and businesses for training tens of thousands of individuals. Through the application of case studies, training simulations, and roundtable discussions with talented communicators from diverse fields – technology, higher education, politics, law, and finance – students will develop the ability to identify problems, draft memos and business plans offering technically achievable policy solutions, express vision, and motivate and manage others. In addition to social professional communication pitches, roundtable discussions, multimedia and extemporaneous speaking practices, the summer program integrates writing training from Claremont McKenna College’s Center for Writing and Public Discourse staff. Students will learn to craft clear, substantive résumés, prepare competitive college and academic essays, and explore discourse conventions to improve writing clarity and excellence. Students will participate in a summer academic conference directed to an important public policy matter. Summer students will engage keynote speakers in seminars, submit competitive papers, and make panel discussion and multimedia research presentations. In addition, students will organize community/school service projects in collaborations with faculty and non-profit organizations. Projects are evaluated by field and educational professionals. Students meet with admissions officers for insight into the college application process. 2017 Academic Term Conference The Claremont Colleges Debate Union sponsors an annual academic conference with a division for high school students. The Fall 2017 conference will focus on US Electoral Reform. Students may submit competitive papers, engage in panel discussions, participate in town hall meetings, and make multimedia presentations. High school students are eligible to participate in Claremont’s Civics in Action program, a social and political advocacy group promoting innovative ideas and workable, sustainable educational and community projects. The program includes individual and group presentation training and exercises developed for businesses, non-profit organizations, and higher education.

The Leadership Communication Program is one of 6 summer debate and professional communication sessions held at Claremont McKenna College. The residential/commuter sessions are available for middle and high school students each summer. Application and comprehensive Information is available at claremontsummer.org. There is online information describing the varied summer debate sessions. The summer high school leadership program is scheduled for July 8-17. The program includes participation in community/school project development, as well as a summer academic conference. LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION PROGRAMMING Claremont’s Civics in Action program features opportunities to learn management communication skills and participate in national and international leadership projects and conferences. Annual programming begins in November and continues throughout the academic year.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR John Meany Director of Forensics Claremont McKenna College Claremont Colleges Debate Union john.meany@cmc.edu


About the Public Debate Program

The Public Debate Program offers integrated class/critical thinking instruction and debate competition for secondary schools. Major educational and civil rights non-profit organizations in the US and abroad use PDP materials and programming for critical thinking, professional communication, language development, and girls’ and women’s empowerment instruction. The PDP proprietary competitive debate formats were designed by graduate education school faculty, secondary school administrators and teachers, and education and debate professionals. They were developed to maximize student educational outcomes and accelerate standards-based learning, as well as professional communication practice. The PDP promotes sophisticated public speaking, critical thinking, note taking, research, argumentation, and refutation skills. In 2016-17, the Public Debate Program will serve more than 800,000 teachers and students in 29 countries.

National Middle School/High School Debate Summer Sessions

Middle school and high school students may participate in MSPDP and HSPDP/CHSSA parliamentary debate programs. The summer residential/commuter debate sessions feature an extraordinarily innovative curriculum, low 4-1 student-faculty ratio, small group instruction, certified staff and judges for all program instruction, and student-directed elective and open forum sessions. The summer program integrates student assessment portfolios for individual feedback and best practices updates during the following academic year. Students may attend one or more than one session – all sessions are appropriate for new and advanced debaters.

International High School Debate Summer Session/Audition

The program is open to US and international high school students. Debaters from China, Japan, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuwait, UAE, India, Mexico, Jordan, and other countries have previously attended. Instruction includes preparation for international debating in 2 international debate formats – the World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) and World Parliamentary Debate (WPD) formats. In addition to the advantages of Claremont Summer programming (innovative curriculum, 4-1 student-faculty ratio, staff with years of international debate experience, studentdirected elective and open forum sessions), the program includes an integrated audition for Claremont’s International Public Debate Program (IPDP). The IPDP is an extraordinarily large, active, and successful program; its award-winning debaters have participated in tournaments and international exchanges in more than 20 countries. IPDP instruction and international competition assists students to succeed in WSDC competition. About half of the members of the NSDA’s WSDC debating squad previously participated in IPDP or other PDP debating.

Visit claremontsummer.org for information and applications


CLAREMONT SUMMER Residential/commuter sessions for 500 debate and leadership communication students. For comprehensive Information and applications, visit claremontsummer.org. MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBATE Three sessions, with training in the Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP) format. Comprehensive instruction in advanced public speaking and argumentation – appropriate for MSPDP and other debate formats. The third session includes a summer championship tournament. Session 1 – June 19-24 Session 2 – July 6-11 Session 3 – July 26-August 2 HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE Two sessions, one with training in the High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP) and California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) parliamentary debate formats and another session featuring international debate instruction in the World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) and World Parliamentary Debate (WPD) formats. National (HSPDP/CHSSA) – July 17-24 International (WSDC/WPD) – June 17-24

PROGRAM DIRECTOR John Meany Director of Forensics Claremont McKenna College Claremont Colleges Debate Union john.meany@cmc.edu


Looking Back

How Teams Across the Country Celebrated in 2017

by Annie Reisener


n March 3, 2017, we celebrated the teachers and students who are transforming tomorrow through speech and debate education. Members joined us in honoring the day in their schools and during tournaments around the country. The United States Senate officially recognized the value of speech and debate education in March. Co-sponsors Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Christopher Coons (D-Delaware) brought Senate Resolution 65 to the

floor. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the resolution recognizing March 3, 2017, as National Speech and Debate Education Day and honoring the hard work of our students and coaches. Thanks to the persistence of coach and student members at the local level, we also secured nearly 30 state resolutions and city proclamations this year! Teams from the Sagebrush and Golden Desert Districts had the chance to visit the Nevada legislature for a Day on the Hill.

Students from McQueen, Reno, Fernley, Meadows, Sage Ridge, Northern Nevada Homeschools, and Hug High School toured the capitol grounds, witnessed the proclamation recognizing March 3, and met with a number of elected officials, including legislators who have a background in speech and debate. “Speech and debate is life changing,” says Devon Reese, McQueen debate coach. “It teaches students how to be active participants in our democratic institutions. The critical skills they learn are an invaluable component of civic engagement.” The day is designed to bring awareness to the value of speech and debate activities, and also introduce students to the legislative process and their elected officials. “It’s important for students to meet with their legislators, especially those who are former competitors, because they may someday occupy the same offices, and students need to see themselves in their elected officials,” Devon says. As part of our celebration of the work speech and debate educators do to transform tomorrow, we

Teams from the Sagebrush District and the Golden Desert District visited the Nevada legislature for a Day on the Hill. 76


Coaches and members of the Eagan High School speech and debate team showcase the proclamation from the Minnesota State Legislature declaring March 3 as Speech and Debate Education Day.


Many of you shared

announced two inaugural award winners. Executive Director J. Scott Wunn traveled to Colorado to surprise National Educator of the Year Award recipient Renee Motter, while National Exemplary Student Service Award winner Delanya Storey celebrated her accomplishment with her team. You can read full profiles on these incredible individuals on pages 102 and 104. We asked students, coaches, and alumni like you from across the

heartwarming photos and testimonials on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #transformingtomorrow.


(continued on next page) @JBenton7 15

Finalists for National Educator of the Year include Joni Anker from Eagan High School, MN; Dario Camara from Western High School, FL; Clifton Davis from Hillcrest High School, ID; Renee Motter from Air Academy High School, CO; and Cheryl Potts from Clark High School and Plano Senior High School, TX. Renee Motter was selected as the 2017 recipient and is featured in this month’s Coach Profile (see page 102). Finalists for the National Exemplary Student Service Award include Kylie Almeida from Widefield High School, CO; Victoria Bevard from Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, VA; Chloe Dennison from Asheville High School, NC; Andres Mata from Salina South High School, KS; Delanya Storey from Jefferson County IB School, AL; and Henry Lininger from South Eugene High School, OR. Delanya Storey was selected as the 2017 recipient and is featured in this month’s Student Spotlight (see page 104).

For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org/nsde-day. ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 77

(left) Bradley Whitford spoke about the benefits of speech and debate education, the power of communication, and the valuable work that coaches do every day. (opposite, top to bottom) Arizona, Utah, Iowa, and Tennessee passed state resolutions in 2017. (below, clockwise from top) State resolutions passed in South Carolina, New York, California, and Indiana.

country to share your stories and “tell us why you love speech and debate.” Members also participated in online polling activities on March 3, answering several prompts including 1) “What have you gained from speech and debate?” 2) “Describe your coach in one word!” and 3) “How do you get pumped up for competition?” We released a series of public service announcements from speech and debate parent and classically trained actor, Bradley Whitford. You can see the videos at www.speechanddebate.org/ nsde-day. Students and alumni from 47 different states and Morocco also celebrated the day by signing up to send special “Thank A Teacher Grams” expressing gratitude and appreciation toward their coaches and teachers. Our staff is already making plans for next year’s celebration, so mark your calendars for March 2, 2018!

Annie Reisener serves as Operations Coordinator for the NSDA.



“If you want to become a politician, news anchor, or Oprah, join your school’s speech and debate team.” — Bradley Whitford, actor

Describe your coach in one word!

United States Senate Resolution 65 A resolution designating March 3, 2017, as “National Speech and Debate Education Day”. Whereas it is essential for youth to learn and practice the art of communicating, with and apart from technology; Whereas speech and debate education offers students myriad forms of public speaking through which to develop their talents and exercise their unique voice and character; Whereas speech and debate gives students the 21st century skills of communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration; Whereas important ideas, texts, and philosophies have the opportunity to flourish when they have been analyzed critically and communicated effectively; Whereas personal, professional, and civic interactions are enhanced by their participants’ abilities to listen, concur, question, and even dissent with reason and compassion; Whereas students who participate in speech and debate have chosen a challenging activity that requires regular practice, dedication, and hard work; Whereas teachers and coaches of speech and debate devote in-school, after-school, and weekend hours to equip students with life-changing skills and opportunities; Whereas National Speech and Debate Education Day emphasizes the lifelong impact of providing citizens with the confidence and preparation to both discern and share their views; Whereas National Speech and Debate Education Day acknowledges that most achievements, celebrations, commemorations, and pivotal moments in modern history begin, end, or are crystallized with public address; Whereas National Speech and Debate Education Day recognizes that learning to research, construct, and present an argument is integral to personal advocacy, social movements, and the making of public policy; Whereas the National Speech & Debate Association, in conjunction with national and local partners, honors and celebrates the importance of speech and debate through National Speech and Debate Education Day; and Whereas National Speech and Debate Education Day emphasizes the importance of speech and debate instruction and its integration across grade levels and disciplines: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate— (1) designates March 3, 2017, as ‘National Speech and Debate Education Day’; (2) strongly affirms the purposes of National Speech and Debate Education Day; and (3) encourages educational institutions, businesses, community and civic associations, and all citizens to celebrate and promote National Speech and Debate Education Day.



Women in Debate:

The Summer Experience by Cindi Timmons

Author’s Note: Throughout this article, for the ease of communication and clarity, we use terms and labels like “girl” and “woman.” This article is inclusive of our trans, gender non-binary, femme-presenting, and/or identifying members and their experiences as women in speech and debate.


ur exploration of the issues faced by women in debate began with looking at overall participation, the classroom, and then competition.1 Now we are going to examine women pursuing debate opportunities in the summer: the camp/ institute/seminar/workshop experience. Summer offers unique opportunities for speech and debate students. While some students go to summer camp as a way to spend time away from home, other students understand that the key to success in the upcoming tournament season often requires extra work during the summer months. Away from home, often staying in college residential settings, students face different challenges, both academic and personal. There is the challenge of new material, sometimes in a competitive atmosphere, with different rules in place. There are new people to meet, both students and instructors. These unique experiences culminate in a setting where behavioral consequences can be far more serious.



than at home or in their local school.

“We have passed the time to merely ‘add women and stir’ to the formula comprising the debate workshop experience. We must recognize that gender is not something which accessorizes an identity but rather constitutes a fundamental lens through which an individual experiences the world.” — Bekah Boyer, former debater and an assistant coach from Texas

For the purpose of our exploration, we will use the terms debate camp, institute, seminar, and workshop interchangeably to mean those summer training experiences that are outside the school year and offer instruction from someone other than the student’s school coach. While exact enrollment numbers are difficult to determine, it is clear that tens of thousands of students attend summer speech and debate programs in the United States. Some are in large settings, with hundreds of students in attendance, while other programs serve smaller groups. Most are for-profit and charge fees to cover expenses, such as paying for staff and facilities. A few are registered as non-profits and exist on donations and sponsorships. While there are also online opportunities for summer instruction, this article is most concerned with residential options, focusing on those programs teaching competitive debate as opposed to summer courses that teach academic debate for course credit. While there are countless types

of programs with a multitude of diverse goals, ultimately, all programs seek to provide additional debate instruction and training outside of the school experience.

How do we improve the experience of women in these summer settings? Bekah Boyer, a former debater and an assistant debate coach in Texas, notes: We have passed the time to merely “add women and stir” to the formula comprising the debate workshop experience. We must recognize that gender is not something which accessorizes an identity but rather constitutes a fundamental lens through which an individual experiences the world: these lived experiences both aggregate and remain unequivocally unique— nevertheless, these nuanced issues can no longer be written off as singular exceptions. Gender-based and sexual harassment within the debate community are empirically undeniable and that includes during the summer. The fact is, we cannot separate the experiences of women at debate institutes from the experiences of women in debate, both in the classroom and in competition. In the course of this article, we will have an honest discussion about the problems women experience at camp and offer ways to potentially improve the experiences of all women in these summer settings.

It is important to continue these types of conversations in the summer. As Mariah*, 16, writes: I think there should be more open discussions and more importance placed on the issue of gender equality and representation in this space. I think a lot of debaters recognize it as important, but

secondary. This space needs to be one in which we actively try to recognize female voices. Too often when I look at the listing for outrounds of big bid tournaments, I only ever see a handful of women in the mix. I’ve been called emotional, rash, bitchy, whiney, and a slew of other words by both judges and opponents. The community needs to facilitate environments that make it clear that this type of treatment is unacceptable. We should listen to one another. We should listen without doubt or skepticism or preconceived notions or expectations. We should take the time to have the difficult conversations. This has to start with staff members realizing that the way they choose to handle sexism in the debate space directly trickles down to how their debaters will instinctively learn to respond to the very same problems.

What issues do women face as they participate in summer experiences? Kara*, 17: Both years of camp experience drastically improved my knowledge and application of debate both technically and theoretically. Something I noticed was the vast lack of female representation both in leaders and also in campers attending. The experience at camp was overall a positive learning experience. However, the process of learning and practicing at camp was occasionally unnecessarily competitive, unsupportive, and (dare I say) cliquey. Nala*, 16: I attended camp and as a trans person of color (POC), I felt very discriminated against. A lot of the talk about women in debate was very hetero normative and trans exclusive. I felt like my life wasn’t being validated.

Other women report feeling like they had to be better than the boys to be seen as being as good, that they wanted more females in leadership, that they wish they’d had a female lab leader, that conversations about women in debate were common but could be better by allowing more discussion and reflection, and that the summer programs largely represented the same challenges they faced in debate during the school year. A number of them noted that programs with a national circuit culture felt more toxic than others, leaving them with greater feelings of exclusion.

What can be done to make these summer experiences better for women, and as a corollary, better for all?

Structure of the Institute To begin, let’s examine the issues that should be considered by institute directors as they prepare for summer.

Legal Concerns Liability is an important concern in all student settings. Summer programs led by individuals who have not fully explored the legal requirements may lack the proper protections for students, staff, and the institute. Instructors and staff should check with directors on what protections exist for them, and parents should make sure these questions are resolved satisfactorily before sending their children. These may include at a minimum: • Mandatory background checks performed by an external agency • Child abuse and mandatory reporting information • Harassment and sexual assault information These training requirements are not suggesting that summer experiences present unique danger; rather, they are to ensure that adults in a supervisory capacity know what to do if presented with information about an occurrence,

* Named sources participated in interviews for the purpose of sharing their thoughts in this article. Others participated in an online survey; only first names and ages are used, but names have been changed to respect privacy.


even if it happened prior to the student’s arrival. Instructors who are professional educators have likely had this training, but directors will want to make sure everyone has received the same information. Younger staff members will need to be informed as to expectations and requirements. Institute directors should create a faculty handbook outlining professional standards for staff, including setting appropriate boundaries between staff and students. Procedures should be established and communicated regarding reporting of any concerns. A student code of conduct should be part of the registration process. Finally, as the safety of our students is always paramount, a proactive program should have counseling resources available, should students find themselves in need.

Safety Concerns The program’s safety features should be explored and shared fully, with an emergency health care plan in place, along with first aid access. We all know it is necessary for people to be trained to handle emergencies, like asthma attacks or food allergies. But what does a camp employee do if a student is too weak to go to a lesson because of endometriosis? What is supposed to happen if harassment or assault occurs? These should be shared at the first staff meeting and with all participants. Everyone should know the procedures for fire safety, tornado shelter, and lock-down situations. Emergency phone numbers should be accessible to all. The most important concern of any summer program should be the safety and wellbeing of all participants.

Inclusivity All staff members should be trained to express inclusivity in all messaging. This is an easy step that camps can take to be welcoming and accommodating to all students, but particularly to women. Registration forms can be gender-neutral. Dorm rooms and bathrooms should be assigned with respect for student



self-identification in mind. Rules should be gender-neutral; for example, no one can be in dorm rooms with doors closed except for roommates—genders don’t have to be specified. Dress guidelines, to the degree they exist, should be genderneutral.

Information for Parents The reality is that many parents are

unfamiliar with debate and rely on coaches or internet ads when making important decisions about summer camps. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask tough questions, and coaches should offer camp recommendations that provide appropriate supervision, instructional leadership, and behavioral expectations on the part of staff and students (see below).

Important Considerations in Camp Selection Parents should know what questions to ask, coaches should recommend camps with appropriate answers to these questions, and camp directors should make this information readily available to their campers. The following questions created for the LincolnDouglas Education Project a few years ago can serve as a guide: • What are the specific academic objectives of the workshop? How does the workshop accomplish those objectives? • Who are the directors of the workshop? What are their credentials to address the needs of high school students? Does the workshop have insurance and individuals on staff to deal with health and other noncurricular issues that may arise? • What are the qualifications of the staff members working with my student? Will my student have access to a diverse group of teachers? • What boundaries are enforced between students and staff, and who enforces them? What are a workshop’s official policies in this area, and what is its unofficial reputation? How exactly has the workshop enforced these policies in the past? • What are the behavioral expectations of students, who enforces them, and how strictly? Does the workshop place younger staff members in positions of authority concerning disciplinary issues? • How are students supervised at different times of day? Are students, for example, required to be at all scheduled academic functions, or are they permitted to skip some? Are there blocks of unsupervised time in the evening or on weekends? • How does the schedule balance academics, play, and rest? How much time will a student spend studying debate? • Does the workshop have a history and policy of encouraging students to respect the decisions of their coaches and families? Are all staff trained and committed to follow such policies? • Does the workshop teach anything, stylistically or substantively, that I would not want my student to learn? • What are the workshop’s true costs? Are there other optional or required fees for applications, airport transportation, photocopies, field trips, workshop souvenirs, or books for reading groups? Does the board fee include all meals from the student’s arrival to their departure, or must some meals be covered by the student out-of- pocket? How much spending money do students need?

Financial Aid and Scholarships Most summer experiences charge fees, which can easily be several thousand dollars when you include staff compensation, classroom or meeting space, room and board, and travel expenses. Ava*, 17, expresses the need for many students: All camps need to offer need-based scholarships. The truth is that most debaters cannot afford to go to camp. Merit-based scholarships are great, but they tend to favor powerhouse school students. Women in debate feel that unless they are exceptional, they will not have a place in the community. Camp solidifies connections and friendships along with arming debaters with the tools they need to be successful. Until camp is accessible, gender inequalities will persist on national circuits. Angelique Ronald, debate instructor from Bakersfield, California, suggests: The accessibility of camp financially flows into the accessibility of camp perceptually: it is vital for workshops and camps to reach out and facilitate options for girls in events which women are traditionally underrepresented. One simple way to do this is to offer specialized scholarships in events like Policy Debate or International Extemporaneous Speaking.

Hiring of Staff The most important feature affecting a student’s experience at a summer program is the staff they encounter. Chase Williams, one-diamond coach from Hawken School in Ohio and a director with the Institute for Speech and Debate, notes: We have to make sure that our institute contractors meet the same high standard that we expect of educators in any role... One of our primary marketing arguments is that we ensure that every lab has a senior faculty member with classroom

experience leading the lab... As the camp business grows to include camps that are literally started, run, and organized by ONLY college students, I think we as the adults in this community need to speak up and say that we expect more. Angelique believes: Representation of women in camp leadership positions is vitally important. While strong, female leadership presents mentorship and role model opportunities for attendees, it also provides a key safety check: when women are present, girls may feel safer to express their concerns if something does make them uncomfortable or feel unsafe. Karly*, 19, former debater and a camp counselor, offers the following advice: Hiring women and POC who you think will actively...challenge norms, even if they may challenge your way of thought, is important. Reaching out to people who weren’t quite as good at debate as kids who went to big schools, but have things to offer due to their unique experiences (e.g., small school debaters, POC from small states, disenfranchised schools, or those who had a few bid rounds) is important as students will be able to relate to them [and] they can provide different insights. Having female chaperones or at least a coach for women at tournaments is crucial, as well. Taking the time to have platforms for marginalized groups in the community and

preventing their voices from being co-opted by other voices, helping people feel more open about talking to staff (e.g., being very explicit about having staff who are friendly and good counselors rather than just focusing on who is “good at debate”), having mentor groups for more one-on-one attention, and actively listening to staff and students and not being afraid to reprimand and fire staff/students because of their harsh activities, no matter the consequences, is important. Often, some of the most well-rounded camp instruction comes by way of staff members who are themselves parents, but this often creates an unintentional conflict with regard to accommodating child care for the staff. Dave Huston, four-diamond coach from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas and an NSDA Board Member, observes that childcare creates a logistical concern for parents considering working at a camp. Creating programs that allow parents of either gender to work with students during the day and then spend time with their children at night would increase the likelihood that more seasoned educators and parents get involved in summer programs. Alternatively, child care compensation packages for teachers to bring their children to camp and use local day care might be an option worth exploring.

Curriculum and Instruction The design of the curriculum forms the basis for the academic conversations that will occur at camp. Aaron Timmons, fourdiamond coach from Greenhill School in Texas and Director of the Global Debate Symposium, notes programs should offer a diverse body of literature on feminism to encompass multiple views. Discussions should avoid taking a monolithic white feminist stance. Chase elaborates: As an institute owner, I know that one thing I am constantly thinking about is how to ensure our faculty


student education in a way that respects the individual’s identity and perspective.

is as diverse as possible and that women on our faculty feel included and supported in all aspects of camp. One thing that we do that I think is helpful is we have our junior faculty rotate through labs so that different perspectives are consistently being shared with students. I’m sure this is not possible in every institute setting, but I think highlighting the importance of diverse perspectives in instruction would be good. How an institute does that is their choice—but we should all be encouraging them to make sure that students have access to diverse perspectives (not only limited to gender) and feel like those perspectives are valued by the leadership of the institute, etc. Tara Tate, three-diamond coach and experienced lab leader from Glenbrook South High School, Illinois, offers: It should go without saying that administrators of institutes should be proactive and cognizant about hiring faculty and staff members who are gender diverse and making sure those hires are spread out through the various labs. As a lab leader, gender issues should be discussed at the first lab meeting. Articulating what gender



harassment is and what type of behavior is not tolerated in lab is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the institute. For some of the younger students, this may truly be their first exposure to a discussion of this issue. Lab leaders should put on their “educator” hats and use this discussion as a teaching moment, not a disciplinary discussion. Lab leaders should also focus on everything from partner pairings to who they are calling in during lab lectures and discussions. Having a “gender lens” on every type of interaction with the students is important and can be transformative. As a lab leader, are you calling on the male students more often? Are male students dominating the conversations? Do your pairings of partners allow for the women in your lab to feel empowered and not overshadowed? Are the examples of research you are choosing for group lab activities inclusive of female authors? Are women debaters included in any live or recorded demonstration debates you are selecting? As a lecturer, are you being cognizant of which gender you constantly choose in your hypothetical examples? Along with promoting diverse perspectives is the need to promote

Angelique reflects: Let’s be honest: A lot of the more alarming stuff we hear is born in the camp setting when an 18-yearold lab leader decides it is fun to teach their group of 15-year-old students something shocking. While discourse for discourse’s sake is good, we have an obligation to promote responsible rhetoric. The arguments uttered don’t disappear when the ballot is signed; these are the social norms and ideologies we are promoting in perpetuity. Camps particularly have a duty to promote responsible content. An example of this kind of irresponsible and even dangerous content came about for me last year. I coached a student who attended a highly-acclaimed camp in the summer before her freshman year, and they worked on the LD topic, “Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.” When this student showed me her case, I was shocked. While this girl is the daughter of immigrants herself, her negative case was all about how immigrants contribute nothing to our society, they commit violent crimes, they’re a drain on America, etc. It was not just an anti-immigration case, it was an anti-immigrant case. I looked at this sweet, smart, and genuinely innocent kid and said, “Sweetheart, do you actually believe what you’re saying here?” She paused, put her head down, and said softly, “Of course not. My parents are amazing, good people, and so are all of the other immigrants I know. But my camp leader told us this was the best argument, the only one that would win, so I wrote my case that way.” Arguments matter. The integrity of rhetoric matters. Forensic educators have a responsibility to understand the greater impact

of the lessons we impart on our students. As a coach, I would like to see more camps work on this idea, particularly when it comes to training newer and especially younger staff members.

Campus Life Summer debate programs all involve the responsible supervision of teenagers. Experienced educators are needed who can spot potential problems and intervene before they escalate. Appropriate boundaries between staff and students prevent inappropriate relationships from developing. There is a difference between being a mentor and a friend. Honor codes and/or student codes of conduct need to be in place with enforced legal agreements. Staff members cannot afford to turn a blind eye to behavior and should realize that for every reported concern there are undoubtedly more concerns not being reported. Sleeping rooms should be off limits to others, and common spaces should be utilized for gatherings. Segregated floors, which offer gender-neutral options, should be structured to provide everyone necessary privacy and respected space. When possible, teaching staff and dorm staff should be different to reflect the different roles and duty times required for appropriate supervision. Students should know to whom they can report concerns, and those people need to be available 24/7 for emergencies.

Discussing Gender Issues Summer camps offer the opportunity for extended dialogue, feedback, and reflection about student experiences. As Kristin*, age 26, suggests: I believe that gender equality needs to be discussed in a tangible and relatable setting. There needs to be an open dialogue to speak about the issues directly affecting debaters, what these issues mean, and how

to address them both in and out of the debate room. Furthermore, if people do not feel comfortable with airing their experiences, there should be room for confidential discussions with counselors. All in all, there needs to be space for these discussions. Contributors to this article would like to see discussions at camps specifically address the experiences of women in debate: a space where students can discuss what they’ve experienced safely (with responsible adults listening and facilitating) and share with one another in a way that makes everybody realize they aren’t alone. The key to change is removing alienation. When people realize they aren’t alone, they can band together with other like-minded folks and actually create positive change. Training for the facilitators is important here as it is essential that complaints aren’t met with victim blaming or other negative feedback that shuts down dialogue. Tara explains: Having been a facilitator, participant, and observer in several of these conversations, I believe the primary focus should be to make sure there are practical tools discussed with which the women can feel empowered. It is certainly necessary to have part of the discussion be about detailing experiences. Having the women feel they are part of a shared collective can be very empowering in and of itself. I think the discussion becomes the richest when educators and college debaters can give suggestions of how the women debaters can advocate for themselves in lab, in rounds, and in their squad rooms back at home. As an educator, I always try to have a few talking points to lead students to these tools. To be frank, though, the women often tell us what specific areas they need the most assistance with in advocating for themselves. The ad hoc

suggestions given by other women in the conversation are often the most fruitful. We certainly discuss the infrastructure of reporting that exists at summer institute if students are facing problems. We have discussed existing sexual harassment policies that can be found online that debaters can suggest to their coaches to hang in their squad rooms back home. We have discussed a variety of team-building activities that the debaters can take home for the women on their squad. For women who do not have female coaches, we have discussed female coaches in their area who could be possible mentors. We have talked about tactics that women can take in debate rounds when sexism occurs, such as how to handle a poorly executed cross-examination or a judge that only talks to the male participants. The conversation should be loose, but guided. While it’s cathartic to share, a massive “dump session” fails to equip students with tools needed to process their experiences or techniques to equalize the public space. For workshops held on college campuses, women’s equity centers have credentialed staff who often will help guide discussions like this for free or who would be willing to provide resources for summer programs on their sites. Specific topics could include: speaker point disparity, communication differences, speaking without compromising identity, coded language, harassment, consent, and what to do when unwanted or discriminatory attention is experienced. After all, these aren’t just good life lessons for debate: they are life lessons these women will have to use for the rest of their lives.

In Closing The issues that confront women in society continue to affect women in summer debate programs, but that does not mean that every activity should be


BEST PRACTICES directed at those issues; after all, women attend summer programs to learn more about debate. Providing a supportive environment during the summer enhances their experience. Ava reminds us: We cannot put pressure on women in debate to have the world on their shoulders. This pushes us away. At camp, I want to be treated like a student and not as a “femme debater” or however debaters identify each other. Camp has to be a place where women can learn without the stigma that follows them at tournaments. The summer debate experience has become so integral to competitive debate that any real effort in making this important activity more accessible to women must include greater awareness, thoughtful discussion, and careful implementation of the core ideas mentioned above. Accessibility should be the goal in all of the settings we have discussed: in classrooms, in competitions, and in summer camps. Mindy*, 28, closes our conversation with this thought: Seeing more women in the debate space would do wonders for the activity. It’s a very small step, but I think the most readily achievable. I would hope that camps start to realize how critical women are to the debate space in order to cultivate equality.

End Note 1

Previous Rostrum articles in this series include “Women in Forensics” (Fall 2013), “Improving Access for Women in the Debate Classroom” (Fall 2016), and “Women in Competitive Forensics” (Winter 2017).

Cindi Timmons has been involved in debate for more than 40 years. She is a three-diamond coach from Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas.



The Women’s Debate Institute (WDI) mission is to advocate for and facilitate a more genderinclusive environment that advances educational and professional opportunities for marginalized gender identities. The WDI’s flagship program is a five-day institute that will be held August 5-9, 2017, at the Audubon Center for the Northwoods.

Apply online by May 17, 2017:


In 2014, the WDI created “Women in Debate: A Best Practices Manual” as a part of an ongoing effort to communicate the issues that diverse women encounter in debate. To read the complete document, visit https://goo.gl/500Rs0. For questions or suggestions about the guide, please email womensdebateinstitute@gmail.com. Below is a brief excerpt from the manual.

Strategies to Address Sexism 4. Be an “active bystander” Most people in the debate community see sexist behavior happening and are not sure how to respond. It’s useful to develop strategies in advance so we can engage constructively with others. MIT has developed a set of strategies for being an “Active Bystander” when you witness discrimination. Some of these are reproduced below; there is a full list as well as resources for implementing these strategies online at http://web.mit.edu/bystanders/strategies/index.html.


The Global Debate Symposium has the most experienced staff of any workshop in the United States with some of the best active teachers and coaches in the activity. The senior staff utilizes this expertise to construct a rigorous curriculum that respects the diverse learning styles of teenagers as they mentor younger staff to transition from outstanding debaters to instructors. Lincoln-Douglas Debate Two weeks - - - July 2 – 15 - - $2700 Three weeks - July 2 – 22 - - $3700

Kritik Lab Colorado College

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AT GDS WE PRACTICE: X Superior Curriculum and Instruction

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Public Forum Debate Two weeks - - - July 2 – 15 - -$2700 Three weeks - July 2 – 22 - - $3700

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X Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competence

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“You Just Have to Try”

by R. Shane Stafford and Sandra J. Berkowitz, Ph.D. Editor’s Note: For ease of communication and clarity, the authors use the term or label “women” throughout. This article is inclusive of our trans, gender non-binary, femmepresenting, and/or identifying members as women in speech and debate.


hen we think about bridging the gap, there are oh so many different things we can focus on in the debate and speech community. We would like to focus on one specific gap, and to do so, we will start with a story. Like many of you, I (Shane) spent this past Presidents’ Day weekend at a debate tournament. As we moved into elimination rounds, I once again did what I often do and looked at the representation of women on the panels. What can be found? Too few women. Is this a problem? Yes. Absolutely, yes. Hasn’t this been addressed in years past? Yes. Then, why is this still a problem? That is the question we all need to examine. Before going on, permit us a moment to explore why we are writing about this issue. As many of you know, providing balance on panels in elimination rounds— in terms of both women and people of color—is central to our philosophy at the Blake debate tournament that we host every year in Minnesota. While this article focuses on women, by no means do we want to diminish the importance of examining the number of people of color in elimination rounds. We can only hope that others will begin that discussion in the pages of Rostrum and

elsewhere. But, for now, we will focus on the disproportionately few number of women often represented in elimination rounds. Here, in an informal survey, are some numbers taken from three of the largest tournaments held on Presidents’ Day weekend. Check out the numbers across three tournaments and three formats of debate. These are not perfect numbers as there are likely errors on our part for assuming a gender given a name, but we hope they can serve to provide decent, if rough, estimates for the purposes of discussion.¹ And even if you use a margin of error to indicate the number of women on panels was higher, it is still fairly sad. Take a look below. We tend to think the numbers speak for themselves.2 There is a problem.

Why are the numbers so low? Policy tab rooms will tell you they are following mutual preference judging (MPJ) and that is the reason for these numbers. The search for the perfect panel of three “1” ranked judges is often given as the reason for these numbers. We offer two responses. First, tab staff should be instructed to look at the panels before release and search for women who can be added. It is worth the time it takes to scan the data for a few minutes. Women can be found. Second, what about giving a mutual “2” or “3” ranked judge? If it adds a woman, can we agree to at least try that? It is notable that the one place where women were more greatly represented in a 3/6 semifinal and a 3/3 final was a more critical form of Policy Debate. But, again, that merely opens another discussion. What about Public Forum Debate? Public Forum is designed for community judges. There is no MPJ. Most tournaments offer a minimum number of strikes only. Why aren’t Public Forum panels more balanced? We don’t think it is because tab staff don’t care. Rather, we would argue it is because they are not thinking about it. Make it a priority! Shouldn’t Public Forum panels, given the orientation of the event, represent the community? Here are some suggestions. First, for tournament directors, tell your tab staff to look at this element—whatever your solution, tell them to look and try to balance gender on panels. Make a

Women on Debate Elimination Judging Panels: An Informal Presidents’ Day Weekend Tournament Sample 2 Division Format







22 / 96

8 / 45

5 / 24

2 / 12



9 / 45

13 / 72

7 / 36

3 / 15


Public Forum

13 / 54

6 / 48

2 / 24

4 / 16

3 / 10


44 / 195 (22.6%)

27 / 165 (16.4%)

14 / 84 (16.7%)

9 / 43 (20.9%)

6 / 22 (27.3%)

1 Our goal is to open a conversation, which needs to extend beyond the duality represented here. We are eager to hear other voices and points of view. In our opinion, the lack of women is a problem that needs to be addressed within the community. We apologize for any errors made. 2 These numbers are reflective of the panels published on Tabroom.com. The numerator is assumed women (based on name) and the denominator is the total number of judges in that round. We regret any errors due to changes in judges made after the posting or in our own calculations.


mindful and purposeful decision about the process and goals prior to the tournament. Second, for coaches prior to the tournament, consider the basis on which you make decisions on strikes or ranks. What are the qualities that make a “problematic� judge? Be honest. When you do your MPJ rankings, take a second look and do a little math. How many women do you have in your first tier of judges? How about your second tier, etc.? Third, for coaches and students during a tournament, consider this when you do strike cards. We had a moment in a late elim round of the TOC recently where we made our strike, and it was



the only woman on the panel. Our coaching staff realized this and asked the students to reconsider given that fact. The students understood and the strike was changed. It was a moment of learning for everyone. Fourth, for tournament directors, spend your hired judging money on women and people of color. Increase their presence in the pool. This is true for all forms of debate. As we said initially, this is just the beginning of an important and much needed conversation. Discuss this with your coaching staff, with your coaching colleagues, with your students. Students, voice your ideas, for you are

the folks who are developing your skills to persuade whomever is in the back of the room. The bottom line is: we need to eliminate the gap in our debate elimination judge panels. You just need to try!

R. Shane Stafford is Director of Debate at The Blake School in Minnesota. He also serves as a Board Member of the National Debate Coaches Association. Sandra J. Berkowitz, Ph.D., serves as Debate Coach at The Blake School in Minnesota. She also coaches the USA Debate team with her husband Shane.



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OPINION Crossing the Judge and Student Divide:

A Plea for Post-Round Disclosure by David Weston


recently attended a local tournament where we participated in three events: Policy, LincolnDouglas, and Public Forum. The kids were excited about their rounds and, as is customary, all of them believed that they won every debate. One Public Forum team was convinced that they had outwitted all the teams they’d competed against. When it came time for awards, these students sat expecting to hear their names announced to the crowded cafeteria. To their surprise, they were not mentioned. Befuddled, they said to our coaching staff, “We don’t understand! We thought we were doing so well!” It became apparent that a push for disclosure was needed. Post-round disclosure is somewhat taboo in various parts of the country. It also varies by event. Some concerns are purely pragmatic—the desire to keep tournaments running on time being chief among them. Other reasons are more philosophical in nature, such as wanting to keep teams in suspense until the final awards and ballots are handed out. I can understand that. I remember vividly waiting in a packed auditorium for a local coach to announce who would qualify to a national championship. The anticipation would build. Students were on their toes hoping to hear their names called. It was exciting! There was something



Disclosure tells students that while the ballot might determine a win or a loss, the most important part of the round is reflecting on its substance.

emotional and memorable about those experiences. However, if debate is to reflect its most important values, we need to embrace post-round disclosure in all events as a best practice. In most academic environments, students are taught to refine their work before submitting it for evaluation. Most of us probably do this with case writing. Students write cases, they have peers review them, coaches evaluate the merits, and practice debates take place. We encourage our students to

grow in their argumentation, reasoning, quality of evidence, and rhetorical strategies. In English classes, teachers give feedback on rough drafts before final edits are done for a research paper. Math teachers comment on the use of formulas prior to the big exam. Shouldn’t we extend this logic to tournaments, as well? Debaters don’t really know what a judge is going to think about a case until they deploy it in a competitive round. They don’t know how other teams will respond to arguments until the speeches are given. One of the values in debating is that students interact with a diverse group of competitors and argue in front of various judges with different perspectives. This forces students to think on their feet, evaluate competing claims, ask questions, employ reason, and articulate comparisons. Sometimes debaters are wildly successful at this. Other times they are not. Most of the time, they are somewhere in between. The moment immediately following the round is the ideal time for constructive conversations. The debate is still salient in the minds of our students. Judges have an opportunity to point out ways that debaters excelled and places for improvement. Students can take notes on why they won or lost. When it comes to their next round, they can reflect on these comments

and make adjustments to improve their craft. Growth can occur multiple times over as debaters consistently incorporate judge feedback so that each debate is better than the last. Without this instructive feedback, students must figure out for themselves what went right or wrong. Debaters won’t know what to do differently in the next round if our judges do not tell them. All of us can agree that we encourage students to debate because of the tremendous skills developed, not because of the trophies. Trophies are nice, but ultimately it is the experience that drives students to continue. That being said, we need to foreground the educational benefits of debate by promoting disclosure. Disclosure tells students that while the ballot might determine a win or a loss, the most important part of the round is reflecting on its substance. Learning by adapting argumentation is the core of our activity. Disclosure makes sure that students have the feedback to adapt. It also allows them to ask questions so they can further understand ways to improve. These conversations are vital to the development of critical thinkers and should happen in the moment. A lot of coaches think that the responsibility should be on the students to do the leg work in improving argumentation. To that end, it is claimed that making ballots available to students provides enough feedback so that students can adjust for the next tournament. There is some validity to this idea. The best debaters in a region will go through their ballots after every tournament and figure out ways to change moving forward. But what are these students supposed to do in the meantime? Should they have to wait until the next tournament to strive for improvement? Imagine how much better debates could be if students only had to wait until the next round, rather than the next tournament, to incorporate judges’ comments! On top of that, educators know that ballots are relatively insufficient in contextualizing skill development.

Tabroom.com has improved this immensely by allowing more extensive feedback to be written. However, ballots don’t create a back-and-forth interaction that facilitates genuine understanding. There is something to be said for human connection here. It is the reason that our students don’t simply hop on Skype with their judges and debate over the internet. Interaction among students and judges is critical to developing mentorship and pedagogical relationships. There is a valuable time period for these conversations to happen, and it is immediately after the round has been decided.

Debate is an extension of the classroom, and we should treat it as such.

We should also note that some students live very busy lives. They are spending several weekends at tournaments, juggling large course loads, and making up work due to school being missed. Some are working to help save money for a debate institute or need to take care of siblings. Not to mention, they are bombarded by social media and information vying for their attention. Our students might simply not have the time to comb extensively through ballots. Even when they can, we should all admit that something gets lost in translation. We can read into ballot themes that were never intended or miss some inflection point that wasn’t clearly underscored. While most of our activity centers on debaters, the judge’s role

deserves attention, too. Disclosure makes judging better. Educators don’t assign a grade to student work and then tell the students never to meet with them after school. We don’t put red ink to an essay and inform students that we will not provide further feedback for that student if they need it. Why would we do the same thing in debate? Debate is an extension of the classroom, and we should treat it as such. Having judges disclose means that those critics will need to explain their own reasoning to the students. They will be more reflective and insightful knowing that a conversation is bound to occur about the round. Adults will hear themselves think and develop paradigms as they explain the way they evaluate rounds. As a judge, teaching the students by explaining one’s rationale can help the judge articulate a cogent philosophy to be used in future debates. Judges can gain knowledge about themselves and how they see argumentation. This team I mentioned at the start ended up going 0-4. They thought they went 4-0. Now admittedly, the brunt of that responsibility lies with the debaters. However, we can do better to help students adjust and improve. A system designed to give students feedback in real time through disclosure can promote immediate changes. Those changes lead to better debates, which is something both students and judges can appreciate.

David Weston is co-head debate coach at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where students participate in Congressional, Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, and Public Forum Debate. He teaches in the Media, Speech, and Theatre Department as well as in the Social Studies Department. David is an executive board member of the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) and president of the Illinois Debate Coaches Association.


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Showcases and Soup Dumplings: Team USA Travels to L.A. and Singapore by Ella Michaels and Ellie Grossman


etween bouts of mono and heat exhaustion, 17 online practice rounds peppered with occasional technical difficulties, and the monumental task of consuming 70 soup dumplings between six students in one sitting, January and February were exhausting but incredible months for USA Debate. In those eight whirlwind weeks, we debated more than 30 rounds across two continents and four time zones. In January, all nine members and three coaches planned to travel to Los Angeles for the Harvard-Westlake Debates and a couple of public showcases, but while it takes a lot to keep a USA debater away from a tournament, mono will do the trick. One member got sick at the last minute, leaving one team a person short. Luckily, four members of the USA Development Team also traveled to L.A. for the competition, and “D-Team” member Matthew May (’18) stepped up and filled in. After a few days of debate,

Team USA closed out semifinals and the top three speaker positions, but our weekend was far from over. The morning after wrapping up at our own tournament, we had the opportunity to experience the other side of a debate round by judging a Middle School Parliamentary tournament at HarvardWestlake. We saw a lot of ourselves in the competitors, and not just because they competed in a familiar, dynamic three-on-three format very similar to World Schools Debate. “It was fantastic to see young debaters excel in really challenging topics, and have such indepth discussions,” said Aditya Dhar (’17). The up and coming speakers thoroughly impressed Dhar, who added, “The future of debate looks absolutely amazing!” That evening, we put on our blue debate outfits and donned our omnipresent flag pins to speak about charter schools at the annual Martin Luther King Day Civil Rights Forum. One team member had actually attended the forum the previous year and got to debate in front of an audience she had once been a part of. She hopes that watching the forum will inspire new people to pursue debate and maybe lead others to become a part of the national team.

The next morning, we traded in our blue outfits for red ones to debate another public showcase at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. (Say what you will about Team USA, few rival our color coordination game.) This showcase centered around school choice and educational civil rights­—timely issues given that L.A.’s school board elections were just weeks away. “It was an absolute pleasure and honor returning to The Reagan Presidential Library to compete in another showcase,” said Liz Yount (‘17), a second-year team member. “We are always so grateful to have the ability to debate for young audiences and spread the importance of debate and discourse.” Scarcely a month later, all nine members of the team reunited in Singapore with coaches Aaron Timmons, Cindi Timmons, and NSDA Director of Community Engagement Steve Schappaugh. Although everyone was exhausted and jetlagged after hours upon hours of travel, only sleeping for half a night (or not at all) after arriving in Singapore, that didn’t stop us. After a hearty breakfast and some muchneeded coffee, everybody gathered to debrief and work on drills and impromptu practice on hot topics such as the Trump presidency and globalization. Over the next three days, USA Debate participated in nine rigorous debates against teams from Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The format was unique with no official victors or power matches, but rather a round robin format to allow every team the most diverse, educational

Follow the team on social media and at www.speechanddebate.org/usa-debate. 98


rounds possible on topics from a global tax on wealth to communal living. The three USA teams used that opportunity to focus on absorbing extensive feedback from judges and using that to hone our skills without needing to focus on our records. On the second night of the round robin, we went out to dinner with Team Singapore. We fumbled with the electronic menus and hotpots, gobbled down plates and plates of food, occasionally began to nod off at the table, but most importantly, forged stronger bonds within the team and created new ones with our new friends. That is what makes USA Debate so special: the incredible opportunity to make new connections all around the globe. In addition to the round robin, Team Red—Aditya Dhar (’17), Gaurav Gawankar (’17), and Liz Yount (’17)— ABOUT THE


engaged in two demo debates at the beginning and the end of the trip. In the first demo, the dynamic trio debated Singapore’s national team and defended the benefits of globalization. In the second, at the very end of the tournament, they advocated not repatriating cultural treasures against Team Hong Kong. Aditya found the experience both exhilarating and educational. “It was amazing to debate the Hong Kong and Singaporean national teams, especially in front of a panel of esteemed coaches and an audience of fellow students,” he said. “The demo debates taught us a lot about not only the different styles that these teams use, but also showed us that these teams had different conceptions about several of the topics, or operated with separate assumptions. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to debate such excellent

Ella Michaels is a junior from North Hollywood High School in California. Ellie Grossman is a senior from The Blake School in Minnesota.

teams, and I’m glad that we always get to compete against amazing debaters from all across the world!” In late March, USA Debate heads to Boston for the Harvard World Schools Tournament, our last competition before the World Championships in Bali this summer. The team may not have the opportunity to gather as a whole again, but we will always support each other from afar, and we will always be a family.

(opposite) Team USA traveled to Singapore in late February. Back row, left to right: Gaurav Gawankar, Liz Yount, Aditya Dhar, Sarah Lanier, and Joshua May. Front row, left to right: Ellie Grossman, Ella Michaels, Colette Faulkner, and Nikhil Ramaswamy. (above) Public debates about education and civil rights were held at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and HarvardWestlake School in January and featured eight of the national team members.



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Speech and Debate

Education by Shelby Young


rom more than 5,000 coaches in the National Speech & Debate Association, one veteran coach from Colorado stood out with grace, passion, charisma, and an unwavering commitment to speech and debate. Renee C. Motter from Air Academy High School in Colorado was selected as the inaugural National Educator of the Year. Renee was, in her words, “shocked, humbled, shocked, astounded, and shocked” when Executive Director J. Scott Wunn suddenly appeared on stage to present the award during the Colorado Grande district tournament on March 3 in conjunction with National Speech and Debate Education Day. However, the greater speech and debate community was not surprised. Renee has been a leading educator, coach, and mentor to countless members of the speech and debate community over the years. The impact she has made on fellow teachers, coaches, and students is astounding. “Her integrity is beyond reproach,” says NSDA Board President Don Crabtree. “Her leadership is evident by her role as a district chair, and she is highly respected by all of her peers.” “Renee Motter is the complete package,” says fellow coach Pauline Carochi. “[She] is the change we want to see in this world.” Renee has created a lot of positive change in the speech and debate community over the past two decades. She first participated in the activity



Renee Motter, recipient of the inaugural National Educator of the Year Award

in high school, continued to compete in college, and became a speech and debate coach and teacher shortly thereafter. She has spent the last 21 years teaching inside and outside the classroom. “As a coach, I’ve seen the impact the activity can have,” Renee says. “I’ve seen students transform. I’ve listened between rounds or on the bus as students have intelligently and respectfully discussed issues and candidates and society. I’ve seen interpers become as informed as debaters on many of the resolutions and the news, and I’ve seen debaters passionately defend society’s need for art and artists.” This is what motivates Renee— providing the skills to help young people think critically and articulate clearly. To her, speech and debate is about the future. It’s about her future, the future of her students, and the future of our society. Starting out, her goal as a teacher was to make a difference. Through speech and debate, she has found her way. She not only makes a difference in the lives of students, but she teaches them how to make a difference, as well. “Every day, I get to help students see their potential, and I help them gain effective communication skills they need to impact the world around them,” she says. “Speech and debate does that.” Renee’s mission to make a difference goes far beyond her students in the

Hear Renee speak at the National Education Conference in August! In addition to giving a keynote address, Renee Motter will co-present with Pam McComas.

Argumentation and Rhetoric: A Gateway to a Limitless World Renee Motter, Air Academy HS, CO Pam McComas, NSDA Board Member, KS Literacy is the key to expanding our students’ world. Argumentation and rhetoric are fundamental components in advancing this goal to prepare students to become responsible global citizens. One challenge facing educators is how to get students to demonstrate competency and still be creative in this rhetorical process. In an interactive format, Pam and Renee will utilize a variety of techniques, best practices, and resources to illustrate the use of rhetorical devices in argumentative discourse and testing the validity of evidence in support of these arguments.

classroom and her team. Along with being a coach and teacher, Renee is co-chair of the NSDA’s Curriculum Committee and a frequent presenter at the NSDA Summer Leadership Conference, the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, and the AP Annual Conference. She also plays

an instrumental role in the Colorado Speech Coaches Association. Her belief that all students, teachers, and coaches should have the opportunity to engage in debate and public speaking has led her to mentor other teachers, in all subject areas, to provide vital, lifelong communication skills. “She has provided workshops to teachers in her school and in her city so that [other teachers] could take specific lesson plans back to their classrooms and effectively use debate and presentations as a tool they were comfortable with,” Pauline explains. But just reaching Colorado teachers isn’t enough for Renee. Through her peer mentorship and work with the online platform Edmodo, she supports the entire education community. She has devoted immeasurable hours to creating viable teaching tools and resources for fellow teachers to use in their classrooms. When she isn’t helping Colorado teachers implement these tools, she frequently travels across the country with Board Member Pam McComas of Kansas, spreading the art of communication by giving teachers practical strategies they implement in their classrooms. “21st century skills are imperative for students,” Renee says. “Skills like collaboration, critical thinking, information literacy, media literacy, creativity, and global awareness are all considered necessary to help students prepare for a successful future. In speech and debate, students employ all of those skills and more!” Together, Renee and Pam travel to share this message with other educators. “Renee heeds the call to serve to make certain all teachers have access to resources to be successful classroom instructors,” Pam says. “She is a mentor who never waivers from her responsibility and commitment to supporting teachers.” Renee even took her teaching training courses overseas. She has led and facilitated classes in current education methodology for Russian educators in Krasnodar, Russia. It’s easy to see that Renee’s passion is supporting teachers and coaches so they can support their students. In

an activity that can be overwhelming for new speech and debate coaches, Renee has made it seem easy. From creating debate lesson plans that new coaches rave about, to creating digital classrooms and writing curriculum for the NSDA’s Teacher in a Box resource, Renee devotes countless hours of her expertise to others. When volunteer coach Bill Brown joined the Colorado Grande District, like many coaches, he didn’t know where to begin. Renee immediately stepped in and provided support and mentorship. “Without Renee, without her guidance, compassion, and commitment, I never would have made it past my first year,” Bill says. “She made me feel welcome and valuable.” Renee has done that for hundreds of new coaches and teachers over the past two decades. She is known for never saying “no” to a fellow coach or educator in need. No matter how busy Renee is, she always makes time to help others. She puts others before herself, and is known as a steadfast supporter and rock in her district and beyond. “What matters most is her heart,” Pauline says. “We absolutely know that when [Renee] is making decisions, she is making them for all of our kids—and when she offers help, she will follow through.” That’s because to Renee, speech and debate is about a community—a family. In a world where many activities are exclusive, speech and debate is unlike anything else. “Everyone needs to build strong communication skills for life, so everyone is part of this,” Renee explains. “I love that we can give kids a place to belong, no matter their skill level. This activity gives me hope for the future.” Renee spreads that hope with everyone she meets, everywhere she goes. For that, the National Speech & Debate Association couldn’t be more proud to honor Renee Motter with the 2017 National Educator of the Year Award.

Renee poses with Executive Director Scott Wunn on National Speech and Debate Education Day, March 3, 2017

Renee has held the heart of every student in her hand to find its own unique beat. And, in the growth of these students, she instilled the core values, highest ethical standards, and a true love of learning. — Pam McComas, Board Member

Shelby Young serves as Communications Specialist for the NSDA.



THE POWER OF ONE Our Award Winner’s Mission to Improve Her Community

by Annie Reisener


elanya Storey is an exceptional high school senior. It’s immediately clear that she’s a debater—she is confident and precise when she speaks. She’s exceptionally poised and her list of extracurriculars and volunteer work is bursting at the seams. She’s a member of five honor societies and four clubs. She facilitates college panels for her peers, leads service projects, organizes volunteer weekends, and mentors new students at her high school, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School. Outside of school, she serves on two youth advisory committees that serve the Birmingham community and volunteers at Children’s of Alabama, a local pediatric hospital. She enjoys art, specifically renaissance, impressionist, and surrealist art pieces. As we begin chatting, she mentions that she spent her weekend at the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma. To be honest, I’m a little exhausted just listening to her schedule! But Delanya isn’t just involved; she’s a leader who has taken her speech and debate skills out of the classroom and into her community. When she sees a need, she reaches out to fill it. In March, Delanya was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the National Speech & Debate Association’s 2017 Exemplary Student Service Award, in large part due to her service on the Birmingham AIDS Outreach Youth



Delanya Storey is the recipient of the NSDA’s 2017 Exemplary Student Service Award. She has been accepted at Harvard and recently was recognized in Washington, D.C., as a Horatio Alger National Scholar.

Advisory Council. When Delanya attended the Birmingham AIDS Walk, the experience lit a fire in her, and when she found herself in a new leadership role, her speech and debate skills gave her the tools and the confidence she needed to lead her peers. After completing intense training, she now counsels individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV about their treatment options, connects them to follow up care, and serves as a support system as they come to terms with their diagnosis. Delanya often thinks of how one woman explained her personal

When you’re helping others, you can never really underestimate your power as one person to make a difference. — Delanya Storey, 2017 Exemplary Student Service Award Recipient

experience with contracting HIV. “Hearing about how negatively her friends and family treated her after her diagnosis really opened my eyes,” Delanya says. “I learned to see from her perspective a little better, and it drove me to get more involved.” Not only has Delanya worked directly with those diagnosed with the virus in her community, but she also strives to impact sexual education in Alabama. She works with others on the council to educate her peers about HIV prevention and plan local events. She’s motivated not just by helping those affected by the disease, but by an urge to decrease stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. “I have a desire to change things in society,” she says. “There have been a lot of advancements in treatment for HIV and AIDS. People need to understand that they have options.” Delanya is also involved with the Addiction Prevention Coalition Youth Advisory Council. Her coach Vegas Longlois notes that speech and debate plays a role in Delanya’s leadership role with the council. “She uses her strong public speaking skills and ability to listen well to host discussions on addiction, healthy relationships, and other issues facing young adults in her school,” Vegas says. Then Delanya reports back on the results of those conversations to the Council. She credits speech and debate with helping her become comfortable running discussions and walking a fine

line between guidance and judgment. “Speech and debate has really helped me in being a moderator,” Delanya says. “I’m able to synthesize information, see multiple sides of an issue, and look at people with an open mind.” Her involvement with both youth advisory councils has shaped how she views service and leadership. “Being a leader is about taking a stand for something you believe in, even if you are doing things that sometimes seem insignificant,” she says. “You have to recognize that even the smallest thing can mean the world to someone. When you’re helping others, you can never really underestimate your power as one person to make a difference.” Delanya has learned that small actions are powerful, and that sometimes all a person needs is a shoulder to lean on or someone to listen. “I didn’t work with thousands of people, only to those who were open to speaking with me,” she says. “But I still recognize that my helping those people and listening to what they were going through meant a lot to them.” Her coach Vegas certainly agrees, having watched Delanya strive to improve her community and her school during her four years on the SpeakFirst team. “Delanya demonstrates remarkable insight and a deep commitment to equality,” Vegas says. “She continually searches for ways to further expand her skills and become a more effective agent of change.” Delanya has learned to walk a fine line between confidentiality and support. She clearly recalls a conversation with one woman who was overcome with emotion about her diagnosis. “Even though I had experience with explaining sensitive issues in debate, it’s very different when you’re talking about someone’s livelihood.” In that moment, Delanya focused on just being there and showing the woman that she had people supporting her. “It’s important to show them that they’re not alone. That there are people, even if they aren’t your family, who are there to help you without judgment.” It was moments like these that helped Delanya to view service in a new light. “To me, service is how you can make someone else’s day better just by being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.”

Delanya poses with her award.

Delanya began speech and debate in the eighth grade with LincolnDouglas Debate. In high school she transitioned to Public Forum, and while she’s worked with many different partners, the constant has been her love for the activity. “My favorite topic was definitely the Voting Rights topic1 my sophomore year,” Delanya says. “It really showed me how when you’re debating issues, whether national or international, these resolutions are not abstract ideas that don’t apply to the real world. They continue to develop and change as we’re debating. We aren’t just confronting theoretical narratives, but problems that exist every day.” It’s her passion for these real world problems and her experience with effecting change in her community that has shaped her future plans. After graduation, Delanya plans to pursue a career in public policy. Wherever she ends up, Delanya’s new community will be changed for the better. Annie Reisener serves as the Association’s Operations Coordinator.


The 2014 February PF topic was, Resolved: The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution.

Delanya exemplifies the profound burden speech and debate students have; that is, the burden of taking the knowledge and skills we build and sharing it with others through service. She’s an inspiration.” — Walter Paul, 2014 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year

The winner of the 2017 Exemplary Student Service Award was chosen by a panel of previous William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year Award winners including Walter Paul (2014), Jarrius Adams (2015), and Marshall Webb (2016).



MILTON ACADEMY Creating Peer to Peer Bridges Between High School and Middle School Students by Katie Hines


ocated eight miles south of Boston, Milton Academy boasts two prominent speech teams led by three dedicated and enthusiastic women. Deborah Simon advises the middle school team, while the high school team is coached by Susan Marianelli and Patrice Jean-Baptiste. Each of the coaches took their own path to get to Milton, and all play a vital role in the successful and vibrant speech community there.

MEET THE COACHES Debbie Simon began her career at Milton Academy in 1980 and can be described in one simple word: passionate. So what fuels Debbie’s passion? She enjoys seeing the transformation her students go through. Just this past year, one of her novice students was too nervous to compete at his first tournament. At the next tournament, he brought his mom to give him encouragement, but Debbie was still worried he’d be too nervous to compete. Nevertheless, he surprised her and was able to perform—and at the end of the day, she was applauding him in the final round of Storytelling. What makes this story even more heartwarming? The very next day, that same novice convinced a friend to join the team because he enjoyed the tournament so much! “It’s that transition from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ to ‘I’m excited’—to see that in a kid is worth more to me than anything,” Debbie explains. Susan Marianelli is a self-proclaimed news and political junkie. She weaves those interests into her coaching— especially with her Extemporaneous speakers. As a two-diamond coach, Susan loves working with high school students because they’re well aware of what’s going on in the world. As Susan elaborates, “Some of the greatest conversations I’ve



“It’s that transition from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ to ‘I’m excited’—to see that in a kid is worth more to me than anything.” — Debbie Simon, coach

had have been with my Extempers!” Her students’ desire to change the world, along with their fearlessness, drives her passion for coaching. From an early age, Susan knew she wanted to become a teacher. In high school, she was a member of both the speech team and president of the Future Teachers club. At Milton, Susan teaches freshman English and sophomore public speaking. Patrice Jean-Baptiste is a Milton Academy graduate whose coach was none other than Debbie Simon. “Speech will change your life in ways that you would not expect,” Patrice reflects. Like Debbie, Patrice did not realize her passion for teaching until later in life. She worked as an actress for a few years before interviewing at Milton for the performing

“Speech will change your life in ways that you would not expect.” — Patrice Jean-Baptiste, coach

arts teacher and speech coach positions. After accepting, she immediately fell in love with teaching and working with students. Her favorite moments occur when things finally click for students in her classroom or on her team. One of her fondest memories happened after she spent a significant amount of time helping a student with her Poetry event. They eventually got down to the nitty gritty of her delivery. The next school day, the girl came into practice and performed the piece for Patrice. In that moment, everything finally came together. It was so moving, it brought Patrice to tears.

BUILDING A MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM When describing her team’s beloved activity, Debbie often says, “When you’re giving a speech, you’re giving a gift to your audience. It’s all about the connection you’re making to your audience.” Making connections and giving back are clear cornerstones of Milton Academy’s success. Debbie is a firm believer that starting forensic activities in middle school develops foundational skills that help students find success throughout the rest of their educational career and also later in life. After she pushed Milton to create a middle school team in 2012, she followed through on that commitment and left the high school team to become the middle school coach. Despite the differences in age and maturity between middle and high school students, Debbie did not change how she coached them. To this day, she continues

“It’s their wanting to change the world and fearlessness that makes [my sudents] so interesting to me.” — Susan Marianelli, coach to set the same high bar for all of her students. Debbie believes “students are only limited by their own limitations,” and if you challenge them, they will succeed. This philosophy has proven reliable, as Milton continues to turn out national champions at both the middle and high school level. The success of Milton can also be attributed to their skilled coaches. Debbie received the NSDA’s Middle School Coach of the Year award in 2016—further testament to the team’s prowess that has developed over the last few years.

USING PEER MENTORING Now, with more than 100 students on the middle and high school speech teams, Milton’s coaches are often stretched to give each student individual attention. To make sure each student receives individualized attention, Milton Academy coaches take advantage of peer mentoring to close the resource gap and create learning opportunities for all students, regardless of grade level. Every Wednesday during the overlapping middle school activity and high school lunch periods, students from both teams come together to eat lunch and talk about their speeches. With a ratio of one-to-one, each middle school student is paired with an experienced high school student. During this time, the high schoolers provide constructive feedback to the middle schoolers and give advice on their pieces.

This personalized attention and connection helps students grow in confidence and skill. Patrice explains that the “middle school team is a great training ground for future participants. It allows them to get really good and discover their passion. By the time they get to high school, they’re not only good but also committed.” The middle school students aren’t the only ones who gain something from the Wednesday lunches. Susan sees the lunches as a learning opportunity as well as a chance for both middle and high school students to have fun and create lasting bonds and friendships. For the high schoolers to be able to teach something to another student and laugh with them is uplifting and makes their day. In addition to the Wednesday lunch meetings, before every tournament, Debbie holds a “Speech Party” during which students eat pizza and practice their speeches for one another. This again helps make sure that every student is receiving constructive feedback and is another a way of creating bonds. All of these interactions help create a cohesive community of support for all of the speech team students. When there’s a tournament at which both middle and high school students compete, the teams, while separate, appear as one large unit. All of the students warm up together. High school students pair up with their middle school “buddy” and help them find their rooms, give them

encouragement, and check in on them in between rounds. Milton is fortunate enough to have students from the middle and high school teams attend the National Tournament. During the week of Nationals, both teams try to arrange to stay at the same hotels, and will go and listen to each other’s rounds to show their support. All of these seemingly small gestures create a nurturing environment that helps all of the students prosper. The middle school team is appreciative of the work that the high schoolers put in to help them. At the end of the year, they have another party where the middle schoolers thank their “high school coaches.” With all of the support the middle schoolers receive, many go on to compete in high school. And for those who don’t end up joining the high school team, some still help mentor the middle schoolers as a way of giving back. It is clear that both teams are continuing to build meaningful connections and lasting relationships. By integrating the middle and high school speech teams through peer coaching and other activities, these Massachusetts coaches have created programs that are immensely successful, both competitively and interpersonally. As the Milton Academy website states, “Our active learning environment, in and out of the classroom, develops creative and critical thinkers, unafraid to express their ideas, prepared to seek meaningful lifetime success, and to live by our motto, ‘Dare to be true.’” Their speech teams are certainly a shining example of this mantra. Katie Hines serves as Grants Administrator for Big Questions Debates at the NSDA.



“WILL I STUTTER?” How One Alum Built a New Paradigm for Confidence by Sarah Brazier

“I remember standing up, and I just couldn’t talk. It was this moment where all the muscles in my face tightened, I felt sweat going down my neck. It was this feeling where I had all these ideas that I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t say anything.” Ben Koh felt the panic rush through him as the words stuck in his throat. Was it nervousness? It was his first practice round of the year, after all. But still, it wasn’t like this was his first speech ever. Ben was a sophomore in high school, and had been competing since middle school. He didn’t know what was happening. After the round, he chalked it up to first-day-back jitters—until the next time he went to give a speech, and it happened again. A flash of sweat. Muscles tensing. Suddenly, the debate was suspended in midair, waiting for Ben to get the words out. As time went by, this pattern of being unable to speak surfaced into a stutter that Ben just couldn’t shake. For those unfamiliar with stuttering, it may seem odd for the behavior to surface halfway through someone’s speech career. But it’s not unheard of. Stuttering is complicated. Ask any speech language pathologist (I talked to my mom who just happens to be one), and they’ll explain that the roots of stuttering are two-fold: physical and emotional. Some individuals are born with a neurological difference that causes the speech impediment, while others see it surface because of emotional situations. The



two are often tied to each other. The more an individual with a stutter becomes aware of their impediment, the worse it becomes. For emotional stutterers, certain circumstances bring on the stutter with more vehemence. As a young California student participating in speech and debate at

A simple “You can do it!” on a ballot felt condescending. However, when a wellknown and respected judge told Ben he had the capacity to be a good debater, it gave him the confidence to keep going. Loyola High School, the fear of stuttering began to consume Ben. The thought that preoccupied his mind before each round wasn’t whether he’d flip negative or affirmative, or even if his evidence would hold up against his opponent, but instead, the lingering question of, “Will I stutter?” The stutter changed his ballots. Some judges were supportive, but others lacked any sensitivity, asking questions like, “Are you sure this is the right activity for you?” with a score of 19 speaker points next to his name. There were times when judges laughed at Ben as he stuttered through a speech. It was devastating. Like so many students in the activity, a large portion of

Ben’s identity was wrapped up in speech and debate. Ben defined himself as a debater. His community was debate. The negative ballots questioning his place at a tournament were crushing. Ben explains, “Before my sophomore year of high school, I’d never stuttered at all, but [now] I just couldn’t do a debate speech without stuttering. The moment the time began, my speaking pattern would change entirely… That’s what brought me to this question of, what is my relationship to debate, and what does it mean to me?” Ben loved debate because it was a clash of ideas, dueling it out in the intellectual arena. Even now, as a senior in college, Ben can’t think of anything that excites him the way debate does. The competitive opportunity with the academic challenge fueled him in a way no other classroom or athletic activity could. So, Ben became focused on correcting his impediment. In an article written for NSD Update,1 Ben explains, “I went to a speech therapist from my sophomore to senior year… I started to meditate and tried to figure out how to debate slower. I stopped sitting down in rounds and got a table to help the flow of breath. But in truth, at times I felt like giving up (or I did give up) in my career. I find it pretty hilarious now considering how much I miss it.” It was a challenging period for Ben. Going from holding a fluid conversation with teammates to fighting to get the words out in the round was increasingly

(opposite) Ben Koh with his student Kyle, who also has a stutter. Ben has worked with Kyle for two years.

(near right) Ben and his debater Paul, who was an octafinalist at the 2016 Tournament of Champions. (far right) Ben and his students at the TOC last year.

and incredibly frustrating. “But I had friends and coaches who encouraged me to stick with it,” Ben recalls, “and it was through debate I learned how to get through the stutter. By debating and engaging with it and really thinking about debate, I was able to work through [my] stutter.” It took time: three years of working through the stutter, both in practice rounds and at tournaments. It took patience: allowing the stutter to be a part of the debate. He had to embrace that this was part of who he was as a debater. Ben recalls one particular turning point in high school. Sitting in a car driving back from a tournament, Ben’s coach, Michael Overing, turned to him and said, “You know, it doesn’t matter. The stutter doesn’t matter.” In that moment, Ben’s stutter didn’t change, but his perspective did. “I realized the more fun I had, the more I enjoyed debate, the more I found it was less about who was going home with a trophy, and really more about the community, the feeling of solace, the friends, the peers, the opportunity it gives—that academic clash you can’t experience elsewhere. That’s when it changed for me.”

THE PATH FORWARD Ben’s journey to self-acceptance has had a profound effect on the way he coaches and judges. As an individual

who experienced the discomfort of judges laughing at him because of his impediment, his paradigm for what makes a good speaker is different than the community norm. Ben doesn’t think that fluidity of speech should be emphasized to the degree he experienced. In his mind the quality of the debate, and the speaker’s ability to clash and connect with the arguments in the round, should always be the priority.

By debating and engaging with it and really thinking about debate, I was able to work through [my] stutter. It’s a tricky balance in a competition that is often all about speaking. Where does the stutterer fit into the world of debate? How can they have an equal opportunity for success when they have an impediment that is widely considered by the community to be “bad”? Ben believes there are two ways to help support debaters with speech impediments. As he explains in the same NSD Update article, “I believe coaches should do two things. 1) They should treat their debaters as competitors. There were many times where I felt like I was just recognized as being the kid at Loyola who can’t speak. My coaches

1 Koh, B. (2014). “Debate and speech impediments.” NSD Update. Retrieved from http://nsdupdate.com/2014/debate-and-speech-impediments-by-ben-koh/

reminded me that I was more than that. I was a debater. 2) Coaches should ensure that their debaters know how much they care and that they are aware of the issue. It’s the fact that my coaches had my case in mind that helped me feel less alone.” He goes on to explain that judges, too, have an important role to play in how students with impeded speech can succeed in the activity: communication. Ben feels that the reason he continued on in the activity was because of the judges who took the time to acknowledge his potential and talk to him about it. A simple “You can do it!” on a ballot felt condescending. However, when a well-known and respected judge told Ben he had the capacity to be a good debater, it gave him the confidence to keep going. Now, Ben is in his senior year at New York University studying Social and Cultural Analysis. He also works as a debate instructor and planning committee member at the Texas Debate Collective and serves as a director at National Symposium Debate: Philadelphia, where he hopes to continue empowering his students to be confident and successful debaters.

Sarah Brazier is a freelance writer and actor currently living in the Bay Area of California. She formerly coached at Saint Mary’s Hall. An NSDA alum from Wadsworth High School in Ohio, she placed second in Dramatic Interp at the 2010 Kansas City Nationals.




Camaraderie in Full Bloom by Sarah Brazier

MEET THE COMMITTEE David Abel, Chair Goddard High School Goddard, KS

Vickie Fellers Wichita East High School Wichita, KS


ureka! moments are rare. They’re an assimilation of thought and experience, of trial and error, of discussion and practice: a culmination of ballots, coach/student one-on-ones, and sitting through dozens of rounds. They can be a quiet aha or a loud oh my gosh! But when they happen, the lights turn on, bridges are built, and synergy fills the space. In Wichita, Kansas, the Sunflower District does a terrific job of bridging the gap for students and coaches participating in speech and debate. For nearly 20 years, the District Committee has worked tirelessly to run national qualifying tournaments, cultivate a competitive environment that fosters growth and camaraderie, and provide support to the countless coaches from the diverse portfolio of schools that compete there. Named after Kansas’ state flower, a symbol of loyalty and longevity, the Sunflower District embodies the tenets of the National Speech & Debate Association, seeking to connect, support, and inspire its students and coaches.

The Rundown First formed in 1999, the Sunflower District competes at an exceptional 110


level of excellence—producing multiple national finalists and champions. The Sunflower District’s journey to success on both a state and national level is the result of hard work from numerous dedicated students, coaches, and District Committee members. The Sunflower District is primarily based around Wichita, Kansas. A blend of suburban, private, charter, and urban schools, Sunflower is economically and ethnically diverse. Because of the small geographical boundaries of the district, travel isn’t an issue for most schools, and participation is high on any given weekend. Kansas’ state organization, the Kansas High School Activities Association, or KSHSAA, organizes the speech and debate season into two semesters. During the first half of the year, students participate in Policy Debate. In the spring, students make the transition to Forensics (which includes Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate). Because of the structure of the state organization, national qualifiers for debate are held in December. In fact, the Sunflower District hosts four separate district tournaments: students compete for a bid to nationals in Congressional

James Harris Andover High School Andover, KS

Mike Alexander Harris Kapaun Mount Carmel High School Wichita, KS

Lynn A. Miller Derby High School Derby, KS

Debate in mid-March, in LincolnDouglas and Public Forum at the end of March, and in individual events in mid-April. Policy is the Sunflower District’s debate wheelhouse. The district tournament typically has more than 50 teams participate. Most individual events qualify two students; however, some qualify three. Because of Kansas’ long standing tradition of Policy Debate, participation in Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas is typically lower. During the forensics season, Friday nights are reserved for debate. In individual events, students compete in three preliminary rounds before breaking to finals.

How They Do It Sunflower District Committee members are Kansans through and through. Humble, well spoken, and kind, the most boastful assertion they’ll utter is, “We’re doing pretty well for ourselves.” David Abel, three-diamond coach and Sunflower chair, has been a member of the District Committee since its formation. He was elected district chair eight years ago, after Sunflower’s first chair, Lois Peirson, retired. He believes Sunflower’s strength comes from its commitment to ensuring all students have an opportunity to be successful. “I think one of my abilities that has been very useful both as a committee member and as a chair is building a sense of community—trying to get a diverse group of people to work together for a common goal,” he says. “That seemed like a natural transition to serving as chair later on.” In his 17 years serving as a member of the Sunflower District Committee, David has continuously worked to bridge the gap between competition and camaraderie. It’s a culture that looks to synergize friendship and togetherness with a highly competitive playing field. As David explains, “We’re a very competitive bunch in our district, and that does not always breed community. The interest of coaching your team to be successful is not always the same as the district’s interest. I have tried very hard to open that up more to get coaches to see that there is a value in that. We are stronger together as a group than we are separately… I think that we’re at that point now. There is a very strong sense of helping each other to be successful.” James Harris, Director of Forensics at Andover High School, two-diamond coach, and seven-year committee member, agrees. “The coaches here are very supportive. Because it is a smaller geographic region, we see each other week in and week out. Our tournaments are very open, our


We create a playing field on which all students have an opportunity for success.”

— Vickie Fellers, coach

tab rooms are very open, we’re always jumping in and helping each other out. And that support at the tournament also spreads to coaching. We have a lot of great older coaches in the district who are more than happy to sit down and talk with people, help people out, and that’s created a culture that supports and encourages a lot of that.” Lynn Miller, one-diamond coach from Derby High School, continues: “We try to get everyone involved. We embrace all new programs and events that roll out from the NSDA, including Program Oral Interpretation and Informative Speaking last year and Big Questions this year. Although this requires substantial work from the committee, we will do whatever it takes to give students opportunities.” Giving students opportunities to succeed is a district-wide goal. It’s not about one team bringing in trophies in every event. Vickie Fellers, six-diamond coach and Director of Forensics at Wichita East High School, emphasizes that the Sunflower District creates an even playing field for its students. “Our district includes small schools of just a few hundred students, and large schools with more than 2,000 students. Both qualify students to the NSDA National Tournament,” she says. “We create a playing field on which all students have an opportunity for success.” For Mike Harris, Director of Debate and Forensics at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School and first-year committee member, the Sunflower District bridges the gap for students, not only by connecting them to more activities and providing them with an inclusive, competitive environment, but by helping them succeed in the years that follow high school. “[Having come] from the corporate world… in my experiences interacting, managing, and working

with people, communication is such an important aspect of everything that everyone does in their lives. Being able to provide students with the skills necessary to do that gives them the ability to communicate effectively as they move on with their adult careers.” The Sunflower District maintains a close connection with its alumni base, actively working to give students an opportunity to continue their speech and debate careers in college. “We’ve had a great track record of success getting people into college programs on scholarships across the country,” Mike says. “We’ve had a wonderful, wonderful base of alumni in all of our schools who come back and always say that speech and debate was such a valuable part of their lives. They come back and give their time while they’re in college working as assistant coaches and judging and giving back to the community and trying to provide for the next group of people.” For the Sunflower District, bridging the gap is about creating meaningful connections for students, not only in their work as debaters and speakers, but in their development as members of a community. The continuous return of alumni to the Sunflower District to support the activity can be seen in the committee members themselves. Having competed in the activity as high schoolers, they went on to have fulfilling careers as business owners, salespersons, and lobbyists, but found themselves returning again and again to the activity, until they eventually started second careers as teachers and coaches. For the Sunflower District, it’s all about connecting the dots, and finding harmony between competition and camaraderie, competitive success, and lifelong skills that lead to better speakers, better thinkers, and better people.

Sarah Brazier is a freelance writer and actor currently living in the Bay Area of California. She formerly coached at Saint Mary’s Hall. An NSDA alum from Wadsworth High School in Ohio, she placed second in Dramatic Interp at the 2010 Kansas City Nationals.






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Know a bad argument when you hear one AN ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF BAD ARGUMENTS by Ali Almossawi Available wherever books are sold

theexperimentpublishing.com • @experimentbooks

“Wonderfully digestible . . . I can’t think of a better way to be taught or reintroduced to these fundamental notions of logical discourse. A delightful little book.”—AARON KOBLIN, creative director, Google’s Data Arts team ★ “A whimsical, straightforward primer . . . a guide to how to strengthen—and how not to weaken—your arguments.” — SHELF AWARENESS , starred review


Diamond Coach Recognition Seventh Diamonds

u SEVENTH DIAMOND u MARY PATRICIA PLUMB Academy Of The Holy Names, FL November 15, 2016 • 19,105 Points Sister Mary Patricia Plumb is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and will celebrate the 60th anniversary of religious profession this year. Sister has an undergraduate degree from Barry University in Miami, Florida, and a Masters in Education from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She served many years in school administration, as Principal in New York and Florida and as Assistant Principal at the Academy of the Holy Names (AHN) in Tampa. When Sister came back to AHN, her high school alma mater, she took over their NSDA chapter as the speech/debate team coach. Sister held various leadership positions in the local NSDA, the National Catholic Forensic League, and state speech and debate leagues. The success of her team members honors Sister with this seven-diamond coach award, as well as other awards and honors through the years, such as being named a Gator Coach by the Florida Blue Key Tournament. Membership in the NSDA Hall of Fame is, in her opinion, Sister’s most cherished honor. Under Sister’s leadership, AHN students have attended numerous National Speech & Debate Tournaments in multiple events, with individuals doing particularly well in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Dramatic Interpretation. AHN had students compete at Nationals in Public Forum Debate in Atlanta the first year it was available for national competition. Due to recent health issues, Sister is not serving as the AHN Speech/Debate Team Coach, but is still actively involved in “behind the scenes” support and encouragement. Sister is a big Notre Dame fan and loves doing needlepoint.



u SEVENTH DIAMOND u STEVEN WOOD Blue Valley North HS, KS December 15, 2016 • 35,947 Points Steve Wood spent his entire coaching career in Kansas. Be started at Parsons High School in 1981. After three years he moved to Emporia High School. In 1986, he took the job at Lawrence High School. He spent 18 years at LHS, including the last eight when he coached at both Lawrence High and Free State High. He spent the last nine years of his career at Blue Valley North High School. Throughout his career he was blessed with extremely talented students with a strong work ethic. His students enjoyed a great deal of success. Steve always tried to involve a large number of students in debate and forensics. He is married to Cathy Wood and between them they have three boys, who got to spend a lot of time at debate and forensic tournaments when they were growing up. They have two granddaughters. Steve is a member of the NSDA Hall of Fame and the Kansas Speech Teachers Hall of Fame. He has the most diamond key awards in his household.

Sixth Diamond u SIXTH DIAMOND u TIMOTHY C. AVERILL Manchester Essex Regional HS, MA October 29, 2016 • 16,002 Points Timothy C. Averill began his coaching career at Manchester High School in Massachusetts in 1971, when he agreed to begin a debating club. After 35 years in Manchester, Mr. Averill retired from full-time teaching and began a “part-time” job teaching and coaching at Waring School in Beverly, where he started a debate team and teaches writing. In his 47-year teaching career, Mr. Averill has also served as a teacher of Advanced Placement English and as a consultant for the College Board. He trains English teachers in AP English Literature and also serves as moderator of the College Board’s AP English Community of 18,000 members. Mr. Averill served as Vice-President for Debate of the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League (1982-1994, 1996-2002) and was a member of the New England District Committee of the NSDA (1985-2005). He is still active in

the MSDL, assisting with tabulation and also running the PF tabulation room at the Harvard National Invitational each February. Mr. Averill is a member of the NSDA Hall of Fame, and his team won the NSDA and TOC national Policy Debate championships in 1987. In 1992, Manchester High School represented the United States in the World Schools Debating Championships in London, and in 2000, the team traveled to Athens, Greece, and won the Greek Parliamentary debate championship at Athens College High School. His PF teams closed out the National TOC in 2006. In 2005, Averill was named the NSDA National Debate Coach of the Year. Today, Averill enjoys most the teaching and coaching of novice debaters at the local level and staying in touch with the current coaches and debaters who are leading the activity into the 21st Century.

Fifth Diamond u FIFTH DIAMOND u RON GRIMSLEY Mitchell HS, SD December 12, 2016 • 15,292 Points Ron Grimsley received his B.S. degree in Political Science and Speech Communications from South Dakota State University in 1991 and his M.S. degree in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2005. Besides acting as Head Speech and Debate Coach since the start of his teaching career, he has spent some time each summer for the last decade on work related to state standards and testing for the South Dakota Department of Education. Mr. Grimsley has served as President of the South Dakota Forensic Coaches Association, District Committee member of the NSDA, and Language Arts Department chair

at Mitchell High School. He has had several students finish in the top 10 NSDA point leaders nationally and has served as coach for 38% of all the state champions and 65% of all the national qualifiers from Mitchell High School in South Dakota. Besides coaching speech/debate, he most enjoys camping, reading, and spending time with his wife, three sons, and two daughters. His eldest daughter is a current top 10 point leader in the NSDA. Says Mr. Grimsley, “I recall the important formative role that speech/debate played for me when I was in high school, and it is an honor to pass that experience on to the students I coach each year.”



u FOURTH DIAMOND u THOMAS M. FONES St. Paul Academy & Summit School, MN October 9, 2016 • 10,001 Points

u FOURTH DIAMOND u MICHAEL D. AMSTUTZ Edison HS, OH January 14, 2017 • 10,000 Points

u FOURTH DIAMOND u ANGELA ANYZESKI Dreyfoos School Of The Arts, FL January 19, 2017 • 10,059 Points

u THIRD DIAMOND u GEORGE S. CLEMENS Lake Highland Preparatory, FL January 19, 2017 • 9,547 Points

u THIRD DIAMOND u GREG MAYO Westbury Senior HS, TX January 22, 2017 • 6,000 Points

u THIRD DIAMOND u RICHARD PURRINGTON Marshall HS, MN February 7, 2017 • 6,001 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u JEREMY M. HAMILTON Canfield HS, OH December 10, 2016 • 7,610 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u ERIK C. PIELSTICK Los Osos HS, CA December 11, 2016 • 4,210 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u W. BRYAN GASTON Heritage Hall School, OK January 18, 2017 • 3,002 Points




u SECOND DIAMOND u MICHAEL F. CONCIALDI Rolling Meadows HS, IL January 25, 2017 • 3,000 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u TRAVIS ROTHER Chanhassen HS, MN February 1, 2017 • 3,324 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u BILL PRATER Whitmer HS, OH February 5, 2017 • 3,243 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u LUKE OSTRANDER Apple Valley HS, MN November 15, 2016 • 2,438 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u EVAN T. ELLIOTT Noblesville HS, IN December 6, 2016 • 3,343 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u THERESA BLACKBURN Aurora HS, MO December 7, 2016 • 1,502 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u BERNA DETTE ORR Whitesboro HS, TX December 10, 2016 • 1,501 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u SCOTT POLLACK Pennsbury HS, PA December 10, 2016 • 1,502 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u WENDY KING Summit HS, CO December 11, 2016 • 1,501 Points



u FIRST DIAMOND u MARK JOSEPH MCCANDLESS Brecksville Broadview Hts HS, OH January 8, 2017 • 1,500 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u ROBIN BROWN Clark HS, NV January 9, 2017 • 1,501 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u KATIE E. GJERPEN Niles North HS, IL January 19, 2017 • 3,459 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u DANIEL PAPPALARDO South Range HS, OH January 23, 2017 • 1,942 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u ALEXANDRA VOTANO-DATTOLI Palm Bay HS, FL January 23, 2017 • 1,502 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u MARY A. MORALES Charlotte Catholic HS, NC February 10, 2017 • 2,369 Points

u FIRST DIAMOND u TODD CRITES Grinnell HS, IA February 13, 2017 • 1,501 Points



u FIRST DIAMOND u KATIE DENEAULT Piper HS, KS February 20, 2017 • 2,766 Points

Donus D. Roberts Quad Ruby Coach Recognition The Association is proud to honor coaches who have earned their first 1,000 points.

(December 15, 2016 through March 1, 2017)

Jon Wayne Martin

Cypress Bay High School, FL


Jamey Pritchett

Mildred High School, TX


Devin Emily Sarno

George Washington High School, CO


Marissa Behan

Sioux City East High School, IA


Natalie Sintek

Lakeville North High School, MN


Josh Fromhart

Wheeling Park High School, WV


John Yelenic

Cardinal Gibbons High School, NC


Wallace Austin

Floyd Central High School, IN


Jonathan Nye

Horace Mann High School, NY


Becky Anne Braswell

Sapulpa High School, OK


Chelsea King

Mount Si High School, WA


Julia Brebner

Harlingen High School South, TX


Kelley Kirkpatrick

Mount Vernon High School, WA


Amanda L. Dolinger

North Kansas City High School, MO


Jordan Fetter

Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, TX


John Herron

Fontbonne Hall Academy, NY


Marcus W. Viney

Cheyenne East High School, WY


Donnie Drobny

Borah High School, ID


Gina Meade

Hamilton High School, AZ


Rita Pello

Madison West High School, WI


Shannon R. Vance

Mountain Vista High School, CO


Kate Jones-Rickman

William H. Taft High School, TX


Brian M. Rohman

University High School, IL


Virginia Sneed

Canton High School, TX


Miranda Lloyd

Davis High School, UT


Grant Campbell

Fossil Ridge High School, CO


Frank Torres

Freehold Township High School, NJ


Kathryn A. Gross

Detroit Loyola High School, MI


Joel M. Kuper

Greybull High School, WY


Amber Gallagher

Liberty High School, OH


Quentin Unsworth

Logan High School, UT


Aubrey Smartt

Great Falls High School, MT


Tim Haynes

Central High School - San Angelo, TX


Carrie Oorlog

Brookings High School, SD


Nate Conoly

Vestavia Hills High School, AL


Sarah E. Petroff

Republic High School, MO


Matthew Stewart

Royse City High School, TX


Stephen Black

Woodlawn High School, AL


Deborah Garoui

Keller High School, TX


Amy Isaman

Spring Creek High School, NV


Steve C. Rowe

Interlake High School - Bellevue, WA


Jenifer Scott

Kokomo High School, IN


Victoria Engledow

Owasso High School, OK


Marie Wetzel

Whitmer High School, OH


Casey Griffith

Conway High School, AR


Mat Marr

Ashland High School, OR


Devon Reese

McQueen High School, NV


Rahul Guha

Beavercreek High School, OH


Lisa R. Weber

Interlake High School - Bellevue, WA


Nathan Lawver

Delone Catholic High School, PA


April Williams

Flathead High School, MT


Teresa Smith

Pinnacle High School, AZ


Harry Yu

Spring Woods High School, TX


Christopher Berdnik

Bensalem High School, PA


Beth Marlowe

Danville High School, KY


Jennifer Allen Baker

Northridge High School, UT


Preston Stolte

Winston Churchill High School, TX


Kelly Michale

Ruskin High School, MO


Brandon Kamaka

Beavercreek High School, OH


Eileen Lee

Gabrielino High School, CA


Tracy Hancey

Layton High School, UT


Matt Parris

Antelope High School, CA


Amanda Hurd

Kearns High School, UT


Kristopher L. Boatman

Century High School, ID



Triple Ruby Coach Recognition Celebrating speech and debate coaches who have earned their first 750 points.


(December 15, 2016 through March 1, 2017)

Tim Huth

The Bronx High School Of Science, NY


Donna Morris

Taylorsville High School, UT


Chris Hamel

Omaha Brownell Talbot College Prep, NE


Terrill Caplan

The Dalton School, NY


Tim Greenfield

Edina High School, MN


Chris James

Leuzinger High School, CA


Bob Gomulkiewicz

The Bear Creek School, WA


Nicole Kroepel

Belvidere North High School, IL


Suzanne White

Woodbury High School, MN


Lauren Wells

Thornwood High School, IL


Danielle Presuto

Ridge High School, NJ


Frank Patrick Egan

Enderlin High School, ND


Hannah Zarzour

Hoover High School, AL


Mary Geier

Pittsburg High School, KS


Ursula Gruber

Latin School Of Chicago, IL


Jeanne Fisher

St. Michael Albertville High School, MN


Kayla Fleming

Chesterton High School, IN


Deb Fink

Lovell High School, WY


Erica Cooper

DuPont Manual High School, KY


Laurie Wilson

Trinity Christian School, HI


Deborah Brown

Research Triangle High School, NC


Pauline Buis

Niceville High School, FL


Sarah Piper

Stevensville High School, MT


Anthony Catale

John F. Kennedy High School, OH


Elizabeth Wood Weas

Mountain Brook High School, AL


Angella Curran

Frontenac High School USD #249, KS


Levi Butts

Joplin High School, MO


April Burchett

Highland High School, OH


Tasha Rohlfs

Moorhead High School, MN


Cindy Glasson

Hot Springs Co High School, WY


Dakota Breen

West Fargo High School, ND


Melissa O. Brown

Farmington High School, NM


Kyle Vareberg

Rugby High School, ND


Jennifer Woodley

Kent Denver School, CO


Jennifer Schraeder

Archbishop McCarthy High School, FL


Dan Loving

Maize High School, KS


Florence Petit

Pompano Beach High School, FL


Jordy Barry

Millburn High School, NJ


Jim Poyner

Summit High School, NJ


Levi Smith

Resurrection Christian School, CO


Susan Fulton

Abington Heights High School, PA


Sue Jane Sullivan

Borden County High School, TX


Morgan Coffin

Bozeman High School, MT


Drew Oakes

University High School - Fresno, CA


Stefanie Rodarte-Suto

Canyon High School, TX


Leah Carolan

American Heritage High School - Delray Beach, FL 768

Leilani McHugh

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, CA


Dan Hodges

Apple Valley High School, MN


Chris Adamcyk

Glacier High School, MT


James D. Bathurst

Benjamin Banneker Academy, NY


Maegan Gomes

North Central High School, WA


Amy L. Geyser

Marquette Univ High School, WI


Lindsay Vecchio

Elkhorn South High School, NE


Kimberly Gwizdala

Glenbard West High School, IL


Kaitlyn Clark

Gothenburg High School, NE


James Kingsmill

Dayton High School, TX


Jennifer Drown

Cherokee Trail High School, CO


Jennifer Loeung

Centennial High School, OR


Jeff Saunders

Stansbury High School, UT


Jeremy Beckman

Discovery Canyon Campus School, CO


Chris Castillo

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, TX


Steven E. Grubbs

West High School - Davenport, IA


Richard Haber

Chagrin Falls High School, OH


Giselle DeSilva

Gabrielino High School, CA


Kelly Connelly

Mulvane High School, KS


Mike Smith

The Quarry Lane School, CA


Nicole Papa-Fryfogle

Ursuline High School, OH


Michael Stewart

Millburn High School, NJ




1925 SOCIET Y The National Speech & Debate Association is grateful to acknowledge the following 1925 Society members for pledging a generous planned gift contribution. Phyllis Flory Barton

Albert Odom, Jr.

James Copeland

Dr. Polly and Bruce Reikowski

Don and Ann Crabtree Dr. Mike Edmonds

Donus and Lovila Roberts

A. C. Eley

James Rye, III

Vickie and Joe Fellers

Steve and Anna Schappaugh

David and Judy Huston

David Seikel

Jennifer Jerome

Sandra Silvers

Harold Keller

Richard Sodikow

Kandi King

William Woods Tate, Jr.

Cherian and Betsy Koshy Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr.

Nicole and Darrel Wanzer-Serrano

Pam and Ray McComas

Cheryl Watkins

H. B. Mitchell

J. Scott and Megan Wunn

Lanny and B. J. Naegelin

Joe and Pam Wycoff

To join the 1925 Society, or to learn more about making a planned gift to the National Speech & Debate Association, please contact Nicole Wanzer-Serrano at nicole.wanzer-serrano@speechanddebate.org.

Student Service Citations The following students have received Student Service Citations from the National Speech & Debate Association in recognition of outstanding service to speech and debate education. Students receive a citation for every 100 service points earned through activities such as community speaking or outreach. A single act of service usually garners between two and five service points. These citations were earned between December 15, 2016 and March 1, 2017.


Student Service Citation, 7th Degree (700+ points) Carmen Perez Home Educator’s Outsourcing Solutions Kory Turner Sacred Heart High School Morgan Leanor Tracy Rio Grande High School


770 725 702

Student Service Citation, 6th Degree (600+ points) Connor Rothschild Kickapoo High School Gift Riley-Norman ILEAD North Hollywood


637 602

Student Service Citation, 5th Degree (500+ points) Tyler Sheets Towanda Jr.-Sr. High School



Student Service Citation, 4th Degree (400+ points) Kennedi Cox Odessa High School William Lloyd Egan Enderlin High School Mulvane High School Victoria Jansen Jimmy McDermott Prospect High School Willard High School Carson Kroenke Kiersten Lange North Platte High School Joseph Delorto Downers Grove North High School Home Educator’s Outsourcing Solutions Allison Dakota Shaw Christian Delgado Rio Grande High School Thomas Brautigam Elk Grove High School Ryann Ersoff ILEAD North Hollywood Ryan Paredes Clear Falls High School Savannah Raup Conway High School


447 439 425 412 409 408 405 404 401 400 400 400 400

Student Service Citation, 3rd Degree (300+ points) Hallie Malsbury North Platte High School Jordyn Russell-Mills Towanda Jr.-Sr. High School Kelaney Stalker North Platte High School Isabelle Picciotti Oak Park & River Forest High School New London High School Dorea Lauer Aidan Fitzgerald Chaminade High School Emad Shahnoushi Palisade High School Ryan Kinville Madison High School Ashley Pearson Yucaipa High School Henry Lininger South Eugene High School Mandi Hatch North Platte High School


373 366 366 360 355 348 335 334 334 333 328


Student Service Citation, 3rd Degree (300+ points) E.N. Hackerott Mulvane High School Steven Sims Marshall High School William Wang Pine View School Hope Smothers McMinnville High School Mavelyn Cruz Democracy Prep Bronx Preparatory Charter School Ashtyn Harms Home Educator’s Outsourcing Solutions Kickapoo High School Kyra Jensen Sawyer Barnett Carson High School North Platte High School Michael Curtis Emily Dennary North Platte High School Korissa Runyan North Platte High School Jemez Mountain Home School Annika Nicole Davenport Britonya Fleming Rio Grande High School Grace Holtzclaw ILEAD North Hollywood Joshua Jones Home Educator’s Outsourcing Solutions Josh Harpell Bentonville High School Orono High School Jesse Bissen Justin Cummins ILEAD North Hollywood Enderlin High School Twyla Luella Gross Janae Robinson Belleville West High School


325 325 325 320 319 317 317 315 310 310 310 309 308 305 305 301 300 300 300 300

Student Service Citation, 2nd Degree (200+ points) Canon City High School Ariana Garcia Kaden Griesfeller North Platte High School Elleora Svoboda La Reina High School Zachary Ochsner North Platte High School Daisy Caruso Whitmer High School Flintridge Preparatory School Arthur Harris Ainsley Thimes North Platte High School Alief Taylor High School Duaa Fatima Chapel Tinius Bowling Green High School Joseph David Stark Glendale High School Alief Taylor High School Steven Ha Scott Alexander Thompson Bob Jones Academy Evan Kirksey Willard High School Vy Nguyen Alief Early College High School Mallary Ackerman Willard High School Benjamin Elliott Noblesville High School Nirvana Mendoza North Platte High School Caleb Stadler North Platte High School Kickapoo High School Jace Waring Ezoza Ismailova Towanda Jr.-Sr. High School Glendale High School Jacob ScottAnderson Jared Vlacovsky Central Catholic High School Elizabeth Tagg Lindale High School Bethany Bass Garland High School Robert Long Mulvane High School Kinzey Cooper North Platte High School Taya Hoatson North Platte High School Patrick Joseph Childress Valdosta High School Evan Donaldson Hinsdale Central High School Nicolas J. Gonzalez-Stuver Oak Park & River Forest High School Maria Putzier Salina High Central Juliana Janatowski Whitmer High School Hunter Christian Lee VanRiper East Carteret High School


285 285 281 280 277 277 275 273 272 268 261 260 259 256 252 245 245 245 245 244 243 242 241 238 236 235 235 233 230 230 230 227 225


Student Service Citation, 2nd Degree (200+ points) Bo Bowers Haskell High School Whitney Elliott Kickapoo High School Ethan Gambriel Willard High School Ashlyn Jones Comeaux High School Kristijan Barnjak Chaminade High School Joshua Sevy Sugar Salem High School Klein High School Lauren Domino Cecilia Caputo Whitmer High School Gabrielino High School Lloyd Kwan Logan Baker Haskell High School Jack Franco Hinsdale Central High School Bowling Green High School Josh Hall Katherine McCann Bob Jones Academy Audie Pritchett Bixby High School Emily Reynolds Canon City High School Meghan Settle Garland High School Justin Parrish Princeton High School Ruby Scanlon Los Angeles Center For Enriched Studies Haskell High School Ryan King Jessie Lee Page Mountain Home High School Daisey Dabols Yucaipa High School Jamie Landers Hoover High School Desarae Gorney Carrollton High School Andrew Pham Alhambra High School Grace Dean Noblesville High School Kickapoo High School Dallas Finley Kyler Arriola Jackson Hole High School Elizabeth Campos Gabrielino High School Spencer Ehrenberg ILEAD North Hollywood North Allegheny Sr. High School Brendan Grzyb Gabriella Marta Keller High School Hannah Brewer Farmington High School Jessica Hernandez Dardanelle High School Neil Binnie Miramonte High School Kiara Bradford Conway High School Conway High School Dawson Brown Maggie Carroll Conway High School Neely Caudle Conway High School Andrew Chow Miramonte High School Miramonte High School Iris Chow Jordan Clements Jack C. Hays High School Justin Cotter West Plains High School Maggie Eckberg East Ridge High School Liam Mitchell Fitzgerald New London High School Julia Fustini Canon City High School Emily A. Gascoigne Maryville R-II High School Maggie Graham Comeaux High School Nicholas Jaynes Shelley High School Matthew Aaron Jordan Bentonville High School Connor Maguire Chaminade High School East Ridge High School Tony May Reilly Mullaney Conway High School Marlynn Pollard Democracy Prep Harlem High School Noah Smith Conway High School Cooper Tribett Conway High School




223 223 223 223 220 220 218 217 217 216 215 215 215 215 215 213 212 212 211 211 210 210 208 207 205 205 203 203 202 202 202 201 201 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200


The Academic All American award recognizes students who have earned the degree of Superior Distinction (750 points); completed at least 5 semesters of high school; demonstrated outstanding character and leadership; and earned a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent). NOTE: If the GPA is between 3.5 and 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent), students also must have received an ACT score of 27 or higher, or a New SAT score of 1300 or higher.

ARIZONA Katherine Abughazaleh Salpointe Catholic High School CALIFORNIA Nikhil Chakravarty Alex DeTaboada Arman Ghafari Lilly Hackworth Joshua Juarros Anthony Kolshorn Leo Korsunsky Spencer Levitt Gilbert Neuner Vandita Pendse Torin Siegel Derek Zhang Frances Zhuang

Granada Hills Charter High School Carlsbad High School El Modena High School Notre Dame High School Antelope High School Bonita Vista High School Miramonte High School Chaminade College Prep Bonita Vista High School Mountain View High School Servite High School Mountain View High School Palo Alto High School

COLORADO Calisse R. Burand Mia L. Gilbertson Alec Greven Alexa Holsten Christopher Jachimiak Freia A. Siegel

Centennial High School Centennial High School Castle View High School Resurrection Christian School Centaurus High School Centennial High School

FLORIDA Jonathan Gant Lalee Ibssa Alexandra Lipton Xavier Strong

Trinity Preparatory School Trinity Preparatory School Trinity Preparatory School Miramar High School

GEORGIA Patrick Joseph Childress Valdosta High School

(December 15, 2016 through March 1, 2017)

INDIANA Zev Burton Spencer Wells

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School

IOWA Travis Hazelett

Bettendorf High School

KANSAS Daniel Louis Birzer Adam Davies Srivats Siva Narayanan Tyler J. Ross

Blue Valley West High School Wichita Collegiate Upper School Blue Valley West High School Salina South High School

MINNESOTA Adnan Askari Benjamin Konstan Kathryn Schmechel Henry Ziemer

St. Paul Academy & Summit School St. Paul Academy & Summit School St. Paul Academy & Summit School St. Paul Academy & Summit School

MISSISSIPPI Madison Alliston John Bethea Riley Houston Nyah Jordan Parth Malaviya Cameron Miller Alex Wade Crystal Wilson

Sacred Heart Catholic School Madison Central High School Madison Central High School Sacred Heart Catholic School Madison Central High School Sacred Heart Catholic School Sacred Heart Catholic School Hattiesburg High School

MISSOURI Joseph Amundson Sohrab Azad Cole Baker Ross Fitzpatrick Camron Wolfgang Haas Jillian Jetmore Zachary Kauffman Maxwell Keeney Brayden King Shaun Lamar Alyssa Marshall Aaron Mohabbat Elijah Pitts Olivia Rauls

Willard High School Oakville Sr. High School Willard High School The Barstow School Blue Springs South High School The Pembroke Hill School Willard High School The Pembroke Hill School Lee’s Summit High School Oakville Sr. High School Willard High School Oakville Sr. High School Willard High School Oakville Sr. High School




MISSOURI (continued) Jessi Schoolcraft Jeana Scott Devon Shewell Matthew Styslinger Jessica Thomas Ashlyn Wadle Ryan Westwood William August Wood

Willard High School Raymore-Peculiar High School Central High School - St. Joseph The Pembroke Hill School Carthage High School Willard High School Oakville Sr. High School Blue Springs South High School

MONTANA Alex Moore

Skyview High School

NEBRASKA Emily O’Gara Olivia Pletcher

Pius X High School Pius X High School

NEVADA Ragya Kaul

Sage Ridge School

NORTH CAROLINA Collin Brown Michael Li

Durham Academy Durham Academy


West Fargo Sheyenne High School

OHIO Oriana Cruz Debolina Ghosh Isha Lele Benjamin Lipkin

Hathaway Brown School Hathaway Brown School Hathaway Brown School Copley High School

OREGON Avery M. Beckius Kate LeBlanc Bethany F. Scholes

North Valley High School Lincoln High School North Valley High School

PENNSYLVANIA Julia Gyourko Kolten Hilterman Elizabeth Ludwig Eli Manaker Sahil Patel

Strath Haven High School Knoch Senior High School Mercer Area High School Strath Haven High School Danville Area High School

SOUTH DAKOTA Jacksyn Bakeberg Griffin Smith

Spearfish High School Spearfish High School


(December 15, 2016 through March 1, 2017)

TENNESSEE Musa Subramaniam

Franklin High School

TEXAS Anish Antony Kaylee Caffey Benjamin Cupo Cara Day Elizabeth Grace Dickens Rasin Faruk Ethan Goode

Clear Brook High School Mabank High School Victoria East High School St. Agnes Academy Mabank High School Richardson High School Barbers Hill High School Chapel Hill High School - Mt. Pleasant Bailey Ann Hall Big Spring High School Seth Hamby Chapel Hill High School - Mt. Pleasant Kendal Heavner Pamela Nicole Johnson Barbers Hill High School Jersey Village High School Noah Kopesky Chapel Hill High School - Mt. Pleasant Parker Laing James Bowie High School Emma Lopez Ann Richards School Asha Mani Saint Mary’s Hall High School Cesar Martinez Saint Mary’s Hall High School Nicci Mattey Saint Mary’s Hall High School Afi Momin John Paul II High School Ann Plat Mabank High School Jacey Pridgen Clear Brook High School Keion Rasti Clear Brook High School Gabe Rivera Mount Pleasant High School Nathon Segovia Mabank High School Jake Ian Snyder Saint Mary’s Hall High School Vincent Vasquez Ashish Wadhwani Dulles High School Dhiren Wijesinghe Clear Brook High School Ryan Williams Clear Brook High School Lauren Willingham Barbers Hill High School UTAH Jacob Bosen McKayle Bradford Ted Kanell

Morgan High School Roy High School Beaver High School

VIRGINIA Ana Bakke Nash Hemrajani Quentin Levin Thomas Robert Rollins William Thompson

West Springfield High School Thomas Jefferson HS Science & Tech The Potomac School The Potomac School The Potomac School

Welcome New Schools Kingman High School


(December 15, 2016 through March 1, 2017)

Kennebunk High School


Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School CA

Al Furqan Academy


Alma Heights Christian Schools


Frankel Jewish Academy


Bassett Senior High School


Warren Woods Tower High School


De Toledo High School


Affton High School


Excel Academy


Bronaugh High School


Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy


Calvary Lutheran High School


Humanities & Arts Academy Of Los Angeles


Sullivan High School


Junipero Serra High School


Stanford High School


View Park Preparatory High School


Princeton International School Of Math And Science NJ

Westminster High School


Shiprock High School


Hall High School


American Preparatory Academy


Middleton High School


East Syracuse Minoa Central High School


Westwood Schools


World View High School


Eddyville Blakesburg Jr./Sr. High School


Arch Bishop Moeller High School


Curie Metropolitan High School


Leetonia High School


DuSable Leadership Academy


Kiefer Public Schools


Gary Comer College Prep


Columbia Christian School


Hononegah High School


Valley Catholic School


Nobel Academy


Wilson High School


Dixie Heights High School


Oliver Academy


Brooke High School


Westlake Academy


Henderson Inclusion High School


Episcopal High School


Lawrence Academy


Fork Union Military Academy


St. Mary’s High School


Bothell High School


Apple Valley High School Seeks Director of Speech and Debate Apple Valley High School, a public high school in Apple Valley, Minnesota, is seeking candidates who are experienced and passionate about speech and debate. A well-established state and nationally recognized program, AVHS competes in Speech, Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Congressional Debate. We are interested in hiring a Director of Speech and Debate or may consider dividing the role into two positions (a Director of Debate and a Director of Speech). If you prefer to have fewer administrative responsibilities but want to coach, we are always interested in hiring new members to our staff. The program is financially stable, offers a collaborative team of dedicated coaches, and has strong support from the school, school district, and community. Coaching is extra-curricular and is not done during the school day. Financial compensation for various roles will be based on the extent of responsibility. We anticipate a teaching position in Language Arts and/or Speech Communication will be available. Other core disciplines may also be available. All applicants for the teaching position must have or obtain a Minnesota state teaching license. Direct all questions, including application procedures, to Pam Cady Wycoff, Apple Valley High School. Email address is pam.wycoff@district196.org. The school phone number is (952) 431-8200. Ask for Pam Cady Wycoff’s extension.




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43rd Annual S u n d a y, J u n e 2 5 - S a t u r d a y, J u l y 8 , 2 0 1 7 Why choose Samford Debate Institute? 

Learn from a national – caliber staff at a reasonable price.


Samford is committed to maintaining low prices during tough economic times. Limited financial aid is available.

Residents (Policy & LD)

$1,500.00 (including $50.00 deposit)

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Public Forum Division

Dates: Sunday, June 25th - Saturday, July 1

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$750.00 (including $50.00 deposit)

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