Fifth Diamonds u FIFTH DIAMOND u MARTHA BENHAM Cherry Creek High School, CO December 11, 2017 • 22,635 Points Marti Benham joined the Columbine High School speech and debate team when she was 15 and has been involved in the activity ever since. During college, she coached at J. K. Mullen High School for one year. Then, she returned to Columbine High School as an assistant coach for one year and served as the head coach for 12 years. In 2003, Marti moved to Cherry Creek High School, where she has been coaching and teaching for the past 15 years. While she would love to have even more students involved in speech and debate activities, she is proud to have 240 to 270 students each year. Marti works to provide a safe, welcoming, and challenging atmosphere in her classroom and on her team. She is very happy that many of her students consider the debate room their second home. Cherry Creek often ranks in the top 20 largest programs in the NSDA. During her coaching tenure, she has had 189 students qualify to represent the Colorado District at the NSDA National Tournament. Cherry Creek has received several Schools of Excellence awards and won the Bruno E. Jacob Sweepstakes Award in 2015.
Marti strongly believes in serving others. In addition to her work as a district chair, Marti has served in a variety of roles in Colorado and with the NSDA. Knowing how important the activity is and how valuable her relationships are with other educators and coaches, she is very proud to have hosted the first NSDA National Conference in 2017 and often hosts the Colorado Coaches’ Conference. Marti is active in her school as a sponsor of the National Honor Society and an active member of both the Technology and Graduation Speaker committees. While teaching and coaching take a great deal of her time, she loves spending time with family and friends, especially her two nieces.
u FIFTH DIAMOND u STEVE MEADOWS Danville High School, KY January 22, 2018 • 13,173 Points
Kentucky’s first five-diamond coach, Steve Meadows, is a 27year veteran who has spent the last 24 years with a program he resurrected at Danville High School after leaving a program and NSDA chapter he started at Beechwood High School, both in Kentucky. During his tenure, he has been active in district and national leadership roles, serving 20 terms as Kentucky’s district chair and another two on the District Committee. As a longtime district chair, he founded the state’s annual professional development conference (SPEAK), an alliance of all Kentucky
ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2018
speech and debate organizations spearheaded by KYNSDA. He has been a member of the NSDA’s national conference planning and curriculum committees, helping organize the first national speech and debate education conference as well as the upcoming one plus guiding the League as it expands its offerings to classroom teachers. His students have advanced to national finals in United States Extemp, International Extemp, and Oratory plus Prose and Expository, and Danville’s chapter has won District and Sweepstakes titles multiple times despite the school’s stature as one of the smallest schools in the Kentucky District. Meadows has been a member of the National Tournament speech tab staff for more than a decade and has served as a category chair as well as the last two years as the Director of Public Speaking events. The National Communication Association named Meadows its 2015 K-12 Teacher of the Year. In 2016, Meadows was honored with the Ralph E. Carey Career Service Award at the National Tournament. He treasures his friendships with coaches from Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Indiana to South Carolina, Alabama, Colorado, and New York, forged in Nationals tab rooms as well as at the NSDA Summer Leadership Conferences (he’s attended all of them).
Volume 92 Issue 4