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VOLUME 93 ISSUE 4 A P R . / M AY 2 0 1 9












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UUTT NNaa tt ii o n a ll II nnssttiittuuttee o n a U T N a t i o n ianl F I nosr teint u es siticc o i n F r e n s i n F o r e n s i c ss

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National Institute National NationalInstitute Institute in Forensics in inForensics Forensics Weinvite inviteyou you join next summer for the We to to join us us next summer for the 26th26th We invite you to join us nextinsummer for the 26th Annual UT National Institute in Forensics. Annual UT National Institute Forensics. Annual UT National Institute The UTNIF continues to be oneone of in the largest The UTNIF continues to be ofForensics. the largest The UTNIF continues to be one of the largest and most accomplished summer forensic and most accomplished summer forensic and most accomplished summer forensic programs the country. Just a few reasons whywhy programsin in the country. Just a few reasons programs in thecoming Justyear few reasons why our students keep back after year: our students keepcountry. coming backa year after year: our students keep coming back year after year: incomparable education, superior resources, incomparable education, superior resources, incomparable education, superior resources, unmatched faculty, reasonable rates, tremendous unmatched faculty, reasonable rates, tremendous unmatched faculty, reasonable rates, tremendous alumni, and best of all—summer in Austin, Texas! alumni, and best of all—summer in Austin, Texas! alumni, and best of all—summer in Austin, Texas!

Success is a product of excellent and immensely talented students, incredibly hard working coaches, supportive

parents schools, amounts of time that include investment in hard summer opportunities. is that Success isand a is product ofand excellent andand immensely talented students, incredibly coaches, Success a product ofexceptional excellent immensely talented students, incredibly hardworking working coaches,It supportive supportive understanding that makes UTNIF one amounts of the largest comprehensive institutes in the country year after year, and parents andand schools, andand exceptional of of time that include investment ininsummer opportunities. It is why that parents schools, exceptional amounts time that include investment summer opportunities. weunderstanding have assembled some of the brightest minds in the nation institutes for our program. Itcountry is alsoyear that after educational makes UTNIF offorensic the largest comprehensive institutes thecountry year after year, year, and why understanding thatthat makes UTNIF oneone of the largest comprehensive ininthe why that has some enabled of our summer programs tothe succeed atfor every level, from high school and well into we have assembled some of the brightest forensic minds nationfor ourprogram. program. isalso also that educational educational wephilosophy have assembled of alumni the brightest forensic minds in in the nation our ItItis that collegiate forensic competition. philosophy that enabled alumni of our summer programs succeedatatevery everylevel, level,from fromhigh high school school and well into philosophy that hashas enabled alumni of our summer programs totosucceed into collegiate forensic competition. collegiate forensic competition.

Passion… Elegance… Excellence Passion…Elegance… Elegance…Excellence Excellence Passion… Projected 2019 program dates: Projected2019 2019program programdates: dates: Projected

Note: For planning purposes only. All dates subject to continuing contract agreements and subject to change.

Note: For planning purposes only. All dates subject to continuing contract agreements and subject to change. Note: For planning purposes only. All dates subject to continuing contract agreements and subject to change. CX first session: June 25-July 13 CXCX second session: 17-August first session: July June 25-July413 CX first session: June 25-July 13(extension Speech Events: June 27-July 12 through July 16) CX second session: July 17-August 4 PFsecond first session: June 30-July 12 4 CX session: July 17-August Speech Events: June 27-July 12 (extension through July 16) 19-July 3112 (extension through July 16) PF second session: July Speech Events: June 27-July PF first session: June 30-July 12 July 19-August 2 LD:first session: PF June 30-July 31 PF second session: July 19-July12 CXsecond Novice:session: July July 19-July 19-July27 31 PF

LD: LD:CX Novice: CX Novice:

UTNIF Dept. of Communication Studies UTNIF 1 University Station UTNIF Dept. of A1105 Communication Studies Mail Code 1of University Station Studies Dept. Communication Austin, Texas 78712-1105 Mail Code A1105 1 University Station Texas 78712-1105 Mail Austin, Code A1105

Austin, Texas 78712-1105

July 19-August 2 July 19-August 2 July 19-July 27 July 19-July 27

Phone: 512-471-5518

Fax: 512-232-1481 Phone: 512-471-5518

Phone: Fax: 512-471-5518 512-232-1481 Fax: 512-232-1481

From the Editor

Board of Directors

For many years, I’ve chosen to close the National Awards Assembly at our National Tournament the same way. As the end of a long night of excitement draws closer, the crowd begins shifting in their seats. “If you are a senior in the National Speech & Debate Association,” I say, “please stand.” It’s always a significant portion of the crowd. Many students at the tournament have worked their whole high school career to qualify and compete at the highest level. The crowd applauds and the students move to sit again. “I want you to remain standing,” I say. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to have a conversation just with you.” The theme of my Director’s Charge to seniors is different each year. I’ve urged graduating students to think for themselves, to stand for their convictions, and to let their voices create a better world. But the underlying message I seek to convey to students is always the same—that the skills they’ve learned through their time in this activity will go with them wherever they go next. They’ve become critical thinkers, confident speakers, respectful communicators, and most of all, they’ve learned how to be leaders. As another school year ends, I find myself revisiting the charge to the class of 2018 to go out into the world as inclusive, servant leaders. I think the profiles in this issue show what those words truly mean. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories we’ve put together. To the class of 2019, I share this early charge, which I invite you to pass along to your students. Encourage them to continue serving the speech and debate community. Ask them to give back to your school and local program. Remind them that speech and debate doesn’t end with the final bell. The skills they learn will be with them for the rest of their lives. Please know, as their coach and educator, this lifelong legacy is largely because of you. Thank you for your dedicated service in this activity! Sincerely,

ELECTED MEMBERS Pam Cady Wycoff President Minnesota Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr. Vice President California Byron R. Arthur Louisiana David Huston Texas Adam J. Jacobi Wisconsin Jennifer M. Jerome Nebraska Renee C. Motter Colorado Timothy E. Sheaff Iowa

APPOINTED MEMBERS J. Scott Wunn Executive Director



401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730 | Phone (920) 748-6206 J. Scott Wunn, Editor and Publisher Vicki Pape, Managing Editor Amy Seidelman, Content Editor Emily Bratton, Graphic Design Assistant Emily Kriegel, Advertising Coordinator

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Rostrum (ISSN 1073-5526), Copyright © 2019 by the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), is published five times per year (Sept., Nov., Feb., Apr., and Aug.) by the NSDA, 401 Railroad Pl., West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730. Business and Editorial Offices: NSDA, 401 Railroad Pl., West Des Moines, IA, 50265-4730. Accounting and Circulation Offices: NSDA, 401 Railroad Pl., West Des Moines, IA 50265-4730. Call (920) 748-6206 to subscribe. Periodicals postage is paid at Des Moines, IA 50318, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Rostrum, c/o NSDA, 401 Railroad Pl., 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.



Wendy Orthman Tennessee Tom Rollins Virginia Monica Silverstein New York

To learn more about the Board, visit meet-the-team. You may also contact the Board by emailing


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

Albert Odom, Jr.

Phyllis Flory Barton

J. W. Patterson

James Copeland

Capt. Joseph L. and Jan Pizzo

Don and Ann Crabtree

Dr. Polly and Bruce Reikowski

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 Kandi King Cherian and Betsy Koshy

Richard Sodikow William Woods Tate, Jr.

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

In this Issue : V O LU M E 93 : I S SU E 4 : A P R I L / M AY 2019

From the Cover




From the Editor


2018-2019 Topics

Governance and Leadership


News + Notes


From Your Board President


Membership Minute


Board of Directors Minutes


Resource Roundup

Margo Batha: Leading By Example by Aiden Kwen


National Tournament


Changes to Supplemental and Consolation Events for the 2020 National Tournament


Overview of High School Tournament Logistics


Take Our Membership Survey in May!


Coaches’ Caucuses


After-School Tournaments: A Snapshot



Cultural Competency Guidelines at the National Tournament

Overview of Middle School Tournament Logistics


How Policy Debate Topic Selection Really Works

by James Weaver


Attend the 2019 National Speech & Debate Conference


NSDE Day: Thanks for Celebrating With Us!


Moving Big Questions Outside the Box


USA Debate Team Reminisces and Prepares for Sri Lanka by Emily Grantham and Leila Saklou


by Rob Moeny, Melodie Gragg, Jan Pizzo, and Lynn Pizzo

Words from the Hall by Mark Ferguson

Recognition 56

Coach Profile: Sarah Donnelly by Yash Wadwekar


Student Spotlight: Madeline Gochee by Eleanor Hildebrandt


Diamond Coach Recognition


Quad Ruby and Triple Ruby Coach Recognition

Like us on Facebook speechanddebate Share with us on Instagram @speechanddebate Follow us on Twitter @speechanddebate Follow us on LinkedIn

OUR MISSION Rostrum shares best practices, resources, and opportunities that connect, support, and inspire a diverse community of educators committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate.



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Current topics, voting links, and resources available at: Member students and one chapter advisor per school are eligible to vote!

Send us your suggestions for PF topic areas and LD resolutions! Access the online submission forms by visiting our website:



Public Forum Debate Resolution will be released May 1, 2019, at

Congressional Debate Legislation The national office will release the high school docket by May 10, 2019, containing 15 preliminary, 8 House quarterfinal, 8 semifinal, and 5 final legislation.


Lincoln-Douglas Debate Resolution will be released May 1, 2019, at


World Schools Debate Prepared motions will be released May 1, 2019, at


Policy Debate Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.


Extemp Areas for IX, USX, Commentary Topic areas will be released May 1, 2019, at


Big Questions Debate Resolved: Humans are primarily driven by self-interest.





Any theme


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From Your Board President In an organization dedicated to communication skills, as a Board, we feel it is critically important to provide answers to your questions. Although it has been nearly two years since we expanded the number of appointed Board members, I believe their role and benefit may remain a mystery to many in our membership. At our March Virtual Board Meeting, we welcomed our newest appointed Board member, Wendy Orthman. We also voted to extend our original appointees, Tom Rollins and Monica Silverstein, for a second two-year term. Superintendent Robert Runcie currently holds the appointed Administrative Rep seat. At the May Board meeting, we will consider an additional fifth appointed Board seat. Why are we committed to this expansion? Well, let’s talk… Overall, these business and community leaders add a valuable level of non-profit organizational expertise and experience to the NSDA. Yes, first and foremost, we are a membership-centered organization—but in 1956, Bruno E. Jacob had the foresight to acquire our 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization. Even before that, the value of an appointed Board member seat was recognized, and the role of Administrative Rep was added. This seat introduced a new perspective, skill set, and specialized level of expertise unique to principals and superintendents to our Board composition.



Fast forward to 2015. At a strategic planning retreat, the Board reviewed the best practices of other successful non-profit organizations. In the majority of cases, Boards are fully comprised of business and community leaders who bring to the table experience and expertise in the areas of governance, finance, development, human resources, marketing, etc. To uphold our core identity as a membership organization yet embrace the benefits of traditional non-profits, the Board decided to retain the number of elected Board member seats, but marry it with the addition of more appointed Board members. This would also provide an important opportunity to diversify our Board demographic and positively impact our commitment to inclusion. So, how are these appointed Board members selected? All potential candidates are evaluated on the basis of their Strategic Value/Expertise, Mission and Vision Attachment, Speech and Debate Affinity and/or Experience, NonProfit Board Experience, Diversity Enhancing Traits, Fundraising Capacity, Level of Commitment/ Availability, and Geographic Reach/ Location. Candidates are then approached to determine their willingness to serve. The full elected Board is then responsible for voting to appoint each member. The responsibilities of elected and appointed Board members differ. For that reason, our Board

meetings are now divided into two parts: 1) Governance – The full Board focuses on our strategic plan goals and how to responsibly pursue them via finance and development. 2) Competition and Rules – The elected Board is responsible for making decisions about the rules that govern our district and national level competitions. You might be wondering, isn’t the addition of Board members expensive? The answer is no. Appointed Board members agree to volunteer their time and expertise, cover their own transportation and hotel costs for all Board-related travel, and donate to the organization and/or fundraise on its behalf. In other words, not only do they pay their own way to help us, they agree to financially support us. Current Board members have served in special advisory roles and funded projects to benefit the organization. They do not add to our costs. In fact, in many ways, I believe we owe them a debt of gratitude. As a person who has worked alongside these individuals for the past two years, I believe this dynamic has created an exciting new level of constructive, cooperative leadership that has and will continue to greatly benefit our membership. After this conversation, I hope you will agree. Until next time!

Pam Cady Wycoff NSDA Board President


Leadership Board of Directors Minutes


he NSDA Board of Directors held its March Virtual Meeting on March 4, 2019. In attendance were President Pam Cady Wycoff, Vice President Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Byron Arthur, David Huston, Adam J. Jacobi, Jennifer Jerome, Renee Motter, Wendy Orthman, Tom Rollins, Timothy Sheaff, and Monica Silverstein. Robert Runcie was not in attendance. President Wycoff called the meeting to order.

PAST MINUTES A record of past minutes were approved via email prior to this meeting for publication in Rostrum.

COMMITTEE REPORTS Meeting minutes from the Governance, Development, Finance, and Rules Revision and Evaluation (RRE) Committees were submitted in advance for Board members to review and ask clarifying questions during the meeting.

BOARD SELF-EVALUTION PRIORITIES Moved by Huston, seconded by Rollins: “Approve the targeted goals and strategies developed for the 2018-2019 Board Self-Evaluation Priorities and extend them through 2020 for evaluation.” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) Prior to the meeting, Board members were surveyed to offer specific strategies for implementation during the year to increase their overall effectiveness as a Board. These suggestions were then compiled, reviewed, and narrowed. The primary focus area is Public Relations and Advocacy. New strategies along with the advancement of current strategies were endorsed. This also included a review of goals that are currently being addressed by standing committees, working groups, and focus groups. Tactical suggestions for the Executive Director and staff to consider were also presented.

March 4, 2019 ELECTED BOARD AND BOARD LEADERSHIP TERM LIMITS DISCUSSION As part of a review of non-profit best practices, the Governance Committee prepared research along with three potential proposals on the topic for review and discussion. The NSDA Board of Directors is committed to evaluating its current structure, including term limits of elected members and term limits of leadership (president and vice president). The examination may result in changes in current practice or a decision to maintain the status quo. During the meeting time allotted, Board members discussed the pros and cons of current practices as well as feedback on the various proposals to institute term limits. Further discussion will continue online via shared Google Docs in preparation for discussion at the May Board Meeting.

CONSTITUTIONAL REVISIONS The Constitutional revisions outlined below fall into two categories. First, there are proposed edits to modernize the document and language to reflect 21st century rules and operations. One of the most significant revision clarifications officially recognizes middle school coach and student memberships, hence verifying voting rights for our middle school advisors in national elections. Second, there are revisions for the purpose of organizational innovations. Among these are changes that reflect the use of digital services over paper, as well as language to move forward with a strategic initiative to foster diverse representation within District Committees. All immediate and future changes to the NSDA Constitution and Bylaws can be found at Moved by Huston, seconded by Jacobi: “As proposed by the Assistant Executive Director and reviewed by the Governance Committee, modernize the NSDA Constitution document and language to reflect 21st century rules and operations.” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein)


Moved by Huston, seconded by Lindsey: “As proposed by the Assistant Executive Director and reviewed by the Governance Committee, amend constitutional Bylaw #11, item 2, to read as follows: ‘The chapters in each district shall elect a chairperson and committee of voting members by weighted ordinal ballot; the ballot for each chapter to be counted equally. Ties will be broken by voter’s head-to-head preference, then the number of first place votes, then the number of second place votes, and so on. The term of office shall begin on August 1, and continue for two years or the current term length as approved by the Board of Directors.’” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) Moved by Orthman, seconded by Rollins: “As proposed by the Assistant Executive Director and reviewed by the Governance Committee, amend constitutional Bylaw #11 to read as follows: ‘When prescribed by the Board of Directors, the district committee may be allowed to appoint additional member(s).’” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) Moved by Rollins, seconded by Jerome: “As proposed by the Assistant Executive Director and reviewed by the Governance Committee, amend constitutional Bylaw #15 to read as follows: ‘Any coach on the national records shall be marked inactive if such person does not appear on the active roster for any school. Any student on the national records shall count toward school strength if their membership is paid and they have not yet graduated. To be district eligible, the student will also require a valid, unique email address in the system.’” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) Moved by Motter, seconded by Jacobi: “As proposed by the Assistant Executive Director and reviewed by the Governance Committee, change the High School Unified Manual to read as follows: ‘Eligible Members: Coaches and students will count in determining chapter strength, and therefore, district standing as soon as their individual memberships are paid. Students are district eligible if their membership is paid, they have a valid, unique email address on their NSDA account, and they have met the 25 point threshold for district participation.’” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein)



TABROOM.COM ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH PLANS Moved by Rollins, seconded by Silverstein: “Table the original timeline in favor of the revised ‘Concept 2’ proposal as an intermediate step with an analysis step in the fall of 2019 as recommended by the Finance Committee.” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) The Board continued its discussions on the community and organization’s reliance on the NSDA supported tabulation software and potential steps to best ensure its technical viability, quality of service, and economic sustainability. Over the next year, the NSDA will continue to provide as a general service to the community and some enhanced services to the NSDA membership for District Tournament and National Tournament registration, tabulation, and results reporting. In addition, data will be gathered to assess the software and determine appropriate future pathways for the organization as a whole.

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE The Assistant Executive Director provided a summary of strategic plan priority areas and outcomes achieved in Quarter 2 of 2018-2019. Board members collectively complimented staff on second quarter progress.

MEMBERSHIP CORRESPONDENCE In accordance with the Board’s goal of increased membership engagement, letters submitted to the Board were included in meeting materials to inform the Board of ideas, requests, and concerns that have been submitted for consideration. With the governance agenda completed, the appointed Board members were excused from the remainder of the meeting. The elected Board members remained to discuss appointed Board member recommendations and Competition Rules Committee issues.

APPOINTED BOARD MEMBER RECOMMENDATIONS Moved by Lindsey, seconded by Huston: “Adjourn into executive session to discuss and review appointed Board member recommendations.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) Moved by Huston, seconded by Lindsey: “Reconvene into general session.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) During executive session, the Board agreed to offer Tom Rollins and Monica Silverstein re-appointments to Board seats C and D. They will each serve an additional two-year term. Additionally, the Board discussed the future of an appointed board seat E, which will be considered for appointment at the May meeting.

for this proposal for implementation at the 2020 National Tournament. (See the article on page 12 for details.)

COMPETITION RULES Cultural Competency Guidelines for National Tournament Judges

National Tournament Rule Infraction Penalty Range Pilot

As part of our 2018-2019 Inclusion Commitments, the NSDA continues to strive for a diverse, inclusive, and representative judging pool at the National Tournament. To meet this promise, the staff will produce introductory cultural competency guidelines through a course created in partnership with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). This voluntary course will be promoted as an online resource for all judges at the National Tournament. (See the article on page 21 for more information.) World Schools Debate Points at Nationals Moved by Jerome, seconded by Jacobi: “Adopt the Rules Revision and Evaluation (RRE) Committee’s recommendation to award 10 points for a win and 8 points for a loss in World Schools Debate starting with the 2019 National Tournament.” Passed: 6-1 Aye: Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter No: Sheaff World Schools is a main event, yet the points awarded are not consistent with other debate events. Currently, WSD team members receive 6 points for a win and 3 points for a loss. Although two members of a team do not speak in the round, they are part of the team’s preparation. Therefore, the RRE Committee recommended that all team members should be awarded equally. However, the Committee agreed that sweepstakes points should not be allocated because the teams are generally composed of students from multiple schools and sweepstakes is an individual school award. The Board accepted this proposal as presented. National Tournament Supplemental and Consolation Event Pilot Moved by Huston, seconded by Motter: “Adopt the National Tournament Supplemental and Consolation Event Pilot Proposal as recommended by the RRE Committee.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) In conjunction with our strategic plan, the Executive Director and staff recommended a proposal to make supplemental and consolation events a better competitive and economically worthwhile experience for students. Upon endorsement, the Executive Director and staff will move forward with designing and implementing the tactics

Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Jerome: “Pilot the new rules infraction penalty ranges proposed by the RRE Committee at the 2019 National Tournament.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) The RRE Committee has created a range of penalty options to better address varying levels of rules infractions at the National Tournament. These penalty options will be piloted during the 2019 National Tournament and administered by the tournament adjudication panel. See the High School Unified Manual for further explanation of the procedures. At the conclusion of the pilot this summer, the procedures will be evaluated for potential implementation at the District Tournament level and at future National Tournaments. National Tournament Bud Process Proposal Moved by Huston, seconded by Motter: “Adopt the National Tournament Rules Adjudication Process Proposal for implementation at the 2019 National Tournament as recommended by the RRE Committee.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) In an effort to continually clarify and improve the rules adjudication process for the membership, as well as those staffed to assist with adjudication, the NSDA has further defined the roles of Ombudsperson, National Tournament Director, and Rules Adjudication Panel. An NSDA Ombudsperson is a person who, via the tournament office, attempts to provide important information to attendees and helps to resolve issues that may arise throughout the course of the tournament. Rules Adjudication Panelists are responsible for gathering all relevant data associated with a formal protest, interviewing the protesting and protested parties, and rendering a final decision to uphold or decline the protest and determine the appropriate penalties, if applicable. The National Tournament Director serves as an advisor to the Rules Adjudication Panelists and Ombudspersons. Moved by Jerome, seconded by Jacobi: “Adjourn.” Passed: 7-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff)

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? IDEAS? We want to hear from you! Send your feedback to ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 11


Changes to Supplemental and Consolation Events for the 2020 National Tournament


s we reflect on the growing size and number of competition opportunities afforded at the National Tournament, the NSDA has decided to pilot a change to the tournament structure. At the 2020 National Tournament, we will explore turning consolation events (Impromptu and Storytelling) into supplemental events, as well as running all supplemental speech events using a traditional tournament model. We believe this change will maximize the educational potential of the tournament experience and reduce logistical challenges for attendees.

in all supplemental speech events are guaranteed a full day of competition on Wednesday through three preset preliminary rounds. On Thursday, each event will break to the appropriate level of elimination rounds based on the size of the pool. These elimination rounds will be in the form of a single elimination bracket. Competition will continue through Thursday until final rounds are held on Friday. Supplemental speech events will remain open to double entry, and the Executive Director will determine appropriate double entry patterns based on entry numbers from previous National Tournaments.

Logistical Details of the Pilot

We believe this pilot would give more attention to Storytelling and Impromptu events, as well as move to a system that guarantees a more robust educational experience for students. Guaranteeing three preliminary rounds on Wednesday means that every student in the National Tournament has a chance to receive three full days of competition. Because consolation events eliminate

All supplemental events, including Extemporaneous Debate, Impromptu, and Storytelling, will begin on Wednesday and be available for students who have finished competing in their main event by Tuesday evening. Due to the size of the pool, Extemp Debate will continue to use a double down model. Students

Philosophy of the Pilot

students after one down, half of the students in Impromptu and Storytelling only receive a one-hour long competition opportunity on Thursday. Now that final rounds begin as early as 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, there are educational opportunities for all students each day of the tournament, even for students who have been eliminated from competition on Wednesday.

Who the Pilot Affects All students eliminated from competition on Wednesday in both main events and supplemental events will no longer have any competitionrelated activities on Thursday before finals begin at 1:00 p.m. This new system will affect round 9 qualifiers in main event debate and speech, House quarterfinalists, and Senate semifinalists who do not qualify for competition in these events on Thursday. This also affects students who, in previous years, entered in two supplemental speech events, were eliminated on Wednesday, and then entered a consolation event. Based on past tournament data of re-registered students, this will affect about five to seven percent of the debate

Summary of Pilot Changes for 2020 • Impromptu and Storytelling will be turned into supplemental events • Supplemental speech events will use a traditional tournament model • Three guaranteed prelim rounds on Wednesday • Single elimination round bracket on Thursday

and speech pool and up to 15 percent of the newly expanded Congressional Debate pool. However, given the move to a traditional tournament model, the number of guaranteed rounds offered students will remain the same.

Next Steps We will solicit community feedback before and after the pilot at the 2020 National Tournament. Based on your feedback, we may adjust our tournament structure for future National Tournaments. Lauren Burdt is the Big Questions Manager for the NSDA.

Questions or feedback about the 2020 Nationals pilot? Please contact 12


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FRAMEWORK FOR THE FUTURE: Take Our Membership Survey in May!


his spring, the NSDA will conduct a membership assessment, the results of which inform our membership offerings for the following three years. This survey provides members with a meaningful opportunity to have their voices heard and influence the direction of our organization.

Better Understanding Based on the feedback in 2015, we developed a better understanding of the most valuable aspects of membership and made strides to improve those offerings.

the Middle School Administrator of the Year Award, Exemplary Student Service Award, New Coach of the Year Award, Assistant Coach of the Year Award, and Educator of the Year Award. This last year, in particular, we have emphasized recognition opportunities for students based on their participation in the Honor Society, including the Academic All American award.

• The majority of respondents identified the opportunity to attend the district and/or National Tournament as Our last member the biggest value of their assessment was conducted membership. To expand in May of 2015. That survey access to the tournament, was designed to help the • Our publications matter! we’ve added new main NSDA staff and Board of Rostrum, in particular, was events including Program Directors understand which closely tied to member Oral Interpretation, benefits and programs loyalty, in that the rating Informative Speaking, and NSDA members value and the respondent gave the Big Questions, as well how well they believe the magazine correlated with as increasing Congress NSDA is doing in delivering their overall loyalty to qualifiers and district those experiences. the organization. Since World Schools Debate that survey, we’ve made teams. Over the next two Primary Objectives Rostrum a full color years, we will continue publication, added the exploring how to facilitate Our primary objectives for Nationals Chronicle, and more participation in the survey were to: covered more schools, districts and access to coaches, and students Nationals—a topic we’ll • understand why to share highlights from cover at the National major segments of our national community. Conference (see page 34). members belong and Members continue to • Coach, student, and how loyal they feel; make it great by offering school recognition is • determine which their own research, a key factor for many member benefits are perspectives, and editorial members. Over the being underutilized; and ideas for publication. last few years we’ve • measure the • When reacting to strategic added new recognition performance of priorities, members opportunities to allow the NSDA’s services indicated advocacy more members to be and programs. on behalf of the celebrated, including

All member coaches at schools with NSDA memberships for the 2018-2019 school year can participate in the survey. The first 500 program advisors who complete the survey will receive a $20 credit on their NSDA Account, limited to one credit per school. All other advisors and coaches who participate will be entered into a drawing for one of several prizes. We’ll notify eligible participants when the survey opens in May, so keep an eye on your email inbox!

activity and improved tabulation offerings were important. In 2016, we introduced National Speech and Debate Education Day to draw attention to and celebrate the value of speech and debate education and the critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills it builds, including sponsorship of a resolution in the United States Senate. We’ve also invested in as a tournament resource and continue to increase the support available for that product.

Questions about the membership assessment? Please contact 14


NEWS + NOTES Wanted: Course Content Authors The NSDA is seeking to commission several individuals or groups to develop the content for online, self-paced, professional development courses. These courses seek to provide adults the basic information needed to begin their journey as coaches or teachers. Course authors will be financially compensated for their time and work. At this time, we’re looking for course authors/writing teams for the following courses:

Create NSDA Posters Featuring Your Speech and Debate Team Have you seen our poster series for Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month? Now you can make your own posters using our We Are Speech And Debate branding featuring current students, coaches, or alumni from your program! Check out this awesome display below featuring students at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida.

• Intro to Coaching: World Schools Debate • Intro to Coaching: Original Oratory and Informative • Intro to Coaching: Dramatic and Humorous Interp • Intro to Coaching: Lincoln-Douglas Debate • Intro to Coaching: Public Forum Debate • Intro to Coaching: Policy Debate • Strategies for Teaching 21st Century Research Skills • Strategies for Finding and Cutting Interp Pieces • Stategies for Inclusive Recruiting and Mentoring We’re also open to your ideas! Do you have a course for teachers that you think would serve our members well? Let us know! Send an email to Lauren McCool at

MISSION The National Speech & Debate Association connects, supports, and inspires a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate.

Download the DIY poster template on our website, available at, then follow the instructions to start creating! Share your posters with us on social media @speechanddebate.

VISION We envision a world in which every student has access to membership in the National Speech & Debate Association, providing the educational resources, competitive opportunities, and expertise necessary to foster their communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills.

To learn more, visit Questions? Email or call (920) 748-6206. ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 15


Student Points and Degree Levels WHY THEY MATTER FOR PROGRAMS AND STUDENTS When high school students join the NSDA, they embark down the road to Premier Distinction, the highest degree level in our Honor Society. Below we share a breakdown of student membership at each degree level and what it all means for students and programs!



A school’s total strength is equal to the TOP 3 active, paid coach degrees plus ALL the active, paid student degrees. Only members with an email address attached to their account can contribute to a school’s strength, so make sure your members provide an email address! An email address can be entered by a student when they sign up for an account or it can be added by an advisor or a coach with permissions when creating an account from the student roster. For an example of strength, please see the illustration below.


Degrees are the basis for most of our school recognition, including earning charter status and club awards. Strength also impacts the number of entries a school can take to the district tournament.


Remember, all active, paid students with an email address attached to their account contribute to total strength, as represented by the blue highlighting below.





Amir Akbari



Bethany Baird



Carlos Cortes



Diana Deng

Premier Distinction


Erik Engebretsen



Remember, the top 3 active, paid coaches with an email address attached to their account contribute to strength, as indicated by the blue highlighting below.





Fatima Farooqi



Gemma Gupta



Hyun-Ae Han

Superior Distinction

Inari Irving

Special Distinction

Jorge Jiménez

Three Diamonds


+0 +5

|| Strength contribution: Each degree from an active, paid student adds another point to

a school’s strength. School strength is used to determine most NSDA school recognition, including earning charter status and club awards. Strength also impacts the number of entries a school can take to the district tournament. Check out our illustrated guide to strength at (shown at left). || Student award eligibility: In addition to school awards, points also determine a student’s

eligibility for special NSDA awards, such as the Academic All American award. || Reward for hard and honorable work: Earning points can provide motivation for

students to keep building their skills in the face of obstacles. Plus, points aren’t limited to competition activities. Many service activities are also eligible for points in our Honor Society (see opposite page).

+ 10 = 32

For a full table of degree values, please visit page 13 of the High School Unified Manual.

|| Show distinction: Each additional degree level is another feather in a student’s cap and

moves them into a smaller circle of NSDA members.

DEGREE LEVEL Merit Honor Excellence Distinction Special Distinction Superior Distinction Outstanding Distinction Premier Distinction
















Students become eligible for the Academic All American award, earned by only 1% of NSDA members each year.


Double Ruby



Triple Ruby


Students receive a personal note from NSDA Executive Director J. Scott Wunn congratulating them on reaching the highest degree level.


Quadruple Ruby



Quintuple Ruby


Students join our Honor Society and become eligible to compete at the district tournament and wear NSDA honor cords or insignia.

Students become eligible to judge Middle School competition at the National Tournament.


* Degree level percentages are based on 2018 NSDA high school student membership statistics. 16


CELEBRATE SUCCESS Consider ways to recognize and celebrate new degrees at your program! Incentivize students by hanging student membership certificates on the walls of your classroom or school hallways and celebrate each new degree seal. Or, at your end of year banquet, share each student’s degree level to celebrate their progress for the year. You can also use degree levels to coordinate special recognition for students! Degree levels can determine which students wear honor cords at graduation, or send off graduating students in style with NSDA pins and pendants with jeweled inserts corresponding to their degree level.

To view insignia, visit

(clockwise from top) Special thanks to Greg Malis of Isidore Newman School (LA), Emma Coates of Albion Middle School (UT), and Dylan Moses Bennett of Clear Springs High School (TX) for sharing photos of NSDA membership certificate displays in their schools.

POINTS AREN’T LIMITED TO COMPETITION ACTIVITIES As of March 21, 2019, more than 15,000 students have earned NSDA points this year for service to their schools or communities. Are your students among them? Recognize students living up to our Code of Honor by entering service points! Students may record up to 200 service points per year. Service activities can be recorded retroactively for the current and immediate past school years only. There are specific rules regarding service points, which are available starting on page 10 of the High School Unified Manual. Answers to the most frequently asked questions are below! || Can a high school student earn service points for judging? High school students may earn

two points per novice or middle school round judged, with a limit of four rounds per day. || Can a high school student earn service points for coaching? High school students

may earn two points per hour of coaching middle school practice sessions, which does not include tournaments. A maximum of 50 points per year may be recorded for coaching. Students may not earn points for coaching their fellow high school teammates. || Can a high school student earn service points for theatre performances?

High school students may earn points for acting/theatrical performances and/or theatre/ festival competition. The student will earn five points for each performance of a play in front of an audience or in competition. They may earn a maximum of 20 points for any particular play or particular competitive readers theatre selection, one act team, ensemble, choral reading group, etc.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE for more information! ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 17


Resource Roundup


very coach has their specialization in speech and debate. And just like all great teachers, we find lessons, activities, wording—even carefully timed jokes—that land the same way each year. But, like most teachers, we also can fall into the pit of routine. I was no different. As my years of coaching interpretation events went on, I accumulated handouts, PowerPoints, videos, activities, and yes— hysterical and memorable jokes that always resulted in a standing ovation. (Okay, maybe not, but I did accumulate a lot of lessons.) Even so, I fell into a routine. Toward the end of my coaching career, there were two resources in the NSDA’s Team Resource Package that helped bring new life to old lessons—the Script Database and the Interpretation Textbook.

National Tournament Script Database When I started coaching, I hated that the NSDA published a list of scripts used at the National

Tournament. I spent days of my summer and hundreds of my own dollars to find top-notch literature for my students, and there went the NSDA, giving all my work away. But then I began to look at the resource in a different light.

Cross-Checking I firmly believe that recently successful pieces at the National Tournament should not be reused. With the depth and breadth of literature being produced, there are always new stories to tell. However, the Script Database gave my top performers a way to compare their pieces against previous ones. This ensured we were creating new, fresh characters and performances. The NSDA database has a searchable feature that includes the elimination round in which each piece of literature was performed. Novice Production If you have a thriving Interp program, one of the biggest headaches is finding pieces for your novices. The Script Database gave me great ideas of quality, tested

literature my novices could use to learn the art of interpretation—with one important caveat. It is unethical to copy the performance or cutting of a national finalist. It is pure plagiarism. The Script Database allowed me to point students to the full play, novel, or short story so they could create their own cuttings.

Interpretation Textbook Yes, the very concept of something entitled “textbook” makes many coaches cringe. However, this resource gives two unique advantages to any oral interpretation classroom or practice.

Organization In the whirlwind of teaching, coaching, lesson planning, calling parents, fundraising, and all the other elements of being an educator, it often was difficult to fill in the gaps and organize my lessons in a way that others could use them. This textbook opened up my eyes to many of the fundamentals I was ignoring when teaching novices and gave me a much clearer path to how to teach students, not just get them competition ready.

Delegation Because of its organization and clarity, I assigned my more experienced students to read it and (gulp) yes, teach it to the novices. It was scary, it was difficult, and it did not always go well. But what it did do is give my varsity members ownership of the team, a very important reminder of the fundamentals of interpretation, and an appreciation and love for teaching and coaching. The additional advantage is, when they would return to coach the next year, they already had a few teaching lessons under their belt. The NSDA’s Team Resource Package is filled with wonderful teaching and coaching gems like the Script Database and Interpretation Textbook. I would encourage you to search for these and other resources within your passion and see what kind of new fire or assistance they can bring to your teaching and coaching. Erik Dominguez serves as District Support Manager for the NSDA.

Access these and more online at





Don’t have the Individual or Team Resource Package? Visit to get started today!


Let some of the finest, most nationally acclaimed speech coaches in the country coach you at one of the most inspiring, informative, intriguing, effective and sincere speech workshops in the nation.

August 3rd - August 17th 2019 9:30am - 6pm Boston, MA

BREN MCELROY Program Director

BOB MARKS Program Advisor



DEBBIE SIMON Special Guest Artist

For further information and to register please visit or call Bren at (617) 768-7860

BEAT THE BUSINESS OFFICE RUSH! PREPAY YOUR 2019-2020 SCHOOL DUES AND RESOURCE PACKAGE TODAY. Log in to your account and select the items you wish to prepay. Generate and pay the invoice and you will be ready to complete the renewal process on August 1! Prepayment invoices must be paid in full by July 31. Starting August 1, renewal invoices with credit applied will be available for you to generate and activate your membership.





A Snapshot


peech and debate can be overwhelming. Students who step outside of their comfort zone to explore the activity confront decision anxiety as they try to figure out which of the many events would be best for them. Teachers with no experience in the activity who step up to coach are flabbergasted at the teaching load, financial requirements, and, above all, the tournament schedule. As a result, many who are new to the activity quit before they even start. A handful of those who do venture forward find the commitment too great, burn out quickly, and have a short tenure in competing or coaching— and, for good reason. One entry point for coaches and students being utilized by Broward County is the afterschool tournament. In a nutshell, an afterschool tournament is a monthly, mid-week novice tournament where two rounds of competition focus on experience and exposure, giving students and



coaches opportunities for achievement and growth. The following is a snapshot into the afterschool tournament, as well as encouragement for NSDA districts and local organizations to adopt their own version of the tournament series to help promote lasting participation in our activity.

while others use buses to drop students off and ask parents to handle pick up.


Most students are novices, or novices in an event (in other words, students trying something new for the first time), many of whom are fulfilling a requirement for a speech and debate class.

There is no formal awards ceremony. However, there is tabulation of the results, and students who rank high in their event are awarded medals. The criteria for awarding medals are determined by the local group. These medals can be, for lack of a better term, not fancy, but much more symbolic. However, many teachers and coaches use them as motivational tactics and keep a student or team medal count in their classroom. Plus, member competitors can receive NSDA merit points for their participation, as long as four schools are present.



Tournaments begin with registration at 3:00 p.m. followed by two backto-back rounds. Students and judges are dismissed after round two.

Judges are a mix of parents, coaches, and students. Yes, you read that correctly. Students. Broward County allows sophomores with 150 NSDA points to be judges for the tournament with great justification: because the focus is less competitive, students thrive in the environment of helping novices and

NUTS AND BOLTS Competitors

Transportation Transportation varies. Some schools use buses to transport students to and from the event,

usually write tremendous advice and ballots.Individual tournaments determine their own criteria for allowing students to judge. Students also earn two NSDA service points per novice or middle school round judged, with a limit of four rounds per day.

Finances The tournament does not charge entry fees, but host schools do sell concessions to help make a profit. Schools and districts would need to work with administration on facilities and security costs.

ADVANTAGES Coach Recruiting and Retention Convincing a teacher of any experience to learn a competitive activity with multiple events, a state and national governing organization, all while giving up half their weekends a month is a hard sell. An after-school tournament series allows coaches to ease in—take a small group of students, perhaps from a class or an afterschool club, focus on one event or genre, and only commit to one afternoon/ early evening a month.

Cultural Competency Guidelines at the National Tournament Students from North Broward Preparatory School show off medals earned at an after-school tournament in February.

Novice Training

Student Leadership

Some students have inherent skills and aptitude for this activity—they see what we do and sign up for life. Others take a little more coaxing. Others still sometimes flat out need to be required to do so for a grade. The after-school tournament series can appeal better to those in the latter categories, as this tournament gives them exposure to the activity. In addition, some very talented students have different academic or athletic priorities or commitments but want to be able to experience and learn competitive speech and debate. Spending an afternoon a month at a tournament is much more manageable for someone with a packed schedule.

One of the best coaching tools we have for our older students is to have them coach and judge novices in the activity. When doing so, students need to articulate many fundamentals of their event that they often forget to focus on themselves. Coaching and judging is a gentle way of reminding our dedicated students on many performance essentials.

Get Involved We would love to help your local district pilot an after-school tournament series! If you are interested, please contact Erik Dominguez at erik.dominguez@

Promotes Growth We all know (or may even be) a student, judge, or coach who was at one time hesitant, even outright opposed, to participating in speech and debate. Yet somewhere along the line, something happened that attracted and hooked them into the activity. It is our hope that this strategy helps introduce those individuals to what we do without overwhelming them with all of our choices.

Erik Dominguez is the District Support Manager for the NSDA.

As part of our 2018-2019 Inclusion Commitments, the NSDA is continuing to strive for a diverse, inclusive, and representative judging pool at the National Tournament. To meet this promise, the NSDA has produced introductory cultural competency guidelines through a brief, voluntary course created in partnership with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). The introductory cultural competency guidelines are presented in a short 20-minute course relevant to judges in all events at the National Tournament, currently available as part of a longer 90-minute judge training course created with the NFHS. The cultural competency portion takes about seven minutes and is followed by a 10-minute Dramatic Interpretation performance. Judges are asked to fill out a sample ballot about the performance and compare it to the productive, appropriate comments curated by our staff. The course begins by asking judges to consider their position not only as adjudicators, but as educators. It describes the importance of questioning their assumptions, seeking understanding of performances that are not familiar to them, and strategies for giving productive feedback that is actionable and directly relevant to the quality of the performance. The course gives instructions to recognize that a judge’s standards for formal attire, appropriate writing or speaking style, and gender presentation are not universal. Finally, the course acknowledges that being a culturally competent adjudicator and educator is an ongoing learning process and encourages judges to seek out more learning opportunities. Share the cultural competency guidelines course with your judges, available at courses/61173/2019-cultural-competence-course, and encourage them to take the full judge training course to learn judging best practices and review sample performances at courses/61139/adjudicating-speech-and-debate. Links to both courses also can be found online at

Lauren Burdt is the Big Questions Manager for the NSDA.



INSIGHT: How Policy Debate

Topic Selection Really Works

Interested in getting involved? Contact James Weaver at


on January 10, 2019, the 93rd high school Policy Debate topic was announced as Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States. Every year, the topics chosen to be debated by the nation’s top students are timely, relevant, and important to the national conversation. After 93 topics, it is still asked how the topics are selected and how new authors can get involved. The first topic selection process started with the National University Continuing Education Association (NUCEA), which selected the national topic during the National Communication Association’s annual meeting. In 1977, the NUCEA invited the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to

join the process and transition the topic selection process from a college-based community to a high school-based community. The NFHS has proudly supported and refined the topic selection process over the past 42 years. The entire process begins in mid-August following the annual NFHS Topic Selection Meeting, where suggested topic/ problem areas are vetted with a straw poll from the NFHS Policy Topic Committee. The highest voted topic areas are sent out to the NFHS state associations and national organizations such as the NSDA, NCFL, and NDCA for authors, and the writing process begins. Each author thoroughly researches their topic area and creates a topic paper including a two-page summary report, several sample resolutions on the topic, an introduction of the topic, affirmative cases and negative approaches, debatability

arguments, and a research bibliography. These papers are then reviewed by peers from around the country to aid the authors in the writing process. Final papers are submitted in early July of the following year. The topic selection fun begins in early August at the aforementioned NFHS Topic Selection Meeting. This meeting convenes in rotating cities around the United States and is attended by the topic authors, the six-member wording committee, and delegates from approximately 40 states. The meeting begins with a review of the 10 to 15 submitted topics. Papers are divided among four Marshall subcommittees 1 to narrow down one resolution for each submitted paper. The next day, the wording committee and the 40 state delegates thoroughly review each paper and resolution until the final version and wording has been

selected. The wording of each resolution is extremely important to ensure students debate the intended topic. State and national voting for the final topic occurs at the conclusion of the NFHS Topic Selection Committee Meeting. Five topics are chosen for initial discussion and consideration in September/October, then narrowed to two topics in November/December. After two rounds of voting by each state and national organization,2 a final topic is selected and announced in early January. The NFHS always encourages new and returning authors to participate in the topic writing process. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact James Weaver at

Dr. James Weaver is the Director of Performing Arts and Sports at the NFHS.

End Notes 1 Marshall subcommittees are named in honor of Bailey Marshall, former director of the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL). Nearly 40

years ago, he insisted more in-depth conversations were needed about the debate topics before they were announced. The subcommittees consist of the people in attendance at the NFHS Topic Selection Meeting and are divided into smaller groups to review topic paper submissions.

2 In addition to each NFHS state association, the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL), and

the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) enjoy voting privileges and cast a single vote on behalf of their membership.



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National Speech & Debate Tournament JUNE 16-21, 2019 | Dallas, Texas OVERVIEW OF HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENT LOGISTICS SUNDAY • JUNE 16 (Registration and Expo) High school tournament registration and the National Tournament Expo will take place Sunday, June 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Lone Star Ballroom of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The Sheraton also serves as the host hotel for the tournament.

MONDAY AND TUESDAY • JUNE 17-18 (Prelim Rounds/Early Elims/NSDA Student Party) All preliminary competition of main event speech and debate events will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel with the exception of Public Forum and Big Questions Debate, which will take place at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel. All preliminary competition and early elimination competition will occur between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. The NSDA Student Party will take place Tuesday evening at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Coaches of pre-registered students eliminated from main event competition Tuesday will re-register for Wednesday supplemental events through Provisions for doing supplemental re-registration in-person will also be made available at the NSDA Student Party. Note: Middle school registration will occur Tuesday evening.

WEDNESDAY • JUNE 19 (Elim Rounds/Supplemental Events)

Note: All details are tentative and subject to change. Times are shown in CT.

All main event elims, including Congressional House quarterfinals and Senate semifinals, and supplemental speech event rounds will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Extemporaneous Debate rounds will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel nearby. Coaches of pre-registered students eliminated from main event competition or supplemental events on Wednesday will re-register for Thursday consolation events throughout the day online at Middle school competition will begin Wednesday morning.

THURSDAY • JUNE 20 (Elim Rounds/Supp-Cons Events/Interp Finals/Diamond Awards) REGISTRATION High school coaches are notified via email when the online registration website opens for their district once their district tournament series (debate, speech, and congress) is complete and results are audited by national office staff.

Thursday morning, all elimination competition will continue at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel with the addition of Extemporaneous Debate and consolation events. Congressional Senate finals will be held throughout the day along with Congressional House semifinals. Middle school competition will continue Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon and evening, attendees will enjoy the national final rounds of World Schools Debate, Program Oral Interp, Humorous Interp, Dramatic Interp, and Duo Interp, as well as the Donus D. Roberts Diamond Assembly, in the Lone Star Ballroom of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

FRIDAY • JUNE 21 (Supp-Cons/Main Event Finals and National Awards Assembly) The remaining main event final rounds (Congressional House, Informative Speaking, United States Extemp, International Extemp, Policy Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Original Oratory), as well as Big Questions Debate, supplemental/consolation event, and middle school finals, will be held throughout the day on Friday at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

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. 26


Save money by staying within the National Tournament hotel block! Guarantee the best hotel rates and keep your tournament entry fees low by visiting the online booking site at

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SELECTING AND RESERVING HOTELS Please review before selecting lodging! NOTE: If your team stays within the National Tournament hotel block, you will receive a $25 discount off the current year’s main event entry fee per student. See our FAQ section at for more details.

Tournament Hotel » The official tournament hotel is the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. All schools should attempt to book rooms at this property first. Staying at this property will be the most convenient and cost effective way to enjoy the 2019 National Tournament. Do not delay in booking this property, as space is limited!

Online Booking Site » All coaches must use the online booking site. Please do NOT call the hotels directly to book your hotel rooms. Larger teams requiring ten or more rooms, or those teams wishing to pay by check, should contact the Speech & Debate Housing Bureau (managed by Catch Des Moines). Details can be found on the online booking site. Every hotel requires a credit card on file for incidentals and cancellation fees even if you are paying by check. If you are paying by check, please select “Yes” in the field under “Additional Information” on the “Guest Details” page and someone from the Speech & Debate Housing Bureau will follow up with you. For more information, consult our online FAQ section at www.

Additional Block Hotels » We anticipate that the Sheraton Dallas Hotel block will fill quickly. Although the Sheraton is the best option, the NSDA has negotiated other excellent hotel options for schools that book after the Sheraton fills. It is essential that schools stay downtown at the Sheraton or at one of the other recommended hotel properties. Morning and afternoon traffic jams will make commuting from non-recommended properties a very difficult task and could result in major issues for your team. In addition, the NSDA only has contracts with those properties listed and will not be able to assist you with issues in hotels outside the block. PLEASE DO NOT STAY OUTSIDE THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT HOTEL BLOCK. Benefits of Staying in the National Tournament Hotel Block » Schools will find several major benefits to staying in the NSDA’s recommended block of hotel rooms.

Avoid the Cost of Vehicle Rental: All competition will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Sheraton and Crowne can be accessed by DART rail from all recommended hotel properties as well as Dallas Love Field (DAL) airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) airport. SuperShuttle is also available for a reasonable fee, making transportation from DAL and DFW airports easy and affordable. Visit and for details.

Free Internet Access at Sheraton: All attendees who are lodging in a National Tournament block hotel will receive free access to the internet at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

Easy Tournament Accessibility: Staying in the tournament hotel or within the National Tournament hotel block will avoid the risk of delays or major inconveniences related to traffic and morning parking.

Easy Access to Meal Options and Special Events: The tournament hotel is the site of tournament registration, the majority of competition, the NSDA Student Party, the final rounds, and awards. There is a food court adjacent to the Sheraton and Marriott. There is a DART stop on site at the Sheraton, providing the best possible access to registration, finals, and awards. All National Tournament block hotels sit near DART stops to provide access to events and restaurants.

Important Notes » Many room reservations within the National Tournament hotel block are subject to an automatic nonrefundable two-night deposit per room. This avoids double booking and allows all attendees equal opportunity to book in the best available properties. There is a five night minimum stay at the Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, and Aloft. There is a four night minimum stay at the Lorenzo. There is a three night minimum stay at the DoubleTree. Please check the online booking site for more details.

Additional tournament information is available at ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 27

TRANSPORTATION GUIDE • DALLAS NATIONALS Receive discounts off your flight when you book online with recommended carriers. Some restrictions may apply. Get started below!



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* Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for the National Speech & Debate Association. Please visit to book your flights! You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at (800) 328-1111** Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. CT and refer to Meeting Event Code NY2PQ. **Please note there is not a service fee for reservations booked and ticketed via the Delta reservation 800 number.

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Meeting rates include unlimited mileage and are subject to availability. Advance reservations are recommended, blackout dates may apply. Gov 1-800-654-2240 ernment surcharges, taxes, tax reimbursement,  1-405-749-4434 For more information, call (800) 654-2240 or visit today. Some restrictions may apply. airport related fees, vehicle licensing fees and  optional items, such as refueling or additional driver fees, are extra. Minimum rental age is 20 General Information Reservations National Speech & Debate Tournament At the time reservation, meetingrates, ratesplease will beinclude Meeting rates include unlimited mileage and are To of reserve special meeting (age differential charge for 20-24 applies). Dallas, Texas automatically compared to other Hertz rates and subject to availability. Advance reservations are apyour CV# when making reservations. Standard rental conditions and qualifications National Speech & Debate the best rate will apply. recommended, may apply. June 16-21, 2019 ply. Vehiclesblackout must bedates returned to the Govrenting loConference  1-800-654-2240 ernment surcharges, taxes, tax reimbursement, cation. In the continental U.S. and Canada week 1-405-749-4434 airport related fees, vehicle licensing fees and Dallas, TX end rentals are available for pickup between  optional items, such as refueling or additional Rates availableJune from all Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX area noonfees, Thursday andMinimum noon Sunday andismust 16-21, 2019 driver are extra. rental age 20 be At the time of reservation, meeting rates will be locations for rental start dates June 9-28, 2019 returned no later than Monday at 11:59 p.m. (age differential charge for 20-24 applies). CV# 053L0002 automatically compared to other Hertz rates and Thursday pick-up requires minimum three-day Standard rental conditions and aqualifications apthe Emergency best rate will apply. Premium Roadside Service keep. Friday pick-up requires a minimum Daily Weekend Weekly ply. Vehicles must be returned to the renting lo-twoProtects you from unexpected service costs related Car Class Per Day Per Day 5-7 Day cation. In the and continental U.S.and andSunday Canadapick-up week- reday keep, Saturday to non-mechanical occurrences. Daily rental fee end rentals are available pickup between quire a one-day keep.forWeekly rentals are from A-ECONOMY $39.00 $19.00 $169.00 applies. Rates available from all Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX area noon noon Sunday be five Thursday to seven and days. Extra dayand ratemust for Weekly B-COMPACT $42.00 $21.00 $174.00 locations for rental start dates June 9-28, 2019 returned Monday at 11:59 p.m. rentalsno willlater be than 1/5 of the Weekly Rate.  Covers lock-outs and lost key C-MID-SIZE $45.00 $23.00 $184.00 Thursday pick-up requires a minimum three-day  FlatPremium tires and tire mounting are covered Service Emergency Roadside keep. Friday pick-up requires a minimum twoDaily Weekend Weekly D-STANDARD $49.00 $25.00 $194.00  Running outyou of from gas/fuel deliveryservice costs related Protects unexpected Car Class Per Day Per Day 5-7 Day day keep, and Saturday and Sunday pick-up reF-FULLSIZE 4DR $55.00 $33.00 $205.00 to non-mechanical occurrences. Daily rental fee  Travel interruption reimbursement up to quire a one-day keep. Weekly rentals are from A-ECONOMY $39.00 $19.00 $169.00 applies. $1,000 G-PREMIUM $69.00 $69.00 $345.00 five to seven days. Extra day rate for Weekly B-COMPACT $42.00 $21.00 $174.00 I-LUXURY $89.00 $89.00 $399.00 rentals will be 1/5 of the Weekly Rate.  Covers lock-outs and lost key C-MID-SIZE $45.00 $23.00 $184.00  Flat tires and tire mounting are covered Q4-MIDSIZE SUV $62.00 $62.00 $299.00 D-STANDARD $49.00 $25.00 $194.00  Running out of gas/fuel delivery SIRIUS® Satellite Radio L-STANDARD $74.00 $339.00 F-FULLSIZESUV 4DR $74.00 $55.00 $33.00 $205.00  Travel interruption reimbursement up to Choose from over 130 channels, inR-MINIVAN $79.00 $79.00 $399.00 $1,000 G-PREMIUM $69.00 $69.00 $345.00 cluding 69 channels of commercialI-LUXURY $89.00 $89.00 $399.00 U-CONVERTIBLE $75.00 $75.00 $413.00 free music, live sports, exclusive Q4-MIDSIZE $62.00 $62.00 $299.00 T-LARGE SUV SUV $115.00 $115.00 $549.00 entertainment and talk, comedy, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio L-STANDARD SUV $130.00 $74.00 $74.00 $339.00 T6-PRM XCAP SUV $130.00 $715.00 world-class news, local inChoose from over 130even channels, R-MINIVAN $79.00 $79.00 $399.00 traffic 69 and weather. Daily cluding channels of commercialU-CONVERTIBLE $75.00 $75.00 $413.00 rental feelive applies. free music, sports, exclusive

To reserve special meeting rates, please include your CV# when making reservations.

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entertainment and talk, comedy, world-class news, even local traffic and weather. Daily rental fee applies.

Additional tournament information is available at 28



Food • Music Fun • Results

Student Party!

...and More!

NSDA Store National Tournament Expo Supplemental Re-registration Middle School Registration

presented by the Institute for Speech and Debate





6-9 P.M.

NSDA Coaches’ Caucuses In conjunction with the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas, the NSDA is honored to host a series of Coaches’ Caucuses throughout the day on Sunday, June 16 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

In recent years, the Asian American, African American/Black, Hispanic/ Latinx, LGBT+, and Womxn Coaches’ Caucuses have met and provided invaluable feedback to the organization.

The caucuses address issues of inclusion in the speech and debate community.

Please plan to arrive early in the day or the night before if you would like

to participate. A complete schedule will be available at nationals as we get closer to June. If you would like to help moderate one of these caucuses, please email the national office at info@ for more information.

Additional tournament information is available at ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 29


Middle School Nationals | JUNE 18-21, 2019 Tentative Schedule

presented by

TUESDAY • JUNE 18 Middle school registration will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. WEDNESDAY • JUNE 19 Middle school competition begins Wednesday at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Rounds begin at 10:00 a.m. and will last into the evening. Time has been built in for lunch. THURSDAY • JUNE 20 Middle school competition continues Thursday at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Rounds begin at 8:00 a.m. and last into the evening. Time has been built in for lunch. FRIDAY • JUNE 21 Beginning at 8:00 a.m., semifinal and final rounds will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The middle school awards assembly will commence at 4:00 p.m. followed by the high school awards assembly at 6:30 p.m., where the middle school circle of champions will be recognized on the high school stage!

Important Middle School Dates • Coaches may register online at starting in March. • 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 four). Additional entries will remain on the waitlist until the payment deadline of May 10. Entries will be taken off the waitlist based upon the payment date and not the registration date. • Congressional Debate legislation is due April 24. • Speech piece information and judge paradigms for LD and CX judges must be posted on the registration website by May 1. • Media release forms, signed by each student’s parent/guardian, along with entry agreement forms, signed by the school's principal, must be submitted by May 10. • All fees, including judge bond, must be received in the national office by May 10. • After May 10, a $200 late fee will be assessed for any student changes, piece changes, missing forms, and missing payments. A school risks forfeiting participation if everything is 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 four (4) entries per event. A team may place an additional four entries in the system to try to secure additional spots. Students will be moved off of the waitlist on a rolling basis after payment has been received. Any slots beyond the four will not be available until after the payment deadline of May 10. • Middle schools are required to bring judges for each division in which they have students (Policy, LD, or PF, Speech, Congress, and World Schools) as a condition for registering.

Review Before Selecting Lodging Middle school coaches should read all information relative to lodging on page 27. Middle schools who do not stay in the National Tournament hotel block will be charged a $25 fee per student. See our FAQ section at nationals for more information.

Membership Notice 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. All members of the National Speech & Debate Association must be schoolbased. For any club or organization that does not currently have a schoolbased membership, the NSDA is eager to work with you to create schoolbased speech and debate teams. Students who are currently 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.

World Schools Debate Pilot World Schools Debate will once again be piloted at the 2019 Middle School National Tournament. All judges must attend the on-site judge training. The only exception that will be made is for high school students who competed in elimination rounds on Wednesday morning at the National Tournament and, as a result, could not attend training.

Additional tournament information is available at 30


NFHS Speech, Debate and Theatre Association MEMBER BENEFITS • • • • • • •

Insurance coverage, including excess general liability, up to $1 million Subscription to High School Today, a monthly NFHS publication Speech/debate adjudicating training course on NFHS Learning Center ( Training Materials and Resources Access to Online Publications Professional Development Network of Communication

Sign up through the NSDA today and save! Forensic Quarterly

The Forensic Quarterly (FQ) has remained one of the most credible and valuable resources for policy debaters and coaches across the country. Four issues are published each year: FQ1, an overview of the current policy debate topic area; FQ2, a bibliography of available research materials; FQ3, potential affirmative cases; and FQ4, possible negative cases.

Adjudicating Speech and Debate on NFHS Learn

• • • • •

To order, contact:

Understand types of speech and debate events; Explains guidelines to be fair and consistent; Practice examples with your state’s rubrics and ballots; Illustrates cultural competency in speech and literature; Approved for three NFHS course clock hours.

1-800-776-3462 or order online at


AUGUST 4-6, 2019 Colorado Springs, Colorado


uring the 2019 National Speech & Debate Conference, NSDA staff will lead a variety of sessions that address best practices as well as upcoming changes and improvements for those coaching and/or teaching speech and debate.

of district chairs and committee members. Leaders with a specific best practice or idea to share should reach out to Amy Seidelman, Assistant Executive Director for the NSDA, at amy.seidelman@

District Leadership Best Practices

Copyrighted Materials + Speech and Debate

During this session, NSDA district leaders are invited to come together and share ideas, concerns, and best practices. District leaders will have the opportunity to participate in round table discussions and conversations specifically geared toward the concerns and needs

Across the country, there has been a rise in concern about copyright issues and interscholastic competition. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has begun the process of educating

In partnership with 34


teachers and coaches on best practices for using copyrighted materials in the classroom so they may avoid legal consequences. This workshop will be led by Dr. James Weaver, Director of Performing Arts and Sports for the NFHS. Topics will include fair use, educational exemptions, arrangements, copyright law, and commonly asked questions.

Changes to Districts and Nationals: Looking to the Future As national office staff and the NSDA Board of

Sponsored by

Directors strive to improve the district qualification series and National Tournament experience for our members, a variety of pilots, changes, and proposals are being considered and implemented. This session will address district tournament pilots and changes, adjustments to supplemental and consolation events at the 2020 National Tournament (see the article on page 12 for details), adjustments to the District Committee election process, and a variety of other topics. NSDA district leaders are encouraged to join the conversation during this session.

Congressional Debate: Ten Years Later The last evaluation of rules for Congressional Debate came in 2009. Ten years later, the time has come to once again revisit policies and procedures for Congressional Debate at the district and national level. In March of 2019, an ad hoc committee assessed the impact and evolution of the changes made ten years ago in the context of communication and technological changes, and made a series of rule change recommendations to the Board. This session will discuss those recommendations and plans for moving forward.

Hot Topics Q&A On the final afternoon of the conference, we will

host a conferencewide question and answer session. The goal of this session is to allow for transparency and increased understanding. To facilitate a productive and efficient session, attendees will be encouraged to submit questions for the NSDA staff and the Board members to answer. Questions will also be accepted from those not in attendance. Any questions not answered during this Q&A session (or the additional questions that may arise as a result of this session) will be addressed via email or a phone call in the weeks after the conference. Lauren McCool serves as Education and Recognition Coordinator for the NSDA.

Register for the 2019 NSDA National Speech & Debate Conference today! REFER A FRIEND Recruit a fellow speech and debate educator to attend, and you both can receive $50 off your registration. To be eligible, at least one person must be a first time attendee! To get the coupon, please email with the names and emails of each person registering.



LEARN from expert coaches and educators.


and collaborate with coaches from around the country.



innovative ideas, new techniques, and expert tips.


SNAG A VIRTUAL PASS Can’t attend in person? Sign up to access livestream coverage and video recordings of select sessions during and after the conference! Visit to learn more.

We will offer more than 40 engaging professional development and leadership sessions at The Antlers, a Wyndham Hotel. S U N D AY, A U G U S T 4

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Registration 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception 7:00 p.m. Opening Keynote Speaker M O N D AY, A U G U S T 5

7:30 8:15 9:15 12:00 12:45 1:30 -

8:15 a.m. 8:45 a.m.. 11:45 a.m. 12:45 p.m. 1:15 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

Breakfast Keynote Speaker Sessions Lunch Keynote Speaker Sessions

T U E S D AY, A U G U S T 6

7:30 8:15 11:00 12:15 1:30 -

8:15 a.m. Breakfast 10:45 a.m. Sessions 12:00 p.m. Hot Topics Q&A 1:00 p.m. Lunch 4:00 p.m. Sessions


COVER STORY 2019 NSDA National Educator of the Year

MARGO BATHA: Leading by Example by Aiden Kwen


hen asked what being awarded the NSDA National Educator of the Year means to her, Margo Batha responds, “It gives me the opportunity to demonstrate that extracurricular teaching and classroom teaching are not mutually exclusive, but rather two halves of a whole that are completely complementary.” As an AP English teacher and a speech and debate coach for both the Los Alamos Hilltalkers and the New Mexico World Schools district team, Margo considers herself very fortunate for her school district’s institutional support. “I don’t face a lot of hardships as an educator,” she avows. “I am blessed to work in a school district that values education and has more financial resources than many of the school districts in New Mexico and the United States. Los Alamos Public Schools values their educators and gives us the freedom to choose the curriculum that in our professional judgment is best for our students.”



This freedom is something incredibly important to Margo, evident through her emphasis on empowering students. “With student agency and choice, I can meet all students where they are and I can meet their learning needs,” she explains. “All students feel welcome on the team and in my classroom because they understand that everyone’s ideas are important and that all of us bring valuable thinking to the table. When we allow our students agency and choice, and we model for our students the qualities of integrity, leadership, service, and inclusivity, greatness happens in our classrooms and on our teams.” Despite the support that Margo and the Hilltalkers receive from their community in Los Alamos, she does face particular

challenges. As a teacher in New Mexico, she struggles with her state’s teacher evaluation system, which places a heavy emphasis on results and test scores. However, with the election of a new governor, she says, “We are seeing some positive changes, and I have lots of hope for the future of education.” As a coach in a rural area, Margo also has to overcome barriers that teams all across the country battle on a tournament-by-tournament basis. As many can surely attest, the costs and time investment associated with travel and competition are some of the greatest difficulties associated with speech and debate. “All of our tournaments are at least one or two hours from our school site, which means we often have to stay overnight at

the competition location,” Margo explains. “The travel we must do in order to compete in speech and debate means that we have to make difficult choices in our tournament schedule. That expense is one of the biggest barriers to competition for teams who live in rural areas all over the United States.” She adds that the most challenging part of being a coach is “there’s never enough time to give each of my students the time and attention they need.”

Finding World Schools Success Teaching World Schools Debate in New Mexico also makes Margo a bit of a pioneer. Because the state lacks resources, it has not incorporated World Schools into regular competition. Nevertheless, New Mexico again fielded two district teams at Nationals in 2018, one under Margo’s tutelage. “Teaching students a brand new event was challenging,” she explains. “I had to pull together (continued on page 38)

NATIONAL FINALISTS Four outstanding teachers were chosen as National Educator of the Year finalists in 2019. Read on for highlights of their contributions to speech and debate education. — compiled by Greyson Koinzan and Katie Hines

Cara Borgsmiller • Parkway West High School (MO) Cara Borgsmiller aims to pursue knowledge and understanding in all aspects of life and speech and debate. “Her students strive to understand arguments, not to win them,” Robyn Haug, director of speech and debate at Brentwood High School, says about her. “When they write their pieces or pick their scripts, they seek humor or knowledge or understanding rather than trophies.” Cara brings the value of learning and service with her leadership far beyond her own students. For 10 years, she has worked as the treasurer of the Greater Saint Louis Speech Association and was on the NSDA Eastern Missouri District Committee. Additionally, her leadership in the state and national qualifying tournaments and the state tournament has proven her pure passion for the activity. She has embraced education beyond the Parkway West High School walls. “She created a series of videos to educate new judges and she put together sample ballots to help judges learn what type of feedback is most helpful to students,” says Molly Beck, head coach of the Ladue Horton Watkins High School speech and debate team. “We now have judges asking to come back every year, and there is not a single judge who does not know Cara by name.” With her devotion to education in every facet, Cara continues to change the lives and mindsets of those in her community.

Karson Kalashian • Orosi High School (CA) Karson Kalashian has taught speech and debate, English, and drivers education at Orosi High School in California for the past four years. He has been a speech and debate coach for 18 years and has served on the NSDA Sierra District Committee for more than a decade. He also serves as the Secretary and Debate Chairperson of the California High School Speech Association. Orosi is a rural high school in a district where 75% of their students begin their education as English Language Learners. Karson’s greatest belief is that we need to include more traditionally marginalized students in speech and debate. Superintendent Yolanda Valdez describes Karson as “a cheerleader for students who is relentless in helping students reach excellence in everything they do.” Karson also understands the importance of serving as a mentor not only to his students but also to new speech and debate coaches. Bill Turner from Chowchilla High School recalls how Karson took him under his wing. “My first year, he would spend an hour on the phone with me almost daily to help me figure out how to do this, and when I find myself struggling, he’s the first call I make. . . Karson always encourages us by reminding us the the difference we can make through this activity for our students.”

James Shapiro • Berkeley Carroll School (NY) A mission of seeking truth and nothing but the truth has guided James Shapiro to lead those in his speech and debate community for more than 25 years. As supervisor of middle and upper school students at the Berkeley Carroll School, he strives to instill a foundation of understanding and honesty in his students’ competition, rather than winning and competition. “While teaching a class on Public Forum Debate, he often begins with a drawing on the board of a dog searching for a bone,” says Traci Thomas, co-coach of the Berkeley Carroll team. “‘The dog is all of you. The bone is the truth. We cannot stop until we have found the truth and that is what our work is about.’” James spends countless hours not only advising his students but those outside the school as well. He often runs workshops and helps new students and coaches during the season. Robert Vitalo, Head of School, explains James’ passion for helping others. “He will take phone call after phone call from the coaches at other schools who are seeking to grow in how they work with their own students.” From the classroom and beyond, James’ advice and service have turned many lives around for the better.

Jamie Wills • Cherokee High School (GA) As the coach of the Cherokee High School forensic team and the Teasley Middle School speech program; the curriculum manager for the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association; a high school English teacher; and a member of the NSDA North Georgia Mountain District Committee, Jamie Willis has quite a bit on her plate. However, this involvement only strengthens her leadership skills in spreading the influence of speech and debate outside of her own community. As curriculum manager, she has participated in aligning teachers’ lesson plans with the state standards for forensic education. Most notably, starting in 2017, she has been working with the Georgia Department of Education to bring approved forensics courses in the CTAE/Academic pathway—the required education course of action for all students that focuses on one area of studying, such as fine arts, construction, and, now, forensics. Her service in state and district committees has also supported middle school speech and debate by planning how to allow middle school students to join the competition. All of her work, in and outside of the Atlanta Urban Debate League, has indefinitely proven her devotion to the speech and debate community.


the Mount Holyoke College Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership program. Lastly, she thanks her students. “I’ve learned so much from all of them.”

On the Horizon resources and expertise by reaching out to former students and doing lots of reading. I was able to connect with a former student of mine, Jenny Tumas, who debated World Schools in college. That was a huge breakthrough for our understanding of the event. Each of the students who competed on last year’s New Mexico/ Los Alamos team brought some unique strengths to the team, which helped create a magic formula for our success. “Another former student, Ani Nadiga, who was on the first New Mexico team who won World Schools in 2015 (coached by Melissa Brown) was also a huge help to us,” Margo explains. “We’re very proud of what we accomplished for New Mexico in World Schools Debate in 2015 and 2018.” Margo’s World Schools team reached quarterfinals at Nationals in 2018.

With Appreciation “There are so many people who have mentored me and kept me sane in my career as a coach and as an educator,” Margo reflects. “First of all, my family has



been a constant source of support for me. My husband, Steve, is my strongest supporter. Our two children, Ben and Toni, taught me so much about teaching and coaching. It was Ben who got me involved with Hilltalkers in 2007, and I’ve never looked back. Ben was a Policy debater in college, and Toni teaches debate as part of the English club she runs as a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. Our daughter-in-law, Sarah, has been a blessing to all of us—and she is quickly learning debate lingo.” In her Los Alamos community, she thanks Trey Smith, chair of the New Mexico District—“who has been a cheerleader, mentor, and supporter”; Noel Trujillo, a retired coach from Los Alamos High School and her first mentor in teaching and coaching; and Sherri Bublitz, coach of the Los Alamos Middle School speech and debate team. She also credits her fellow New Mexico District coaches; Christine Engelbrecht, her fellow AP English teacher and collaborator; the Los Alamos High School English Department; and the members of her cohort in

In terms of future goals, Margo will be completing her Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership in May and anticipates using her degree in her roles as both a coach and a teacher. For longer-term goals as an educator, she will be working on changing the culture of reading in Los Alamos—focusing on the “social-emotional benefits of pleasure reading”—and furthering student agency in both the classroom and Los Alamos’ speech and debate program. “As the NSDA National Educator of the Year, I would like to advocate for the importance of speech and debate as an extracurricular activity. I want to advocate for better recognition by schools of the hard work and extra time that our teacher coaches put into this activity,” Margo states. “I also hope to continue mentoring new coaches.” Margo is thrilled to be a part of the host committee for the 2020 National Tournament in Albuquerque. “Our New Mexico community is excited to share the joys of red and green chile and the beauty of New Mexico with the members of the National Speech & Debate Association.”

Parting Thoughts When asked what the most important quality for a speech and debate coach is, Margo responds, “There’s way more than just one quality needed to be a successful speech and debate coach. A successful coach and a successful classroom teacher needs unlimited patience, a great sense of humor, empathy and compassion, a completely open mind, and a willingness to learn.” Despite these hefty qualifications, she adds that her favorite parts of the job are “the close relationships and bonds [she’s] formed with students and coaches over the years.” She continues, “I’ve gotten to know some wonderful students from other schools and some of our coaches have become personal friends. Teaching and coaching are all about building relationships, and our New Mexico District has been the perfect place for building those relationships.” Margo’s words of advice to students and competitors are well heeded. “Make the most of your time in speech and debate. What you do in this activity will be a gift that keeps on giving for the rest of your life.” To coaches, she says, “Take joy in all of your students. You are doing work that matters, and that work leaves a lasting legacy.”

Aiden Kwen is a junior at Tenafly High School in New Jersey. He currently serves as a publication intern for the NSDA.







e promised a bigger National Speech and Debate Education Day than ever before—and thanks to alumni, supporters, and almost 900 teams all across the country, we knocked it out of the park! This year, three times as many teams as last year signed up to host events, participate on social media, and spread

the importance of speech and debate. From finding incredible spokespeople like Broadway actor Kevin Burke, to contacting legislators and passing state and local resolutions in their communities, speech and debate teams truly went above and beyond to make this day a success. The United States Senate also celebrated National Speech and Debate Education Day

by passing a resolution to officially declare March 1, 2019, as the day. The resolution was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators, including 2019 spokesperson and NSDA alum Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Senator Warren celebrated speech and debate by sharing how her experiences have helped her in Congress, from research on new policy options to speaking in front of her colleagues at the Capitol. But most importantly, she credits speech and debate with inspiring her drive to fight for what she believes in—a quality we’re proud to promote for every student, every day. (To

watch the video, visit our website at www. SpeechAndDebateDay. org.) In addition to Senator Warren, we celebrated two current speech and debate members by announcing the winners of the National Educator of the Year and the Exemplary Student Service Award. Margo Batha from Los Alamos High School in New Mexico was announced as this year’s National Educator of the Year (see page 36). Margo has coached the largest debate team in New Mexico for more than a decade, and was the head coach of the first NSDA national champion World Schools 40


Debate team. She’s led presentations and workshops for other New Mexico speech and debate coaches, has created partnerships for her team with community organizations, and plans to serve on the local host committee for the 2020 National Speech & Debate Tournament in Albuquerque. You can see a video of the announcement by visiting www.facebook. com/speechanddebate.

We also recognized Madeline Gochee of Lincoln High School in Oregon as the winner of the 2019 Exemplary Student Service Award (see page 58). This award is given annually to a student who goes above and beyond to serve their school, community, city, region, or state using skills they honed through speech and debate. Madeline was selected for using her speech and debate skills to help organize a student-wide walkout for gun reform


at her school, leading bullying prevention, and for her service with Mission: Citizen and the Teen Council of Planned Parenthood. Throughout the day, we also acknowledged the nearly 900 teams who signed up to participate in events celebrating National Speech and Debate Education Day. The creativity of different celebrations this year was unmatched! Turn the page for just a few of our favorites.

Opposite Page (top, left to right) Members shared their speech and debate pride this March, including Hebron High School (TX), Ben Davis High School (IN), and Belvidere North High School (IL). (bottom) Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart (NJ) commemorated the day by holding a special middle school assembly. This Page (top) Taipei American School represented the NSDA from as far away as Taiwan. (bottom) Elementary students from Amerigo A. Anastasia Elementary School (NJ) were all smiles on NSDE Day.

As a Senator, I use the skills I gained from high school speech and debate every day. There is no better way for students to learn powerfully important skills—and persistence—no matter what career path they ultimately choose.”

— ELIZABETH WARREN U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and NSDA alum, Northwest Classen High School (OK), Class of 1966

Ce le b ratin g E du cato r s. I n s p i ri ng S tud ents . Tra ns form i ng Tom orrow.


IDEAS FOR CELBRATING THE DAY • Hosting Dessert Theater for community members to get a sweet treat and see performances from the team (Royal Palm Beach High School, Florida). • Creating a video sharing the importance of speech and debate to each team member (James River High School, Virginia and John Handley High School, Virginia). • Writing thank you notes to school staff who support the speech and debate program (Eaglecrest High School, Colorado). • Hosting a celebration at the State Capitol and passing a statewide resolution (Milton High School and the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association, Wisconsin).

• Creating a special middle school assembly and exhibition (Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Jersey and Clay Center Community High School, Kansas). Many schools also participated by sharing stories and explanations of the importance of speech and debate on social media. You can find posts from these teams, as well as alumni and other supporters celebrating the day, by searching the hashtag #WeAreSpeechAndDebate, or check out several highlights we’ve included here. We’re already gearing up for next year’s big day, so don’t forget to mark your calendars now for March 6, 2020!


When I talk at town halls and on panels, adults are always astonished that a young person like me can speak with so much conviction and confidence. They would probably be surprised to see a whole group of teenagers all over the country who can do the same.” — SUNNY LU Ladue Horton Watkins High School (MO), Class of 2020

Grace Rogers serves as Marketing Communications Specialist for the NSDA.

Students and coaches at Clay Community High School (MO) wrote messages to express what speech and debate means to them.




Speech and debate has widened my thoughts and horizons on all issues. The people I have met through this program are some of the best I’ve ever met. Thank you, speech and debate. You improved my life in a way that you could never understand.” — SPENCER MARTIN


Cherokee Trail High School (CO), Class of 2019

I was always a nervous wreck when it came to talking in front of people, but joining speech and debate has given me such a confidence boost. I’ve made so many new friends and have learned how to be able to speak my opinion. I’m so glad I joined.” — CHYNA SNYDER North Medford High School (OR), Class of 2022

(top to bottom) Members posed with banners and posters to recognize the day, including West High School - Davenport (IA), Apple Valley High School (MN), and Plano East High School (TX). ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 43

“We produce more than 2,400 awards for the National Tournament alone. Imagine what we can do for your school or — Chad Wagner, tournament!” Trophy Shop Manager for the NSDA


TROPHY SHOP Order tournament trophies, school awards, plaques, medals, and more from the National Speech & Debate Association’s Trophy Shop!

We have thousands to choose from, or you can create customized awards for your event! As a member, you have access to wholesale prices and early invoicing. Learn more at


Moving Big Questions Outside the Box by Rob Moeny, Melodie Gragg, Jan Pizzo, and Lynn Pizzo


ver the last three years, the National Speech & Debate Association, with generous support from the John Templeton Foundation, has encouraged schools, booster clubs, and non-profit organizations to offer Big Questions events as an exciting way of introducing debate via classroom and tournament settings. If your school is looking to get involved, below are some ideas from North Valley, a small public high school in rural Oregon, on how to step outside the speech and debate community to reach even more students.

Q. Why should I conduct an all-school Big Questions event? A. We took on this project at NVHS for two main reasons: promoting critical thinking and prospering our team.

The first reason to host an all-school Big Questions tournament is to use the competition as a way to promote critical thinking. In his January 22, 2019, article “6 Critical Thinking Skills You Need to Master Now,” Will Erstad of Rasmussen College states, “Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data, or evidence related to it. Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively—meaning without influence from personal feelings, opinions, or biases— and it focuses solely on factual information.” The importance of this skill set cannot be underestimated. Critical thinking helps students make better decisions in life. The hope is that participation in an activity like Big Questions Debate will spark something in all students—but especially in those not already

involved in competitive speech or debate. The second reason to consider an all-school approach is a financial one. A single successful Big Questions event can replace multiple car washes and bake sales. The advantages are even greater in communities like ours where financial resources are very limited. And, as fundraising challenges are cited among the significant reasons coaches leave, high impact events like these may help reduce some of the overarching stress in leading this activity.

Q. How did you convince your administration and staff to take on this project? A. We started by offering to share the grant award with the school. We also proposed holding the Big Questions event on a day already

disrupted by other events, making normal classes more difficult. Once our foot was in the door, other staff began to see the potential of the activity as a learning tool, not just a funding opportunity. As NVHS business and mathematics teacher Brian Scharpen explains, “Having kids prepare to argue both sides of an idea creates a unique perspective. Then requiring them to logically defend a position is equally valuable.”

Q. Can I do this if I have never run a tournament before? A. Yes! One of the most important lessons we learned is that hosting a Big Questions event is not the same as running a competitive invitational. If your administrators and staff are anything like ours, they want as little hassle as possible. A schoolwide Big Questions fundraiser can run very efficiently by following a few simple guidelines.

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 authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.




We created a schedule with more rounds than needed so students not debating could judge. Doing this prevented the necessity of recruiting community adjudicators and ensured that students remained engaged all day. Students debated within their classrooms. We chose a class period when all students were assigned to a teacher mostly by grade level. Each classroom became a mini debate tournament using a unique round robin system (see sidebar). By keeping students together with teachers, this increased accountability, encouraged participation, and reduced stress on everyone involved. Each teacher received ballots at the beginning of the event and returned them to the tab room after each round. We used varsity students to help tabulate and record the results in an Excel spreadsheet, making NSDA reporting easy. For our particular event, we concluded that using paper ballots instead of tournament software programs made tabulation less complex for everyone involved.

Q. If this is not a traditional meet, how can students feel rewarded for their efforts? A. We encouraged each teacher to identify

the best two teams in their classroom. These students participated in a final demonstration debate at the end of the day. We received positive feedback from students and teachers about this idea. “It was interesting to hear all the opinions on a subject,” says Skylee, a current junior at NVHS. “Our conversations afterward were so rich.” Freshman speech and debate team member Brett agrees. “This is a debate style I think anyone can do.” Some classrooms combined to create an even greater audience for the demo debates. Class credit also helped, with some teachers giving extra credit for wins, some for participation, and others none at all. Finally, we provided snacks at the end of the day to all students who completed all rounds as another benefit.

Q. I did not hear much about brackets and records— what gives? A. Our debate competition-oriented minds struggled to come to terms with the idea that records did not matter in this schoolwide debate day. However, what did matter most was getting

students to engage in the activity and ideas, regardless of the round results. Some students debated three times, others debated four. For many, the fact that they spoke in a competitive venue for the first time, contemplating questions of science and philosophy, was the real win. As Spanish teacher Kelly Turner concludes, “Highlighting academics

and critical thinking for all students gives the message that NVHS values the pursuit of knowledge, without a need for a grade or a reward.”

Rob Moeny is Head Coach of North Valley High School (NVHS) in Grants Pass, Oregon. Melodie Gragg, NVHS Staff, and Jan and Lynn Pizzo, NVHS Consulting Coaches, also contributed to this article.

Modified Round Robin Format Below is the schematic we used to create the round robin structure at North Valley High School. 20 Person Room (round 1)

Team A vs. Team B • judged by a student from Team J Team C vs. Team D • judged by a student from Team J Team F vs. Team G • judged by a student from Team E Team H vs. Team I • judged by a student from Team E

20 Person Room (round 2)

Team B vs. Team C • judged by a student from Team F Team D vs. Team E • judged by a student from Team F Team G vs. Team H • judged by a student from Team A Team I vs. Team J • judged by a student from Team A

20 Person Room (round 3)

Team C vs. Team E • judged by a student from Team G Team D vs. Team A • judged by a student from Team G Team H vs. Team J • judged by a student from Team B Team I vs. Team F • judged by a student from Team B

20 Person Room (round 4)

Team A vs. Team E • judged by a student from Team H Team B vs. Team D • judged by a student from Team H Team F vs. Team J • judged by a student from Team C Team G vs. Team I • judged by a student from Team C




USA Debate Team Reminisces and Prepares for Sri Lanka by Emily Grantham and Leila Saklou singers alike, excited for what the rest the year had in store for them.


Ranen Miao, Leila Saklou, Emily Grantham, Elyse Dewbre, Luke Tillitski, and Anh Cao


embers of the USA Debate Team reflect on a successful 2018-2019 season thus far. Five students have been chosen to represent our nation in the world championships in Sri Lanka. Plus, read on for tips on developing arguments!

HARVARD-WESTLAKE At the end of January, half of the USA Debate Team traveled to the HarvardWestlake School in sunny Los Angeles, California. Debating motions about ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia and whether a universal basic income is essential to combat inequality, the team took advantage of the opportunity to practice getting out of their comfort zone by trying out new speaker positions. Senior Michael Bole commented,



“Competition at the Harvard-Westlake School provided not only a great opportunity to bond with my teammates but also to develop my debating skills and experiment with new debating strategies and styles.” Ultimately, the team closed out finals with USA Red (Brian Zhou, Michael Bole, Ranen Miao, and Maddie Butler) championing the tournament with USA Blue (Anh Cao, Elyse Dewbre, and Liana Schmitter-Emerson) placing second. Liana SchmitterEmerson also received the top speaker award. After finals, the team participated in a demo debate on the motion “This House regrets the rise of secession movements worldwide” for an audience of middle schoolers participating in a Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP)

tournament. Junior Anh Cao remarked, “It was amazing to be able to debate in front of middle schoolers who are interested in debate. Talking to them after the round reminded me of the amazing platform I have to encourage others to pursue the activity I’ve grown to love so much.” After the team members judged several rounds at the middle school tournament, the team left the Golden State having grown as debaters and a cappella

Less than a week after arriving home from HarvardWestlake, six USA Debate members traveled across the world to Singapore to engage in a week of training with the Singapore, China, and Hong Kong national teams as well as teams from various local schools. After first exploring some of Singapore’s local landmarks, including the Gardens by the Bay nature park and Din Tai Fung restaurant (a USA Debate favorite), the team participated in a demo debate against Team Singapore on the motion “This house believes that public art galleries and museums should not

Ranen Miao, Elyse Dewbre, Liana Schmitter-Emerson, Michael Bole, Anh Cao, Ella Michaels (’18), and Maddie Butler

acquire art from morally reprehensible artists.” Later in the week, the team debated both prepared and impromptu rounds on motions such as “This House prefers a world without citizenship” and “This House believes that wealthy nations have a moral obligation to financially support developing countries.” Senior Luke Tillitski remarked, “As Americans, we have a distinct perspective on issues such as individual rights, diversity, and the purpose of education. Debating against teams from Singapore, China, and Hong Kong forced us to think critically about the way our background influences how we conceptualize ideas.” Bonding with Team Singapore while viewing performance art at the national museum and having a conversation comparing each country’s education systems, USA Debate members left Singapore having gained new friends and a more global perspective.

HARVARD To conclude the regular season, USA Debate members headed northeast to Boston for the Harvard World Schools Invitational. While enjoying their time in snowy Massachusetts, the team engaged in interesting debates regarding the accessibility of software development and the current decline of labor unions. However, by far the most heated debate that consumed the team was over which local Mexican restaurant had the best quesadillas: Felipes or El Jefes? Once the preliminary stage of the tournament was over, all three USA teams were fortunate to advance to elimination rounds. USA Red dropped in quarterfinals, leaving USA Gold and Blue to face each other in semifinals. After a couple of hours of impromptu drills, speeches, and a quick coffee run, USA Blue was ready

for finals against Team Canada on the motion “This House believes that former colonizing states ought not restrict immigration from citizens of their former colonies.” In a close debate, Team Canada took the win. USA Debate headed back to the hotel with numerous speaker awards, some enlightening judge feedback, and tummies full of Thai food ready to debrief and participate in the annual Funny Bunnies gift exchange. Throughout the season the team has enjoyed the travel and competitions, but even more, the camaraderie of working with talented new friends in an activity we all love while debating for our country. The final competition of the year will be the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC). The coaches have selected five members of the team to compete in Sri Lanka in July (see below).

TRAINING EXERCISE Developing Arguments This activity can be used for an individual team of three to five members or as a classroom exercise. Choose a motion and give everyone five minutes to brainstorm arguments. After five minutes, one person should state an argument claim in favor of the motion. The other students take turns adding warrants to the claim. Each student has a choice of adding an additional warrant or adding layers of supporting material (such as examples) to a previous warrant. After several rounds, another student should offer a new argument claim for the original motion. The goal is to practice creating deeper arguments.

Emily Grantham and Leila Saklou are seniors at Kingwood High School in Texas. They both currently serve as publication interns for the NSDA.


Emily Grantham Leila Saklou

Ishan Bhatt

SENIOR Kingwood High School, TX

SENIOR SENIOR St. Andrews Episcopal School, MS Charlotte Latin School, NC

SENIOR Kingwood High School, TX

Luke Tillitski

Anh Cao JUNIOR Bentonville High School, AR



Words from the Hall

Putting on a Show “Not to Be Missed” by Mark Ferguson


he NSDA awards assembly is the National Tournament’s culminating event. Those of us involved in speech and debate the past several decades have witnessed its dramatic expansion from a simple ceremony staged before a relatively small audience, to today’s grand production, which is witnessed by thousands of spectators, live and online. This article recounts some of my early and present day experiences with this great event and the people who contributed to its evolution.

NATIONALS, 1973 As a competitor in Dramatic Interpretation my junior year of high school, I had the great fortune of qualifying for the 1973 Pittsburgh Nationals. Neither I nor my coach, Louie



Mark Ferguson during a production meeting

Mattachione, had been to a National Tournament before, so we approached this experience with equal measures of anticipation and trepidation. As it turned out, Nationals felt like any other tournament I had competed in that year. It was modest in size—the number of qualifiers totaled just 469—and featured only eight events: Debate, Congress, Original Oratory, Radio Speaking, Impromptu, Dramatic Interp, and separate categories for Boys’ and Girls’ Extemp. The final rounds at the Pittsburgh Nationals were held in a university lecture hall with seating for about 300 people; nearly half of the seats were unoccupied. A similarsized room served as the venue for the awards assembly which, to my memory, was a relatively brief affair running around 30 minutes. Back then,

the small and unadorned rooms used for finals and the awards assembly suited the National Tournament just fine.

EXPANSION Over the years, the growth of the NSDA has been nothing short of astonishing. Last year, the 2018 National Tournament in Fort Lauderdale hosted 4,777 high school contestants, more than 10 times that of the Nationals in which I competed. The number of “main” events swelled from eight to 15. Somehow, incredulously, a second National Tournament—this one for 886 qualifying middle schoolers— was established to run the same week as the high school tournament, pushing the combined number of national contestants to well over 5,000.

The expansion of the National Tournament required larger spaces to accommodate the burgeoning increase of audience members. We found new homes in both hotel ballrooms and enormous convention center spaces the size of small cities. We also secured several “prestige” venues like the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, 2005), the Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City, 2004), and the Frank Lloyd Wrightdesigned Gammage Memorial Auditorium (Tempe, 1999). Final round qualifiers today perform on dramatically-lit stages, their voices amplified by an array of loudspeakers, the subtlest of facial expressions magnified and projected onto video screens flanking both sides of the stage and streamed into cyberspace. Every coach and contestant who walks onto the stage is treated to an “Academy Awards” moment. They deserve it, and that is what we strive to provide.

Photos submitted by Mark Ferguson

Josh Noll in interview mode

RAISING THE BAR The “Academy Awards” feel of our awards assembly is the realization of a vision Jim Copeland shared with me many years ago. He wanted me to help him produce an awards event with stellar production values—a show “not to be missed.” Jim was Executive Secretary of the National Forensic League at the time, and I was speech coach and television/film instructor at Glenbrook South High School in Illinois. My school served as the venue for the final rounds and awards assembly at the 1991 Glenbrook Nationals. As a member of the host

committee, I was invested in giving the tournament as much of a red carpet treatment as possible. I put my students to work: we produced daily newscasts about the tournament, provided multiple-camera coverage of the awards assembly, and edited together a tournament “highlight” video. The awards assembly at the Glenbrook Nationals provided the template Jim and I would use at subsequent National Tournaments. Some of our succeeding venues were hotel ballrooms—large, boxy spaces with chairs— but despite that limitation, we did our best to create performance spaces that were functional and eloquent. My friend and colleague PJ Samorian and I created lighting designs and “dressed” the

Marcus Jones, Emily Frachtling, and Walker Desing prepare for a taping

stage with backdrops, plants, and Roman columns—whatever we could find that looked reasonably artful. Jim Copeland and I continued our collaboration up through the 2002 Charlotte Nationals. It was there he announced that the awards assembly in Charlotte would be his “last big show.” With that, this venerable director of our organization retired from duty. Jim turned the mantle of leadership over to Scott Wunn who oversaw the expansion of even larger National Tournaments.

TECHNICAL SET-UP Setting up the video and lighting equipment for the finals and awards assembly is a job we contract to outside companies (we’ve

been working with Vista Productions the past several years). Bob Berry, the veteran director from Kansas City, oversees the set-up. Time is of the essence—we have a finite window to put our plans into place and many questions to be addressed: What images go up on video screens? What music should be played throughout the event? What color wash should illuminate the onstage trophies? We prepare a detailed rundown of all of our technical choices. By nightfall, the eve before finals, every piece of equipment has been installed, tested, and locked in. The Thursday morning sound check provides the only opportunity for our audio technicians to set microphone levels and get a “feel” for the acoustics of the room. This is a real challenge as the audio

Jim Shellard, Mark Ferguson, James Copeland, and PJ Samorian at the 2002 Charlotte Nationals


levels vary wildly from the conversational approach favored by most orators, to the often deafening dramatics found in many Interp pieces. Posing a real concern is the physicality of some of the performances—I’ve seen Interp finalists do handstands, cartwheels, and engage in knockdown, drag-out fight simulations. Undaunted by all of this is our stage manager, currently Matt Huber, who secures and triple-checks each body microphone to ensure they will not fly off during a performance! After two hours of checking levels and giving each finalist a moment onstage, the sound check ends and, shortly thereafter, the finals begin. It’s showtime.

VIDEO PRODUCTION The many videos produced at Nationals are screened at the awards assembly and other tournament venues. Much is of the “talking head” variety. We set up an interview area at a tournament site and find contestants and coaches willing to speak on camera (very easy to do at a National Tournament). Because our subjects are naturally articulate, we capture



most interviews in one take, although sometimes we’ll ask subjects to shorten an answer, or approach a response from a different perspective. Three overarching goals have dictated the focus of our work during my tenure as awards producer. First, the videos must be pleasing to watch: the production values must be high, the camera compositions unshakable, the editing precise. Each video should exude confidence in its content and eloquence in its production design. Second, the content of the video must be inspirational. Thousands of qualifiers and coaches attend the National Tournament, but only a few are featured in the videos we produce. The young people we tape are impassioned about using, for the greater good, the critical thinking skills and confidence they’ve developed in speech and debate. For many in the audience, these future leaders are models to exemplify. Finally, the videos should have a shelf life that continues long after the conclusion of the National Tournament. They should be useful in promoting our organization and encouraging individuals

and businesses alike to offer financial support. The quality of our work has been a testament to the talent and resourcefulness of the production staff, many of whom were former television/film students of mine from Glenbrook South. I am very proud of the fine work they’ve produced on the national level over the years. As an educator in a creative field, I apply the simple but potent philosophy of “learning by doing.” Certain skills, especially creative ones, need to be nurtured and developed through practical, relevant experiences which, in the classroom, I supplied on a regular basis. When my students move on from high school, I want them to feel confident they can successfully take on any video task in any genre be it news reporting, documentary work, or musical production. Such skills and disciplines are essential when producing video work at the highest level at the National Tournament.

CONCLUSION Twenty-one years ago, Jim Copeland brought me on as “awards producer” for the 1998 St. Louis Nationals. I am grateful to

him for that opportunity. Over subsequent years it has been a pleasure to help Jim realize his vision of producing a “show not to be missed.” My gratitude also extends to Scott Wunn who continued to bring me back year after year. I’ve always enjoyed the ease and economy of my working relationship with Scott: he would present an idea to me, sometimes off-handedly, and my job, simply, was to “make it so.” And so it is. I have no doubt that the NSDA awards assembly will continue to be the National Tournament’s culminating “must see” event. The assembly’s missions are clear: it celebrates achievement, honors those who have contributed mightily to speech and debate, and inspires our young people—our future leaders—to be thoughtful, expressive, and fearless citizens primed to make the world a better place. That’s what participation in speech and debate does, and I am grateful to have been a part of it.

Mark Ferguson is a one-diamond coach and member of the NSDA Hall of Fame. He is the 1973 national champion in Dramatic Interp. For more than a decade, he served as speech coach at Glenbrook South High School (IL), where he coached his own national champion, future screen star Emily Bergl, in Poetry in 1993.

Josh Noll conducts interviews at the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Nationals

Kevin Mathein on camera

Simple strategies to increase video quality If you are invested in raising the quality of your videos, be it for personal or professional pursuits, here are a few procedures that will elevate your work. Whether you shoot with the latest high-end gear or a simple smart phone, these basic strategies are essential to producing quality work.

1. Use a tripod. When you use a tripod you are committing to a very specific image composition. You are telling your audience, “This is the way I want you to see this shot.” Keeping your camera mounted to a tripod cultivates a disciplined approach to your cinematography, so don’t leave home without one!

2. Light your subjects. Always carry a lighting instrument with you. It can be a mini-light that attaches to your camera, or a hand-held “light wand.” Good lighting instantly elevates the quality of your work.

3. Use a microphone. Clean audio is essential. A handheld or clip-on “lavaliere” microphone will accentuate your subject’s voice while diminishing background noise.

4. Prep the Interview. Before you meet with your subject, create a punch list of topics and questions you want to cover. This will prevent you from “winging” the interview and asking irrelevant questions. Think of the interview as an “enhanced conversation,” allowing the dialogue between you and the subject to progress naturally.

5. Know how to shoot b-roll footage. B-roll is essentially the supporting video you need to tell your story. When you return from an event, you should have recorded the following: • an establishing shot (usually a wide angle image of where the action is taking place); • a cover shot (a basic shot of the general action, also wide angle); • a medium shot (a waist-up shot of what you are covering); • a close-up of the action; and • several cutaways (supporting visuals). Once you master the basics, you can apply more artful approaches to your b-roll. For example, your establishing shot might start tight, then zoom out to reveal your location. You may want to adjust your focus (a “pull” or “rack” focus) to reveal people or objects in the foreground or background. Your medium shot can be a low angle shot which generally makes the subject look tall and more empowering. Good b-roll shooters are creative and resourceful, but they had to learn the basics first. So do that—learn the basic disciplines of video acquisition, then give yourself opportunities to practice your newly-acquired skills. You’ll soon be capturing images with more creativity and utility.




Cultivating Inclusivity by Yash Wadwekar

“Somebody needs to step up for the next generation, so why not me?” – Sarah Donnelly


n our current political climate, intolerance is ubiquitous. The LGBTQ+, Islamic, African American, female, and other marginalized populations struggle to be heard. Conversely, on speech and debate’s stage, such individuals are allowed to express their views. More often than not, they are applauded for performing pieces and delivering arguments reflective of their struggles. Natick High School coach Sarah Donnelly recognized this pathway to greater inclusion and wished to define it further.

FINDING HER PATH Sarah competed in speech through high school and college



25 years ago. After graduating, she assumed she would be done with the activity. She was just stopping by to say hello to her old high school team when she felt a sudden urge to coach. Why? Sarah explains, “When I was in high school, there was someone there to do it for me. Somebody needs to step up for the next generation, so why not me? My involvement as a student in this activity quite literally defined who I am, and it wouldn’t have been nearly the same experience without a dedicated coach and all the other mentors and volunteers who gave their time to create that experience for me.”

DEFINING INCLUSIVITY While coaching and hosting a recent tournament, Sarah decided to draft an inclusion statement, which reads: “The Natick Speech Team fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion. We strive to create a tournament experience that is welcoming and inclusive for all. We expect our members and our guests to treat one another with respect. Should you have any issues, we welcome you to come to room 205 and speak with Ms. Donnelly, our Tournament Coordinator.” The idea for creating the statement came to

Sarah through a meeting with fellow Massachusetts speech and debate coaches. They wanted to foster an environment that allows everyone to feel excited to enter a tournament. Sarah sums it up well by stating, “We had been more focused on physical comfort than emotional comfort.” Sarah also finds it necessary to manifest inclusion through the pieces performed by the Natick Speech Team. If students ask questions such as “Are we being sensitive to and respective of all viewpoints?” or “Are we promoting a sense of equality among all attendees?” then disagreements can be lessened and an understanding of others’ perspectives increased.

The National Speech & Debate Association is constantly striving to make speech and debate a more inclusive activity. You can download free resources to help make your team and your tournaments a safe and welcoming space for all. #SPARK LE ADERS

Novice members of the Natick Speech Team in Massachusetts



“It’s really about operating with a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity,” Sarah explains. This broad-mindedness allows future leaders to express themselves without worrying as much about what others think. Speech and debate is an extracurricular activity that models the youth of America. Therefore, if the team isn’t inclusive, the students nurtured by it won’t be, either. Establishing this platform and assisting those who might be considered underdogs creates a stronger pack. “It gives kids the courage to trust themselves and to try new things. It builds resilience and tenacity. It leads them toward having

better perspective,” Sarah says. “So many of my students return to visit and remark that they were way ahead of their classmates, in terms of preparedness, when they entered college. They had already picked up a lot of the lessons that their peers were still learning. I attribute a lot of that to the skills speech and debate helped build in them.”

NEXT STEPS Understanding that this activity’s value is not determined by the number of trophies stacked up, but rather the thought left in an audience member’s mind after a round, is key. Nevertheless, Sarah isn’t finished. She elaborates on her vision

by urging, “We need to talk about what inclusion means to us, what it means to others, and how we can provide a safe environment for learning and for competition. We need to figure out what we’re trying to attain with this initiative. We’re looking forward to learning more about how we can promote better inclusion in the speech and debate community. We have a long way to go, but it starts with these very conversations.”

Yash Wadwekar is a freshman at Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona. He currently serves as a publications intern for the NSDA.

Class of 2011

University J.D. Candidate, Washington in St. Louis School of Law


• Recruitment Posters and DIY Template • Inclusive Tournament Checklist • Harassment and Discrimination Policy • Dress Code Template • Gender Neutral Restroom Best Practices • Pronoun Best Practices

Find these materials and more online at www.speechanddebate. org/inclusion. ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 57

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT 2019 Exemplary Student Service Award Recipient


A Force in Service by Eleanor Hildebrandt


peech and debate fosters a community for a multitude of students across the country. Regardless of one’s event, the extra-curricular activity develops many skills, including research, public speaking, and argumentation. Beyond competition, the National Speech & Debate Association’s Code of Honor encourages members to “exercise their talents to provide service to peers, community, and the activity.” The code further outlines, “At all times a member is prepared to work constructively to improve the lives of others.” The NSDA’s Exemplary Student Service Award looks to honor students who take this code to heart, representing the best speech and debate has to offer. Madeline Gochee, the 2019 award recipient, has utilized her speech and debate skills to serve her community well. The Lincoln High School senior has worked with her local Planned Parenthood chapter and serves as All Student



“Speech and debate has taught me the importance of research, passion, and eloquence, giving me the tools I need to enact the change I wish to see in my community.” — Madeline Gochee Body President to reform and revamp her school’s anti-bullying curriculum. She has taught three-month classes through the “Mission: Citizen” program to assist immigrants with the civics portion of the U.S. Citizen Test. She has also served as vice president of a student walk-out for gun reform after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting with the hopes of changing her community for the better. The Portland, Oregon, teen calls her debate team “the epitome of academic rigor and giving back to the community.” She credits the team with creating an avenue to flourish among people “who push each other to succeed.” Her work aims to create an atmosphere where all voices can be elevated and heard equally in every

respect, especially when it comes to governmental decisions and legislation. As the captain of her debate team, Madeline is leaving her mark on the program and in her hometown before she graduates and moves on to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire this fall. There, she intends to continue with debate and also work with their Health Service to implement more comprehensive health and sexual education programs in Hanover high schools. When it comes to Madeline’s volunteerism, she says she is drawn to causes due to her personal values as well as organizations where she can see a direct impact on the people she is attempting to help. That direct impact is exactly what she’s been providing

for the past four years. Jarrius Adams, the 2015 NSDA National Student of the Year and current Mississippi coach who served as chair of this year’s service award selection committee, explains why Madeline was chosen as the 2019 recipient. “Madeline was in a pool of extremely qualified candidates. Her work speaks for itself, but I was more impressed with her dedication to improving herself. At the end of the interview she asked, ‘What can I do to get better?’ At that moment, I knew she was different.” Madeline wants everyone to look for opportunities to give back. “Use the skills that only students in speech and debate have, because you have these amazing tools to assist your community, and you have a voice. You are powerful.”

Eleanor Hildebrant is a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Iowa. She currently serves as a publication intern for the NSDA.

MEET THE FINALISTS These five students were selected as finalists for the Exemplary Student Service Award and evaluated by a panel of three past William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year winners. Learn more about the service they provide their communities below!

Manu Onteeru Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA) As a current junior, Manu is a leader on his speech and debate team, constantly extending a hand to the least experienced members of the team when they need one. He also serves as secretary of the Global Health Initiative club and as vice president of Medical Aid for North Korean Refugees at Thomas Jefferson. Outside of his school’s walls, Manu is National Director of Public Relations and the Virginia State Director of the Unified Democracy PAC where he volunteers his time to encourage and mobilize eligible voters in Virginia. As co-captain of his debate team, this Virginian has turned his passion for public health into a fire for change that he utilizes in serving his community and making a difference locally.

Cooper Phillips

his debate team to organize teams for the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas for their annual Buddy Walk and volunteers for their I Can Bike program for children learning to ride bicycles. The junior also helped fill the food banks after hurricanes ravished the Houston area in 2017. He heads the campaign, “Spread the Word to End the Word” in local schools to minimize negative language toward individuals with disabilities and special needs. Cooper helps as many people as he can and elevates his community in every respect, there’s no debate about it.

Mateo Portelli

Bishop Gorman High School (NV) As a Congressional Debater, Mateo has grown his skills in argumentation, presentation, and persuasion. He turned these three skills into an opportunity to change teens’ lives in the “Trial by Peers” program where he represents teens in the juvenile justice system before a judge. Through this opportunity, the junior has changed students’ lives and argued for fair punishment or dismissal for dozens of teens. He assists his team with these skills and looks out for students regardless of who they are alongside helping his community for the better.

Oliver Stern

Keller High School (TX)

Ransom Everglades School (FL)

Cooper Phillips is a student who gives all he can, inside and out of debate. He assists teammates during practice and tournaments to make sure they can be the best debaters while holding them accountable. He works outside of

Oliver Stern has spent the last four years changing the Public Forum program on his debate team as well as changing his community’s perception of individuals with disabilities. He created the “One World Many

Abilities” program to raise awareness of disabilities by giving elementary school students in his area the opportunity to experience what life is like with paralysis, loss of sight, or hearing. Oliver has raised more than $50,000 to create Oliver’s Hearing Aid Bank, an organization that collects and refurbishes hearing aids and then redistributes them to deaf children. He was selected for the 2017 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award and donated the money he won to his hearing aid bank and to his temple’s disabilities inclusion services. As a senior, Oliver grew his speech and debate team as cocaptain and continues to assist young debaters.

Angela Zhong

Cypress Woods High School (TX) Throughout her debate career, Angela has taken time to grow as a person and a competitor. She has utilized her position as a student representative in the human trafficking branch of the NewGen Peacebuilders for the International Rotary District 5890 Conference for Peace and Conflict Resolution. She helps coordinate the event and ensure it runs smoothly while developing her passion to discuss difficult and important topics. She utilizes her forensic skills inside her school as well, organizing drives for school supplies after Hurricane Harvey wrecked her Houston community back in 2017. She also helps fundraise for her debate team to make sure all of her teammates can pay for tournaments and allow debate at Cypress Woods to be open to all. In her final two years of high school, this junior continues to push for change in her community and challenge the status quo.



Diamond Coach Recognition

Eighth Diamond For the past 40 years, Pam McComas has taught in Topeka Public Schools. For the past 35 years, she served as the Director of Debate and Forensics at Topeka High School, and in 2017, she was inducted as Distinguished Staff Member. Her professional and service contributions to debate and forensics are numerous. Pam was a u EIGHTH DIAMOND u member of the NSDA Board of Directors for 12 PAMELA K. MCCOMAS years. Most recently, she chaired the National Topeka High School, KS Federation of High School’s Debate Topic November 3, 2018 • 24,622 Points Selection Committee. Her state contributions are many and include serving as a member of the 6A Speech Advisory Committee, past president of the Kansas Speech Communication Association, and presenter at both state and national speech conventions and workshops. Speech and debate drive her motivation for excellence, which is instilled in her students and their performances. Pam is a national presenter for the National Speech & Debate Association and has presented with NSDA Board Member Renee Motter (CO) for the National Council of Teachers of English for six years. More than 170 students have gone to Nationals under Pam’s tutelage, and she has amassed five national champions. She’s had finalists in every main event except three—Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Duo Interp, and Public Forum. Her national success is equaled at the state level. Her debate teams have won the state tournament four times, and her forensic teams have earned 13 state championships. More than 30 students have been named state champions during her career. Pam has been recognized at the state and national level for her work with students and educators. In 2016, Pam was named as an NFHS Outstanding Speech, Debate, Theatre Educator and received a Woman of Influence Award in Education. Pam was inducted into the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame in 2017 and has been recognized as the Kansas High School Speech Teacher of the Year. The Topeka Capital-Journal recognized her as Kansan of the Year in Education in 2017. Pam’s greatest moments in her career were being nominated and elected to the NSDA Hall of Fame in 2004 and earning the state recognition in September 2009. Her best memory and most emotional moment was receiving the Pi Kappa Delta/Bruno E. Jacob Trophy in 1999.



Sixth Diamonds



Centennial High School, CO November 7, 2018 • 16,001 Points “Wow, a sixth diamond; it means so many things. It mainly means that I am old, at least older than when I began coaching almost four decades ago. I have found that speech and debate goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and combines every academic discipline, every human experience, every amount of fortitude one can muster just to get up and conquer that most prevalent of human fears: public speaking. Great students make coaches better; not just better coaches but better people. I thank all of my current, past, and future students for challenging me to strive to be better. I cannot thank all of them here individually, but I must mention one, Sarah B. Moore (Whitney), who was not only my most successful student to date, but who made good on her promise to support financially her former team with thousands of dollars in donations. I thank God, for guiding me to coach where I coach; for I could not have survived to earn a sixth diamond without the camaraderie of the great speech and debate coaches of Southern Colorado, who deeply, deeply care for the educational advancement of all of our students. Again, I cannot list them all but names like DeYarman, Toth, Carochi, Groves, Frye, and Motter must be mentioned. I thank my wife and daughter for their support. Now that my daughter competes, I can see first hand the sacrifices students and families make to accommodate speech and debate in their lives. NSDA, continue to do what is best for all students and allot the opportunity for the future leaders of our great nation to find their voices.”


DR. TOMMIE LINDSEY, JR. James Logan High School, CA December 29, 2018 • 46,297 Points

Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr., retired this past June after 41 years of teaching and coaching the James Logan High School forensic team in Union City, California. Tommie graduated from the University of San Francisco with a major in Communication Arts and Social Science. As a member of the NSDA Board of Directors, he endeavors to ensure that every student who desires to participate in speech and debate has an opportunity to compete, regardless of their circumstance. He challenged his students “to be the best that they can be,” a motto that carried over to his program and is reflected by James Logan High School’s unparalleled success as the first school in the history of the National Speech & Debate Association to have won a School of Excellence award for 19 consecutive years. Tommie is the co-author of the book, It Doesn’t Take a Genius, and was featured (along with his team) in the award winning documentary, Accidental Hero: Room 408. He has also been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as part of her Angel Network. In 1994, Tommie was named California State Teacher of the Year; in 2004, he was inducted into the MacArthur Fellows Program, a grant given to individuals who show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work; and In 2007, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of San Francisco for his “Visionary Leadership.” Tommie was elected vice president of the NSDA Board of Directors in 2018.



Fifth Diamond As the founding coach of the speech and debate program at GAIL NICHOLAS Bob Jones Academy since 1985, Bob Jones Academy, SC Gail Nicholas has been the model December 10, 2018 • 13,000 Points “servant leader” not only for her school, but also for coaches in South Carolina and across the nation. As a five-diamond coach, Gail Nicholas has qualified more than 100 students to NSDA Nationals and has coached, along with her husband Chuck, two national champions in Extemp Commentary in 2003 and in Storytelling in 2004. As the longest serving district chair in the history of South Carolina, Gail has been the recipient of the Bronze, Silver, and two Gold Awards for District Chair Service, the District Communications Award in 2005, and the Ralph E. Carey Distinguished Award for Career Service in 2011. Recently, she worked for the NSDA by serving on the committee for the Coaches Code of Ethics. A mainstay in the tab room at NSDA Nationals, Gail has achieved and obtained the Distinguished Service Plaque, Eleventh Honors. Gail manages the South Carolina state tournament and helps tirelessly in tab rooms across the southeast.



The Nueva School, CA February 26, 2018 • 23,890 Points






Chaminade High School, NY October 15, 2018 • 11,965 Points



Quigley Catholic High School, PA November 14, 2018 • 10,000 Points



Dilworth Glyndon Felton High School, MN April 23, 2018 • 13,021 Points



Andover High School, KS October 23, 2017 • 6,279 Points








Parker School, HI October 10, 2018 • 6,001 Points

Lawrence Free State High School, KS October 16, 2018 • 8,078 Points

Pascagoula High School, MS November 5, 2018 • 3,477 Points







Salem Hills High School, UT November 20, 2018 • 4,888 Points

Wylie Sr. High School, TX November 27, 2018 • 4,492 Points

South Grand Prairie High School, TX November 29, 2018 • 3,609 Points





Madison West High School, WI January 20, 2019 • 3,151 Points


Bethany Christian High School, IN January 27, 2019 • 3,001 Points


Staples Motley High School, MN February 10, 2019 • 3,001 Points ROSTRUM | APRIL/MAY 2019 65







Worland High School, WY February 23, 2019 • 3,643 Points

Layton High School, UT October 11, 2018 • 1,539 Points

Wichita East High School, KS October 26, 2018 • 5,598 Points







Westmoore High School, OK November 4, 2018 • 4,087 Points

Judson High School, TX November 26, 2018 • 1,500 Points

Waterloo High School, IL November 27, 2018 • 1,501 Points





Claremont High School, CA December 3, 2018 • 2,313 Points 66




A & M Consolidated High School, TX December 10, 2018 • 2,159 Points


Brookings High School, SD December 10, 2018 • 1,527 Points








Fontbonne Hall Academy, NY December 12, 2018 • 1,501 Points

Chaparral Star Academy, TX December 17, 2018 • 1,932 Points

Jasper High School, TX January 3, 2019 • 5,546 Points







Clear Creek High School, TX January 5, 2019 • 1,938 Points

Father Ryan High School, TN January 20, 2019 • 1,500 Points

Strive Prep - Smart Academy, CO January 20, 2019 • 1,501 Points





Gregory Portland High School, TX February 4, 2019 • 1,501 Points

William Tennent High School, PA February 10, 2019 • 1,503 Points


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

Ellen Boland Mikel Knutson Alonso Pena Nathan Goodrich Helena Jancosek Abigail Ingstad Daniel Morris Emily Wallace Shelly Goering Callie Lawrence Michael Smith Alanna Heath Elizabeth Jordan Helen Huang Charlotte Reid Miles Owens Heath Reinl Evan Gilbert Stephen Nothum Ali Veatch Tanya Fergen Alexis Heldreth Deleea Meeker Sarah Exon Leigh Wagner Brenna Davis Jade Whitbeck Massimo Cifelli Jeff Koegler Samantha Worden Wyatt Anderson Lee Pietruszewski Leah Rachlis Cara Nichols Caitlyn Parsons Sara Thompson Brady Jandl Justin Crow Taryn Rothbauer Thomas Barnett Amy Reagan Decker O’Donnell Christopher Rawlins Frankie Marchi Isaac Quinn Rich McCollum Robert Steinman Sean Kennedy John Delle Sarah Hennessey Thomas Cox Cecilia Hubbard Bryan Little Dorothy Kellner Brock Lundy Patrick Brooks Jake Hoskins Alex Oh


Great Falls High School, MT Columbia Falls High School, MT Garden City High School, KS Century High School, CA Munster High School, IN Valley City High School, ND Westlake High School, UT Taipei American School, Taiwan Revere High School, OH Henderson High School, TX Syracuse High School, UT Columbus East High School, IN Columbia High School, ID BC Academy, Canada Firth High School, ID George Washington High School, CO Sheboygan North High School, WI Irma Rangel Young Women, TX Maple Mountain High School, UT Muriel W. Battle High School, MO Green Valley High School, NV Canfield High School, OH Verdigris High School, OK Farmington High School, UT Montrose High School, CO Jordan High School, UT Damonte Ranch High School, NV Holy Ghost Prep, PA Lincoln High School, OR Green River High School, WY Pocatello High School, ID Grants Pass High School, OR Liberty High School, CO Round Rock High School, TX East Ridge High School, MN Greeley West High School, CO Lennox High School, SD West Albany High School, OR Canfield High School, OH Crete High School, NE Spring Creek High School, NV Lincoln High School, OR West Career And Technical Academy, NV Desert Vista High School, AZ New Technology High School, CA Maplewood-Richmond Hgts. High, MO The Hill School, PA Shawnee Mission South High School, KS Harrisburg High School, SD Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, MA Blue Valley West High School, KS Klein Collins High School, TX McPherson High School, KS Fairview High School, CO Dougherty Valley High School, CA Waynesville High School, MO Flathead High School, MT BC Academy, Canada


1,499 1,486 1,480 1,479 1,472 1,470 1,466 1,465 1,461 1,461 1,461 1,459 1,457 1,451 1,451 1,444 1,439 1,438 1,436 1,431 1,419 1,416 1,402 1,402 1,400 1,398 1,397 1,391 1,387 1,387 1,382 1,380 1,372 1,369 1,367 1,365 1,357 1,356 1,348 1,344 1,344 1,344 1,337 1,335 1,333 1,329 1,327 1,324 1,318 1,317 1,316 1,316 1,311 1,309 1,308 1,305 1,299 1,298

Belinda Sauret Paul Sealey Daniel Birzer Alekhya Tallapaka Devi Donavan Brad Coltrane Brandon Pomajevich Katie Dunn Karen Schwarzl John Bolliger Susanne Bruce Kallie Dale Matthew Meade Tanya Headrick Catherine Blair Brinda Shah Josh Riggins Heather Gaddy Joshua Clark Talia Powell Joel Yoder Alissa Kiefer Traci Powers Kate Dowling Leo Wong Anthony Burrola Parker Davis Annie Sippel Jeremiah Etcheverry Victoria Young Alexander McGuigan Kathryn Wallop Kendrick Walton Ian Malcolm Katie Wood Stephen Lee Jared VanTieghem Celine Farrimond Chloe Jackson Ian LaForge Zachary Sandoval Ariel Cornelius Karen Schilling Animesh Shrouti Malia Mills Katie Widestrom Maya Parness Lydia Magalhaes Tyler Woodcock Christopher Teters Susan Dykhuizen Becky Hansen Lees Whylly Rebecca Smith Lucas Krogmann Rachel Schmidt Brian Hill Henry Souza

(August 2, 2018 through March 5, 2019)

Southside High School, SC Federal Way High School, WA Blue Valley West High School, KS The Potomac School, VA Northfield High School, CO Hoover High School, AL Capital High School, MT Myers Park High School, NC Deer Lakes High School, PA Pocatello High School, ID Appleton North High School, WI Helena High School, MT Great Falls Russell High School, MT Highland High School, OH Mannford High School, OK Eden Prairie High School, MN Clayton-Bradley Academy, TN Jefferson City High School, MO Gothenburg High School, NE Garland High School, TX Bethany Christian High School, IN Canton McKinley High School, OH Faith Christian High School, CO York Community High School, IL R. E. Mountain Secondary, CA La Mirada High School, CA George Washington High School, CO North Allegheny Sr. High School, PA Rock Springs High School, WY Greenville Technical Charter High School, SC BC Academy, Canada American Heritage High School, FL Forest Lake Sr. High School, MN Sylvania Northview High School, OH Golden High School, CO Valencia High School, CA Bettendorf High School, IA Phoenix High School, OR Moorhead High School, MN East Ridge High School, MN Loyola High School, CA Big Sky High School, MT Farwell High School, TX Blue Valley West High School, KS Bend Sr. High School, OR Champlin Park High School, MN Berkeley Carroll School, NY Indianola High School, IA Shawnee Mission South High School, KS Piper High School, KS Flathead High School, MT Fort Atkinson High School, WI Hillsborough High School, FL Mark Keppel High School, CA Luther Preparatory School, WI Bozeman High School, MT Evanston High School, WY Othello High School, WA

1,297 1,294 1,292 1,292 1,281 1,280 1,271 1,269 1,263 1,259 1,255 1,252 1,249 1,249 1,232 1,231 1,231 1,216 1,212 1,207 1,206 1,205 1,204 1,204 1,197 1,197 1,197 1,196 1,195 1,187 1,179 1,178 1,176 1,174 1,168 1,164 1,164 1,163 1,160 1,150 1,149 1,148 1,147 1,138 1,138 1,135 1,127 1,125 1,122 1,118 1,116 1,113 1,107 1,106 1,102 1,098 1,096 1,094

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

Andy Bradley Brad Subramaniam Lamar Lamb Jason Braddy Michael Kelleher Valerie Smelser Kelly Nupson Dallas Kirkpatrick Debbie Chinn Jackie O’Briant Marliese Belt Alyssa Paradis Zackery Carlock Bill Bakopoulos

Mount Michael Benedictine High School, NE Lincoln High School, OR Hayden High School, KS McKinney High School, TX St. John’s Jesuit High School, OH Power High School, MT Harvest Christian Academy, GU New Covenant Academy, MO The Classical Academy, CO Natrona County High School, WY Bowling Green High School, KY Mountain Vista High School, CO Snyder High School, TX Wheaton North High School, IL

1,090 1,084 1,082 1,075 1,074 1,072 1,066 1,066 1,063 1,063 1,061 1,054 1,054 1,052

Susan Moberg Ryan Olson Makenzie Shofner Marcia Grisanzio Jacques De Graauw Caleb Sly Mitch Hofer Benjamin Hamburger Hannah Lemmons Andrea Gormley Allison Tucker Dillon Quinn Elise Shoemaker

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

Lisa Anzevino Laurel Brashears Aaron Langerman Mark Radziejeski Daniel Porisch Shantelle Belk Victoria Ludwig Janice Omoge Adriana Soto Sam Pietsch NiSean Jones Thomas Williams Brenna Chvilicek Kelli Grimes Baggett Marisa Napoli Derek Plasterer Michelle Neal Haley Conger Consuela Andrew Jessica Figueroa Rachel Blanchard Vincent Taddei Cassie Rebeor Ryan Maloney Lauren Palek Kalyn Lee Kathryn Anders Andrew Welton Jose Denis Angela Faoro Brooke Schmitt Alex Rivera Adam Marquardt Kyle Fitch Lani Frazer David Otradovsky Rebecca Ibrahim

Boardman High School, OH Veterans Memorial High School, TX Bellarmine College Prep, CA Hayden High School, KS Laurel High School, MT Great Falls Russell High School, MT Danville Area High School, PA North Houston Early College High School, TX Wheeling High School, IL The Parish Episcopal School, TX Ben Davis High School, IN Cuyahoga Falls High School, OH Hamilton High School, MT Montgomery High School, TX Notre Dame Academy, OH R. Nelson Snider High School, IN Heritage High School, WA Richwoods High School, IL Mayde Creek High School, TX Miami Arts Studio 6-12 At Zelda Glazer, FL Dr. Phillips High School, FL Cardinal Mooney High School, OH Ruston High School, LA Mercyhurst Preparatory School, PA Thomas Jefferson High School, CO Miami Carol City Sr. High School, FL Warsaw Community High School, IN Collegiate School, NY Nova High School, FL Camdenton High School, MO Foothill Technology High School, CA Ridge High School, NJ Wayzata High School, MN Valley Regional High School, CT Sonoma Academy, CA El Campo High School, TX University High School, CA

999 996 993 992 990 987 987 984 982 976 975 972 970 968 965 963 963 962 959 954 949 949 946 939 936 936 934 933 931 930 927 927 924 919 918 918 917

Daniel Charlton Vanessa Gardea Justin Harbour Acie Hamilton Jessica Booker Jena Mentink Kaitlin Benson Kim Gardner Gisella Bosco Erin Wheeler Paul Loomis John McBlair Kentee Pasek Kevin Ozomaro Justin Hoy Joshua Rogers Jason Holden Katherine Roundy Sam Al-Hadid Michelle Maynes Rachael Daudelin Kristoffer Puddicombe Clifton Simmons Katie Valder Angela Richardson Jonathan Daugherty Matt Lewis Michael Badger Michelle Davila Greer Trefethen Aaron Cosner Hayley Botnen Jeff Niemec Hanan Brunt Dan Naples Sarah Hufford Isabella Morin

(August 2, 2018 through March 5, 2019)

Dickinson High School, ND Rogers Senior High, MN Orono High School, MN Wheaton North High School, IL Franklin High School, TN Salem Hills High School, UT Bennington High School, NE La Crosse Central High School, WI Rushville Consolidated High School, IN Westonka High School, MN North Lakes Academy, MN Chaska High School, MN Bolivar R 1 High School, MO

1,052 1,048 1,047 1,043 1,040 1,030 1,029 1,027 1,026 1,024 1,022 1,016 1,003

(August 2, 2018 through March 5, 2019)

Skyview High School, MT Hanks High School, TX La Salle College High School, PA South Jones Jr./Sr. High School, MS Stillwater Area High School, MN David City High School, NE Golden Valley High School, CA St. Paul’s High School, LA St. Petersburg High School, FL Bakersfield High School, CA Yuba City High School, CA Menlo Atherton High School, CA Ouray High School, CO Los Altos High School, CA Essex High School, VT Presbyterian Christian School, MS Great Falls Central Catholic High School, MT Alexander Dawson School, CO GlenOak High School, OH Spring Hill High School, KS Dallastown Area High School, PA Ronald Reagan College Prep High School, WI Victoria West High School, TX Myers Park High School, NC Worland High School, WY Vista Ridge High School, TX Holy Family High School, CO Richards High School, IL West Oso High School, TX Bozeman High School, MT Harrisonburg High School, VA Skyview High School, MT La Salle High School, CA Sylvania Southview High School, OH Ursuline High School, OH Riverview High School, FL Roosevelt High School, SD

910 910 909 908 907 907 905 900 898 896 896 892 890 889 889 888 887 878 877 876 874 874 870 866 864 862 857 855 845 843 843 842 840 837 835 834 834


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

Dianna Waite Christian Schaeffer Steven Herman Henry Unruh Cynthia Porter Rosa Nevin Theresa Novack Aamirah Chisti Joseph Loi-on Olga Silverman Ben Giles Jeanette Boyce Hilda Gallardo Michael Duran Xania Thurston Michael Barber Corey Anderson Mathew Boddiford Emelia Gulck Kimberly Gillespie Tony Nation Issac Chung Cody Marney

Abilene High School, KS Parkway Central High School, MO Notre Dame High School, CA Moundridge High School, KS Ward Melville High School, NY Glenbrook South High School, IL Marshall High School, MN BASIS Chandler High School, AZ Kahuku High & Intermediate School, HI Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School, KS Eden Prairie High School, MN Braxton County High School, WV Procter Hug High School, NV IH Kempner High School, TX New Castle High School, IN Middletown High School, OH Revere High School, OH Durant High School, FL Spencer High School, IA St. Mary’s High School, CA Wichita East High School, KS South High School, CA Choteau High School, MT

830 828 826 826 825 824 819 816 813 813 805 805 799 799 797 796 795 793 792 788 787 786 786

Harris Salim Scott Hanson Miranda Le David Dosch KC Perley Breanna Levy Mariah Ancell LaShell Whitley Apryl West Fred Friedman Sarah Stout Aaron Dom Daniel Commander Laura Watkins Alyson Neeley Shalem Carr Collin Preece Peter Szpytek Jessica Stroner Megan Jones Eric Greving Connor Robison Lisa Buck

Advertise your speech and debate openings with us!

(August 2, 2018 through March 5, 2019)

Downers Grove South High School, IL Billings Sr. High School, MT Presentation High School, CA Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, CA Crescent Valley High School, OR Avon High School, IN Hamilton High School, MT McKinney North High School, TX Riverside STEM Academy, CA Denfeld High School, MN Farmington High School, MN Central York High School, PA Alabama School Of Mathematics & Science, AL Neosho High School, MO Timber Creek High School, TX Hallsville High School, TX Salem Hills High School, UT Downers Grove South High School, IL Wheaton North High School, IL Glencoe High School, OR Southeast Polk High School, IA Canton High School, TX Orono High School, MN

As a service to member schools, the

NSDA offers complimentary employment listings on our website, For $100, you may reserve a custom, third-page print ad in Rostrum magazine. We’ll even help you design your ad! Please contact Emily Kriegel at or call us at (920) 748-6206 to reserve your ad today. Our next issue will be published in mid-September. Learn more at

Seeking Social Studies Teacher / Interp and Oratory Coach Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida, is looking to hire a full time social studies teacher for the 2019-2020 school year with background in coaching high school competitive speech. We are looking for a full time coach to serve as director of our high school Original Oratory and Interpretive Events team. Candidates who have had a number of years’ experience directing a high school forensic program are highly encouraged to apply. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: • • • • • • • •

Coordinating after-school practices for Oratory and Interp Attending weekend tournaments (from one-day locals to out-of-state national tournaments) Capacity to travel is a must Building/recruiting a nationally-competitive Interp and Oratory team Planning showcase for middle school parents and students Conducting information sessions and tryouts Building literature/script base for Interp Hands-on coaching from piece selections, cutting, blocking, and preparing for top-level national competition

Salary commensurate with teaching and coaching experience. All inquiries please contact: Mike Jakubisin, Upper School Director ( and George Clemens, Head Coach, Lake Highland Speech and Debate (



784 780 778 775 775 774 773 772 770 767 765 759 758 757 756 754 754 753 753 753 752 752 750

Need help prepping for your next tournament? Save time, energy, and stress by ordering low cost Extemp Questions, Impromptu Prompts, and World Schools Motions from the National Speech & Debate Association!

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The American Legion’s National Oratorical Contest

LOOKING FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS?  LOOK NO FURTHER. The first place finisher of The American Legion’s National Oratorical Contest is awarded an $18,000 scholarship, second-place $16,000, and third-place $14,000. As part of the National Speech & Debate Association’s ongoing alliance with The American Legion, those top three finishers may also earn the right to compete in Original Oratory or United States Extemp at the National Speech & Debate Tournament!

Want to get involved? Follow these simple steps! • Visit to learn more. • Click on “State Contests” to contact The American Legion Department Headquarters located in your state to learn when the first contest in your area will be. • Also click on “Assigned Topics” to learn the extemporaneous topic areas.

Carlissa Frederich of Kentucky placed first at the 2018 American Legion National Oratorical Contest

• Prepare your original oration on some aspect of the Constitution with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.

Watch examples of past winning orations online at

You’re Invited! If you are a new(er) coach attending the National Tournament for the first time, we hope you’ll join us! Don’t miss oneon-one facetime with the organization’s Board of Directors and senior staff, including Executive Director J. Scott Wunn. You will have an opportunity to ask questions, become oriented to the tournament in a more personal manner, and enjoy the company of other new coaches.

First Time AT NATIONALS Coach Reception XX Sponsored by the generous contributions of the NSDA staff, NSDA boosters, their friends, and their families


10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. SHERATON DALLAS HOTEL 400 North Olive Street, Dallas, Texas 75201

Houston Ballroom • located on the third floor, up the escalator near registration

We hope you will join us! Newsstand Price: $9.99 per issue Member Subscription: $24.99 for 5 issues Non-Member Subscription: $34.99 for 5 issues

Big Questions is back for three more years! Big Questions is back for three more years! Watch for the topic announcement and application in late summer/early fall.

Big Questions is presented by the NSDA through a generous grant provided by the John Templeton Foundation. Visit our website to learn more, and watch for the 2019-2020 topic announcement and application in late summer/early fall.

Email us at for more information! 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 authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

Profile for Speech & Debate

2019 April/May Rostrum  

Volume 93, Issue 4

2019 April/May Rostrum  

Volume 93, Issue 4

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