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A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 94 ISSUE 2 N O V. / D E C . 2 0 1 9

UNLIMITED POTENTIAL

“NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK— URBAN, SUBURBAN, AND RURAL—TO STUDY, DEBATE, AND NEGOTIATE A COMMON FUTURE.” — Dr. Kevin Minch, Truman State University, Missouri


THE

1925 SOCIET Y Leaving your legacy with the NSDA can be done in three easy steps: 1. Add a simple paragraph to your will stating the NSDA as a beneficiary. You can revise your gift at any time. 2. Notify Nicole Wanzer-Serrano at nicole.wanzer-serrano@ speechanddebate.org that the NSDA has been added to your will. 3. Celebrate knowing that you are impacting future generations by joining the 1925 Society!

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

Lanny and B. J. Naegelin

Phyllis Flory Barton

Albert Odom, Jr.

James Copeland

J. W. Patterson

Don and Ann Crabtree

Capt. Joseph L. and Jan Pizzo

Dr. Mike Edmonds

Dr. Polly and Bruce Reikowski

A. C. Eley

Donus and Lovila Roberts

Vickie and Joe Fellers

James Rye, III

David and Judy Huston

Steve and Anna Schappaugh

Jennifer Jerome

David Seikel

Harold Keller

Sandra Silvers

Kandi King

Richard Sodikow

Cherian and Betsy Koshy

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

Steve Moss

Joe and Pam Wycoff


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Passion… Passion…Elegance… Elegance…Excellence Excellence Passion… Elegance… Excellence We of the students who attended the Weoffer offerour ourmost mostsincere sincerecongratulations congratulationsto all the students who attended the We sincere congratulations totoall all ofof the students who attended the 2019 NSDA National Speech & Debate Tournament. And to all of the students who 2019 NSDA National Speech & Debate Tournament. And to all of the students who 2019 NSDA National Speech & Debate Tournament. And to all of the students who were recognized aaa task well done. To allall ofofof our wererecognized recognizedwith withawards, awards,congratulations congratulationson on task well done. To all our were with awards, congratulations on task well done. To our alumni and totoour our alumniand andto ourincoming incomingLonghorns, Longhorns,Hook Hook‘Em! ‘Em! alumni incoming Longhorns, Hook ‘Em! UTNIF UTNIF UTNIF Dept. of of Communication Studies Dept. Communication Studies Dept. of Communication Studies 1 University Station 1 University Station 1 University Station Mail Code A1105 Mail Code A1105 Mail Code A1105 Austin, Texas 78712-1105 Austin, Texas 78712-1105 Austin, Texas 78712-1105

Eric Lanning, Program Coordinator Eric Lanning, Program Coordinator Eric Lanning, Program Coordinator Eric.Lanning@austin.utexas.edu Eric.Lanning@austin.utexas.edu Eric.Lanning@austin.utexas.edu Phone: 512-471-5518 Phone: 512-471-5518 Phone: 512-471-5518 Fax: 512-232-1481 Fax: 512-232-1481 Fax: 512-232-1481


Letter from the Executive Director I was born and raised in a rural community in Iowa. My senior class had 52 graduates. After college, I began my teaching and coaching career at a small school that was underresourced and underrepresented. I’ve seen, firsthand, the challenges faced by students who do not have access to certain educational opportunities. These experiences have shaped and driven my passion and advocacy for supporting speech and debate programs for the past 25 years. In this issue, Dr. Kevin Minch of Truman University in Missouri makes the case for a rural debate revival in America. “Now, more than ever, we need all hands on deck—urban, suburban, and rural—to study, debate, and negotiate a common future.” I implore you to check out his research article, starting on page 30, and consider adopting some of the powerful solutions he proposes. NSDA Competition Manager Lauren Burdt outlines additional ways schools, coaches, and students can achieve greater access to speech and debate through hosting and attending virtual tournaments. Erik Dominguez, two-diamond coach of more than 20 years, explains how fostering student leadership and peer coaching among your students can be critical for you and your team, regardless of roster length or goals. At the National Speech & Debate Association, we envision a world in which every student has access to membership in the NSDA, providing the educational resources, competitive opportunities, and expertise necessary to foster their communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills. Cara Borgsmiller, 2019 Educator of the Year finalist, states, “When students find debate, they are transformed. A teenager with a captive adult audience truly understands the power of language and performance.” It is my hope that the articles within these pages inspire you to join us in this honorable pursuit to connect, support, and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate.

Board of Directors 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

Sincerely,

APPOINTED MEMBERS Robert Runcie Admin Rep Florida

J. Scott Wunn Executive Director

Rostrum

A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE ASSOCIATION

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

Newsstand Price $9.99 per issue Member Subscription Price $24.99 for one year (5 issues) Non-Member Subscription Price $34.99 for one year (5 issues)

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.

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Dr. Mike Edmonds Colorado Wendy Orthman Tennessee Tom Rollins Virginia Monica Silverstein New York

To learn more about the Board, visit www.speechanddebate.org/ meet-the-team. You may also contact the Board by emailing board@speechanddebate.org.


In this Issue : VOLUME 94 : ISSUE 2 : NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

From the Cover

Inside

30

2

Letter from the Executive Director

6

2019-2020 Topics

19

Resource Roundup

Why America Needs a Rural Debate Revival by Dr. Kevin Minch

Governance and Leadership 8

From Your Board President

22

Membership Minute

9

Board of Directors Minutes

26

Tabroom.com Tip

15

Board of Directors 2020 Election Year

Community 20

Recognition 44

Inclusion Commitments for 2019-2020

Diamond Coach Recognition

24 2020 National Speech and Debate

Education Day Prep Timeline 28

Event Spotlight: Prose and Poetry by Erik Dominguez

36

Increasing Access to Speech and Debate through Virtual Tournaments

38

The Most Challenging Event in Speech and Debate: Peer Coaching by Erik Dominguez

42

A Simple Technique for Affecting Belonging, One Genuine Connection at a Time by Dave Stuart Jr.

48

USA Debate: From Dallas to Denver, Training for Success in World Schools by Anh Cao and Danny DeBois

50

Words from the Hall by Jimmy L. Smith

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ speechanddebate Share with us on Instagram @speechanddebate Follow us on Twitter @speechanddebate Follow us on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/nationalspeech-and-debate-association

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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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 a $20,000 scholarship, second place $17,000, and third place $15,000. 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 Extemporaneous Speaking at the National Speech & Debate Tournament!

Want to get involved? Follow these simple steps! • Visit www.legion.org/oratorical 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. • Prepare your original oration on some aspect of the Constitution with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.

Patrick Junker of Iowa placed first at the 2019 American Legion National Oratorical Contest

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


2019–2020

Topics

Current topics, voting links, and resources available at:

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

Topic Release Information Public Forum Topic Release Dates At its summer meeting, the PF Wording Committee chooses a number of debate topic areas, each with two starter resolutions, to be used throughout the school year. The starter resolutions are tentative proposals, which may be revised and/or replaced based on community responses, expert feedback, breaking news, and/or literature on the subject. Approximately six weeks before the topic release date, the NSDA will release the topic area to be used for the next topic. For two weeks, the community can submit suggested changes to the starter resolutions under this topic area, or submit a new resolution under this topic area, through the NSDA website, together with an explanation and research links/citations demonstrating a robust debatable issue. For the next three weeks, the PF Wording Committee, using community input, will discuss, narrow, and produce two final resolutions for that topic. The NSDA will release the resolutions on the 23rd, or one week before the topic release date, so that the community will have an opportunity to vote. The NSDA will release the resolution on the 1st of the month preceding the date for debates on that topic.

October 1 December 1 January 1 February 1 March 1 May 1 June 19 June 19 Aug. 1 - Aug. 7 August 8

November/December PF Topic Announced January PF Topic Announced February PF Topic Announced March PF Topic Announced April PF Topic Announced National Tournament PF Topic Announced List of Potential PF Topic Areas Announced for 2020-2021 2020 September/October PF Ballot Announced Voting for the 2020 September/October PF Topic Occurs 2020 September/October PF Topic Announced

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

Public Forum Debate

Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Resolved: The United States ought to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.

The NSDA also offers a “Civil Disobedience” resolution that may be used during the first two months of a novice season. Coaches are encouraged to check with tournament hosts in their area before exclusively prepping for one topic over another.

Lincoln-Douglas Topic Release Dates From July 25 through August 7, chapter advisors and member students vote online for a new slate of LD topics chosen by the LD Wording Committee at its summer meeting.

October 1 December 1 February 1 May 1 June 19 July 25 - Aug. 7 August 8

November/December LD Topic Announced January/February LD Topic Announced March/April LD Topic Announced National Tournament LD Topic Announced List of Potential LD Topics Announced for 2020-2021 Voting for the 2020-2021 LD Topics Occurs 2020 September/October LD Topic Announced

2020–2021 Policy Debate Topic Voting The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) handles selection of the annual Policy Debate topic where each state organization, the National Speech & Debate Association, the National Catholic Forensic League, and the National Debate Coaches Association all have voting privileges.

• • • •

6

Topic synopsis released at www.speechanddebate.org/topics Preliminary voting on five topics occurs online in September and October Final voting on two topics occurs online in November and December Topic for 2020-2021 released by the NFHS in January 2020

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2019–2020

Policy Debate

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/ or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

2019–2020

Big Questions Debate

Resolved: Objective morality exists.


GOVERNANCE

From Your Board President Margaret Wheatley, leadership and organizational management expert, stated, “Human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change— personal change, community, and organizational change.” Today, I want to talk with you about an ongoing conversation that is at the forefront of the Board’s mind: equity. This issue directly affects our students and coaches, the dynamics of competition, and the culture of our organization. Equity not only merits serious conversation, but also a conversation that translates into purposeful action. As a Board, we want you to be aware of our most recent actions. In August, the NSDA held its first ever Inclusion Workshop, in partnership with Colorado College and presented by the Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation & Dialogue. A diverse community of 55 speech and debate community stakeholders, including NSDA member coaches, district leaders, Board members, staff, and university partners, met in Colorado Springs. The group went through an application process to best ensure the attendees represented the diverse demographics of our student population. The training, led by Glenn Singleton, noted author of Courageous Conversations and founder of the Pacific Education Group, was designed to not only help each participant understand the impact of race in their lives, but also to learn the protocols

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needed to continue these discussions in our communities. With this awareness and training, we are better equipped to address equity within our organization. In September, members of the Board and staff met for a one-day workshop session to establish the next steps needed to actualize the lessons from the Inclusion Workshop. Pam Noli, co-founder of NoliPorter Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to student equity, guided us through this process. She has also worked closely with Glenn Singleton. One significant recommendation from this session was to examine our key documents through the filter of an equity lens. These included our Core Values, Mission, Vision, Code of Honor, Coaches’ Code of Ethics, and our Strategic Plan. An incremental timeline for final revision of these primary documents was established (see page 9). This review resulted in the following Board actions during the Fall Board Meeting: • First, our four Core Values, established in 2017, were revised (see page 21). • Equity replaced Inclusion. Equity extends beyond just inviting a diverse community to participate in speech and debate; it also means to provide opportunities for all students to participate in speech and debate, including those who have been traditionally marginalized and disadvantaged. • We also added Respect as a fifth core value. Part of our

work this year will be to align our Code of Honor and Coaches’ Code of Ethics with the organizational values. In order to create synergy across the organization for our members, we added this value from the Code of Honor’s long-standing tenet of Respect: “A member respects individual differences and fosters diversity. They promote tolerance, inclusion, and empowerment for people from a variety of backgrounds, including race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.” • Second, a formal Equity Statement will be developed for the NSDA (see page 9). This is the next step in the timeline. It will be developed with collaboration from a diverse group of stakeholders. This statement was recommended by several Coaches’ Caucuses held at previous National Tournaments. Without a doubt, our equity efforts must be an ongoing process, but critically important steps are underway to create change. Margaret Wheatly underscored the power of conversations as an effective agent for change. When we think of “conversations,” we often envision a simple dialogue between two people. However, in organizations, these conversations can also take place in small groups, such as meetings or committees, or in larger forums, such as caucuses, workshops, or conventions. As we were reminded during our equity conversations, in these discussions it is important to engage not only those who are present, but those who are not. We welcome more conversations. To be continued!

Pam Cady Wycoff NSDA Board President pam.wycoff@speechanddebate.org


GOVERNANCE

Leadership Board of Directors Fall Minutes

T

September 22-24, 2019 West Des Moines, Iowa

he NSDA Board of Directors held its Fall Board Meeting on September 20-22, 2019. In attendance were President Pam Cady Wycoff, Vice President Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Byron Arthur, Dr. Mike Edmonds, David Huston, Adam J. Jacobi, Jennifer Jerome, Renee Motter, Wendy Orthman (virtually), Tom Rollins, Bob Runcie, Timothy Sheaff, and Monica Silverstein (virtually).

Communicator of the Year, as well as an interview with Dr. Thomas Freeman, 2019 NSDA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The Board then discussed their greatest takeaways from the messages as they related to the organization’s core mission, vision, and values.

President Wycoff called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

Nicole Wanzer-Serrano, Director of Development and team leader for the staff Inclusive Participation Team, provided an overview of the work accomplished by the elected Board members during the special pre-meeting workshop held to follow up on the summer Inclusion Workshop led by Glenn Singleton. This included a 20192020 timeline for revision of key governing documents and two immediate recommendations regarding revision of the NSDA’s Core Values and creation of an equity statement.

PRIOR MEETING MINUTES The previously approved minutes from the Spring Board Meeting were officially entered into the historical records by unanimous consent.

OFFICIAL WELCOME AND HONORING President Wycoff officially welcomed the Board’s newest member, Dr. Mike Edmonds, and thanked him for his past and ongoing support of speech and debate activities and the NSDA as an organization. Vice President, Dr. Tommie Lindsey, presented Dr. Edmonds with a plaque from the NSDA, recognizing Dr. Edmond’s pivotal role in hosting the NSDA’s first ever inclusion and equity workshop in partnership with Colorado College on August 7-8, 2019. The President also thanked the Board, Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, directors, and staff for their time, expertise, and preparations for the meeting.

MISSION MOMENT To underscore the intent of our mission, as a driving force for the meeting, the Board viewed an original video prepared by the staff. It included excerpts from the acceptance speech of Dale Hansen, 2019 NSDA

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Moved by Arthur, seconded by Huston: “Approve the 2019-2020 timeline presented to create an equity statement and revise core documents to reflect the organization’s commitment to equity.” Passed: 12-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) The Board has established a timeline for its work in equity and inclusion. The timeline included actions at the Fall Board Meeting including revision of the NSDA’s core values to include respect and equity and formation of a working group to formulate an equity statement. The working group will include representatives from the Board, staff, and membership to draft an initial equity statement. It will then be vetted through additional stakeholders for feedback with the goal of presenting it for approval at the Board’s December virtual meeting. By its March virtual meeting, the Board plans to revisit the

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organization’s mission and vision statements to ensure they reflect the core values of the organization and fulfill the tenets of the equity statement. At its May meeting, the Board will review potential revisions to the strategic plan, Code of Honor, and Coaches’ Code of Ethics. Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Rollins: “Revise the NSDA Core Values to include the following values: Integrity, Equity, Leadership, Service, and Respect.” Passed: 12-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) The Board has selected the terms “equity” and “respect” to complete a list of five core values for the organization. Core values are indicators of the character of the organization. They drive decision and policy making, with the goal of achieving organizational excellence. These two values establish necessary priorities for fulfilling the mission and vision of the organization. They also establish a greater foundation for alignment with other key governing documents. Moved by Arthur, seconded by Jerome: “Propose a working committee to draft an initial equity statement.” Passed: 12-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) To meet one of its key 2019 equity objectives, the Board will establish a working committee composed of a diverse group of Board members,staff, and representatives from the membership to draft an equity statement for the NSDA. This working group will utilize the perspectives and contributions of additional stakeholders throughout the drafting process.

STRATEGIC PLANNING AND EXECUTION Moved by Lindsey, seconded by Jacobi: “Approve the FY19 strategic plan report.” Passed: 12-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Orthman, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) Assistant Executive Director Amy Seidelman, with the endorsement and support of the Board Governance Committee, presented the end of year FY19 Strategic Plan Report to the Board. The Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director answered questions about various elements of the report. The Board commended the Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, and staff for their development and execution of the FY19 plan.

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Moved by Rollins, seconded by Sheaff: “Endorse the FY20 operating plan targeted goals.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) At its Spring Meeting, the Board approved the preliminary FY20 Strategic Operating Plan. At its Fall Meeting, the Board reaffirmed the goals of the plan in the wake of the FY19 end of year report.

RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY Staff presented initial results of its spring study on the correlation between achievement in the NSDA and increased likelihood of admission into competitive colleges. In addition, staff updated the Board on its ongoing work with Broward County Schools to utilize its comprehensive speech and debate programming to study the positive effects of co-curricular participation, classroom study, and membership in the NSDA on student outcomes. The Director of Development also presented an overview of our most recent research funding requests, which will overlap with prior foci for research, but would also include a specific vision for establishing the impact of debate activities on heightened civic engagement.

FINANCE Moved by Lindsey, seconded by Rollins: “Endorse the Finance Committee targeted goals.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) The Board Finance Committee presented its committee goals for FY20 and fielded any questions from the rest of the members. Primary goal areas include the following: ensuring financial stability through expense reduction, building the annual reserve, and development of a multi-year operating budget for FY20-FY24; cross committee collaboration with both the Governance and Development committees to provide targeted financial reports; accurate and timely quarterly reporting; annual professional auditing of financials; and continued facilitation of financial training opportunities for Board members. Moved by Rollins, seconded by Lindsey: “Approve the FY19 financial report.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) Director of Business and Finance Laura Stein, with endorsement and support of the Board Finance


Committee, presented a complete end of year FY19 Finance Report. The Executive Director and Director of Business and Finance answered questions about various elements of the report. The Board commended the Executive Director, Director of Business and Finance, Assistant Executive Director, and staff for their work meeting expectations of the FY19 budget and reporting Moved by Arthur, seconded by Jacobi: “Approve the FY20 budget proposal.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) At its Spring meeting, the Board approved the preliminary FY20 Budget. At its Fall meeting, the Board reaffirmed approval of the FY20 budget with recommended amendments from the Finance Committee, Director of Business and Finance, Executive Director, and Assistant Executive Director in light of the FY19 end of year budget report and finalized FY20 strategic operating goals. Moved by Huston, seconded by Motter: “Approve the Operating Reserve Policy, as amended.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) At the recommendation of the Director of Business and Finance, the Executive Director, the Assistant Director, and the Finance Committee, the Board has put into place a formal Operating Reserve Policy. This policy provides clear guidelines and procedures for appropriate and acceptable use of the NSDA’s financial reserves.

DEVELOPMENT Moved by Arthur, seconded by Rollins: “Endorse the Development Committee targeted goals.” Passed: 10-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) The current Board Development Committee presented its committee goals for FY20 and fielded questions from the rest of the members. Primary goal areas include accurate and timely quarterly reporting, periodic review of current development agreements and relationships, annual assessment of fundraising goals, and ensuring all members of the Board participate in annual fundraising efforts. Director of Development Nicole Wanzer-Serrano presented a thorough report and assessment of organizational fundraising to the Board and answered questions.

Moved by Jerome, seconded by Jacobi: “Move into executive session.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) The Board entered into executive session to discuss progress on ongoing sponsorship, partnership, and development proposals and for its annual review of the Executive Director. Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Rollins: “End our executive session.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Rollins: “Approve the official Executive Director performance review as recommended by the Governance Committee.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) Moved by Arthur, seconded by Jerome: “Approve the 2019-2020 Executive Director Evaluation Timeline as recommended by the Governance Committee.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Runcie, Sheaff) Annually, the Board of Directors is responsible for executing a performance review of the Executive Director. This review process results in an assessment of execution of the previous year’s strategic plan goals and objectives, as well as the execution of nonprofit administration best practices by the Executive Director. In turn, the next year’s goals and objectives are established. The Board recessed for the evening at 5:15 p.m. on Friday. The Board reconvened at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

BOARD SELF-EVALUATION Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Arthur: “Move into executive session.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein) The Board entered into executive session for its annual Board self-evaluation discussion. Moved by Huston, seconded by Lindsey: “End our executive session.” Passed: 11-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Edmonds, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Rollins, Sheaff, Silverstein)

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Annually, the Board of Directors performs a review of execution of its roles and responsibilities. This process results in an assessment of the Board’s proficiency at nonprofit board best practices. The Board will continue to address the priorities established for the two-year plan, while continually improving strategies to achieve these goals. These priority areas include: Public Image and Advocacy, Meetings, Strategy, Finance, and Program Oversight. To support these priorities the Board will foster maintenance of open dialogue with the membership, effectiveness and efficiency of Board and committee meetings, regular tracking of progress toward strategic plan goals, continued financial oversight to ensure the annual budget reflects priorities, and continued measurement of the impact of critical programs and initiatives. The Board also will continue to examine and further develop the NSDA’s Board Best Practices document—e.g., role of spokesperson for the organization, committee protocols, etc.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY UPDATE AND VISION Director of Technology Aaron Hardy presented a thorough report and assessment of organizational tech solutions, offering his thoughts on current and future aspirations for the NSDA. Topic areas discussed included recent data migration and ongoing development of enhanced and user-friendly online services for our members. Additionally, the role that competition rules, procedures, and resulting tech support required play in tech solution development, staffing, and customer satisfaction was discussed. The Director of Technology fielded questions, observations, and suggestions for future consideration.

Moved by Arthur, seconded by Jacobi: “Charge the Executive Director to create a working group to audit the constitution and bylaws of the organization to ensure their continuity and compliance with current standards for a nonprofit membership organization.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) The Board has asked the Executive Director to do a complete audit of key governing documents (Constitution and Bylaws) to add clarity and continuity to policies and procedures. Moved by Jerome, seconded by Jacobi: “Change the mandatory hiatus between the second and third terms from four to two years.” Moved by Motter, seconded by Jerome: “Postpone the mandatory hiatus vote until the December virtual meeting.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) The Board will vote on the motion concerning the length of the mandatory hiatus for elected members at its December virtual meeting. This will allow for additional deliberation and an opportunity for all 13 members of the Board to be present to vote on the issue.

MEMBERSHIP CORRESPONDENCE UPDATE Correspondence submitted to the Board prior to its meeting was reviewed. Each issue was addressed and targeted to a relevant Board subcommittee for further consideration.

COMPETITION RULES GOVERNANCE

12

Moved by Lindsey, seconded by Arthur: “Endorse the Governance Committee targeted goals.” Approved: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff)

Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Jerome: “Endorse the Rules Revision and Evaluation Committee targeted goals.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff)

The current Board Governance Committee presented its committee goals for FY20 and fielded questions from the rest of the members. Primary goal areas include accurate and timely quarterly reporting and assessment of the strategic operating plan with purposeful focus on our equity and inclusion goals; continued evaluation of the Executive Director and reporting to the full Board; periodic review and updating of key governing documents; continued evaluation and assessment of the FY20 Board priorities, and appointed Board member recruitment.

The current Board Rules Revision and Evaluation Committee presented its committee goals for FY20 and fielded any questions from the rest of the members. Primary goal areas include creation of a timeline and strategy for the interpretation event ad hoc committee, a pedagogy evaluation ad hoc committee, and a unified manual simplification working group covering both high school and middle school rules and procedures. In addition, goals include the review, assessment, and prioritization of current and future rules suggestions and identification of steps to mitigate embedded racism/privilege in rules and practices.

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


The following motions reflect the establishment of targeted committees prioritized from rules submissions by the membership and/or identified organizational needs. Moved by Sheaff, seconded by Huston: “Establish an ad hoc committee to study pedagogy (how the knowledge and skills that are gained can be imparted in an educational context) within the current NSDA speech and debate events.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) Moved by Arthur, seconded by Jerome: “Charge the Executive Director to streamline the NSDA Unified Manual with support of an Executive Director working committee.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) Moved by Jerome, seconded by Huston: “Establish a focus group to study the LD topic voting process and affirmative speaker times as recommended by the Rules Revision and Evaluation Committee.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) This focus group will review the topic voting process to further refine and improve the selection of resolutions offered throughout the year. This group will also offer reactions to membership rule submissions regarding the potential adjustment of affirmative speaker times in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE AND ACCESS The Executive Director discussed with the Board important correlations between membership satisfaction and NSDA tournament participation, as established by the 2019 membership survey results. The Executive Director also presented an overview regarding limitations of access to NSDA competition and the impact on overall program participation in the NSDA. Given these factors, the Board and Executive Director will continue to discuss the potential for additional access to NSDA events and activities that could open up access to participation to more member schools. Moved by Sheaff, seconded by Jacobi: “Implement previously piloted rules infraction penalty ranges beginning with the 2020 National Tournament for high school and middle school competition.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff)

In 2019, the Board piloted penalty ranges at the National Tournament. These ranges have now been instituted by the Board for future National Tournaments. The range of penalties can be found in the NSDA Unified Manual. These will allow a more measured approach to infractions presented. Moved by Jacobi, seconded by Jerome: “Allow districts to use rules infraction penalty ranges during the 2019-2020 school year. Permission shall be granted by the Executive Director on a district-by-district basis after completing an educational webinar about the new policy.” Passed: 7-1 Aye: Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter No: Sheaff The Board has agreed to allow District Committees to utilize penalty infraction ranges during the upcoming NSDA District Tournament series after they have been granted permission by the Executive Director. The Executive Director will grant permission to districts whose leadership either attends a webinar on the new policy or completes the district leader training course on NSDA Learn.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS DEFERRED Upon recommendation by the Executive Director, discussions regarding homeschool/online participation requirements and the district tournament appeals process were deferred until the December Board Meeting. This will allow additional research to be presented on these topics. The Board recessed at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. The Board resumed at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

BOARD SELF-EVALUATION (CONTINUED) Moved by Jerome, seconded by Huston: “Move into executive session.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) The Board entered into executive session to conclude discussions from the prior day’s Board self-evaluation Moved by Jerome, seconded by Jacobi: “End our executive session.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff)

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PUBLIC IMAGE AND ADVOCACY The Board discussed its role in enhancing the public image of the organization and in building advocacy for speech and debate. Frequently asked membership questions, along with answers of clarification, were reviewed for feedback. The goal is to enhance Board/ membership communication on these topics to increase the membership’s knowledge about and, in turn, satisfaction with the organization, its operations, and benefits.

ELECTION BEST PRACTICES The Board discussed the election process and additional steps that could be taken to ensure a fair and unbiased process. Also discussed were ways to best communicate the roles, responsibilities, and commitments of a Board member to potential candidates. Several steps were suggested to the Executive Director for implementation in this upcoming year’s process. They are reflected in this issue of Rostrum starting on page 15.

FUTURE CONFERENCES The Board began a discussion to determine the best course of action for future summer conferences. This included weighing advantages and limitations of prior conferences in terms of attendance, timing, length, location, staff time, and financial investment. The membership and organizational benefits of leadershipfocused conferences, education-focused conferences, and hybrid approaches were also reviewed. Since the Board decided last year to utilize 2019-2020 to properly assess the future of this event for our organization as well as the mission-based purpose it should serve, no official action was taken at this time.

Moved by Huston, seconded by Arthur: “Add procedural changes/clarification language to the Board Best Practices document on page 13 under ‘A. Establishing a Quorum and Majority Vote’ to reflect that fact that members who are recognized by the President (or Presiding Officer at the time) as present, either in-person or virtually, shall be eligible to vote and establish quorum, and under ‘Conduct During Board Meetings’ to clarify that abstentions are not counted and have no effect on the result of a vote.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) Prior to the Fall meeting, the Board, by unanimous consent, agreed to formally reaffirm its longstanding practice that its established “quorum” is at least one half of eligible members present and that a “majority vote” on any issue will continue to be when more than half those members officially vote in favor on an issue. Abstentions will continue to reflect a desire to not vote on an issue and will not be counted in determining a majority vote. In addition, the Board agreed to allow its members to attend meetings virtually via the NSDA’s online meeting platform and be counted as present in those times when that member feels they have had adequate ability to fully participate in the discussions and deliberations. The intent of virtual voting for in-person meetings is to foster active participation by Board members who have a valid conflict that prohibits travel to a given meeting. This procedural clarification and new practice were officially approved for use at meetings. Moved by Arthur, seconded by Sheaff: “Adjourn.” Passed: 8-0 (Wycoff, Lindsey, Arthur, Huston, Jacobi, Jerome, Motter, Sheaff) The Board adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? IDEAS? We want to hear from you! Send your feedback to board@speechanddebate.org.

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

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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.


GOVERNANCE

Board of Directors 2020 Election Year You’ve probably heard the phrase “time, talent, and treasure” applied to service and stewardship. Here’s how the NSDA Board of Directors addresses each!

Board Members Contribute...

More about the Election Process

Time

Terms for Elected Board Members

Board members attend two in-person meetings that generally occur in early fall and late spring. In addition, two online meetings are generally held in late fall and early spring. Beyond these meetings, Board members are asked to attend several public events and serve various volunteer roles during competition hours at the National Tournament. Board members are asked to participate in a minimum of one standing committee (one standing committee requires quarterly work) and to represent the NSDA at events of strategic interest.

Talent

Any member coach with five years of NSDA coaching experience, any current or past district chair, or present Board members whose terms expire on July 31, 2020, may become a candidate for the national Board of Directors by so advising the Executive Director in writing before January 19, 2020, by certified mail.

Treasure

No stipend or salary is given to a member of the Board of Directors. However, travel expenses (related to Board member responsibilities) are paid by the NSDA. Board members play an important role in stewarding and recognizing the organization’s sponsors and donors.

Important Deadlines Candidacy statements are due January 19, 2020. Online balloting will open in April 2020. Results will be announced in May 2020. Watch for more information on our website and in future coach newsletters.

Members are elected to “terms.” A term is defined as an individual serving two years or more of their four-year elected Board seat. A partial tenure of less than two years does not count as a term. Elected Board members serve from August 1 to July 31.

Eligiblity • Any member coach of any age with five years of Association coaching experience, who is listed as a member coach of record at an active member school, may become a candidate for the Board of Directors by so advising the Executive Director in writing before January 19, 2020, via certified mail. Letters should be sent to: National Speech and Debate Association, c/o J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director, 401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265 • Not all seats are up for election. The seats of Board members Pam Cady Wycoff, Dr. Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Timothy Sheaff, and Jennifer Jerome are up for election in 2020. • Each candidate shall be allotted one Rostrum column, unedited by the national office, to support their candidacy. Each candidate may include a photo to accompany the column. Candidacy statements of 400 words or less along with high-resolution photos should be emailed to director@speechanddebate.org by January 19, 2020.

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 15


Responsibilities of the NSDA Board of Directors

What Role Does an Elected Board Member Play?

Framework

Position

The Board of Directors establishes the framework for the NSDA.

• Creates and updates the organization’s mission and vision statements. • Defines what benefits (or end results) the NSDA is providing to whom and what it will cost to deliver them. • Determines how the NSDA’s performance will be measured.

Sets the Direction

The Board of Directors establishes the framework for the NSDA.

• Sets goals, approves, and monitors the strategic plan. • Develops organizational policies, including the policies that govern how the Board will operate. • Partners with the ED and other Board members to ensure that Board resolutions are carried out.

Fosters Accountability

The Board of Directors is responsible for behavior and performance of Board members and the ED.

• Establishes the code of ethics for the Board and ED, including policies related to private inurement and conflict of interest, and sets the tone for organizational behavior. • Selects and removes the ED. • Establishes the end results the ED is assigned to achieve and defines any limitations on the means the ED can use or any functions the ED must perform. • Monitors financial and operational performance. Evaluates the ED based on achievement of the end results and compliance with predefined limitations or requirements. • Serves as the last court of appeal within the NSDA. • Selects an auditor based on recommendation of the ED, the Director of Business and Finance, and the Finance Committee and receives the audit report.

Goodwill and Support The Board of Directors represents the NSDA to the outside world and provides support and counsel to the ED. • Supports the NSDA by making personal donations, garnering resources and advisors, and assisting with fundraising. • Serves as the NSDA’s ambassador to other agencies, funders and potential funders, and the general community. • Communicates the value of the NSDA to prospective donors. • Attracts donors, supporters, favorable press, and new Board members.

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The Board will support the work of the NSDA and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While dayto-day operations are led by the NSDA’s Executive Director (ED), the Board/ED relationship is a partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board is both critical and expected. Specific Board member responsibilities include the following:

Leadership, Governance, and Oversight • Serving as a trusted advisor to the ED as they develop and implement the NSDA’s strategic plan. • Reviewing outcomes and metrics created by the NSDA for evaluating its impact and regularly measuring its performance and effectiveness using those metrics; reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to Board and committee meetings. • Approving the NSDA budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities. • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of the ED. • Assisting the ED and Board President in identifying and recruiting other Board members. • Partnering with the ED and other Board members to ensure that Board resolutions are carried out. • Serving on committees and taking on special assignments. • Representing the NSDA to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization. • Ensuring the NSDA’s commitment to a diverse Board and staff that reflects the communities that the NSDA serves.

Fundraising Board members will consider the NSDA a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts commensurate with individual capacity to reflect this priority. The practice of 100% annual giving will allow the NSDA to credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals.

Download the Guide! To learn more about the Board of Directors and how each elected member plays a role, go to www.speechanddebate.org/ nsda-board-best-practices.


National Speech & Debate Association

2019-2020 Board Meetings-DRAFT

NSDA BOARD MEETING CALENDAR • 2019-2020 August 2019 S 4

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RRE • Thu, 6:30 p.m. CT:

Development • Wed, 5:30 p.m. CT:

National Tournament • June 14-19 Fall Board Meeting • Sept. 20-22 Spring Board Meeting • May 15-17

August 22, 2019 November 6, 2019 February 6, 2020 April 9, 2020

August 28, 2019 November 13, 2019 February 12, 2020 April 15, 2020

Virtual Meetings • 6:30-9:30 p.m. CT:

Governance • Thu, 7:00 p.m. CT:

Finance • Thu, 6:30 p.m. CT:

December 11, 2019 March 9, 2020

August 29, 2019 November 21, 2019 February 20, 2020 April 23, 2020 May 21, 2020 (if needed)

September 12, 2019 December 5, 2019 February 27, 2020 May 7, 2020 May 28, 2020 (if needed) ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 17


I will:

National Speech & Debate Association Board Member Commitment Form

• Regularly attend all Board meetings by electronic format or in person. Any exception to attendance at a virtual or in-person meeting MUST be approved by the President. • Review the agenda and supporting materials prior to Board and committee meetings. • Serve on committees and take on special assignments as needed. • Personally contribute to the NSDA. • Assist in raising funds, as agreed upon annually by the Board. • Remain informed about the NSDA mission and vision, services, and policies and promote the NSDA, as agreed annually by the Board. • Provide support and advice to the staff, but avoid interfering in management activities. • Suggest nominees and participate in Board recruitment.

I will act in concert with the following principles: • As a Board member, I understand I have duties of care, loyalty, and obedience to the NSDA. • The duty of care is the duty to pay attention to the organization—to monitor its activities, see that its mission is being accomplished, and guard its financial resources. • The duty of loyalty is the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, and • The duty of obedience is to carry out the purposes of the organization and to comply with the law.

I commit that I will uphold these duties, and I shall do my utmost to ensure the NSDA performs its mission and vision to achieve its goals. As a Board Member, I agree to: • Act with honesty and integrity. • Support in a positive manner all actions taken by the Board of Directors even when I am in a minority position on such actions. I recognize that decisions of the Board can be made only by a majority vote at a Board meeting, and I will respect the majority decisions of the Board, while retaining the right to seek changes through ethical and constructive channels; • Participate in (1) the bi-annual strategic planning retreat, (2) Board self-evaluation, and (3) Board development workshops, seminars, and other educational events to enhance my skills as a Board member. • Keep confidential information confidential. • Exercise my authority as a Board member only when acting in a meeting with the full Board or as I am delegated by the Board. • Work with and respect the opinions of my peers who serve this Board, and leave my personal prejudices out of all Board discussions. • Always act for the good of the organization and represent the interests of all people served by the organization. • Represent the NSDA in a positive and supportive manner at all times. • Observe the parliamentary procedures and display courteous conduct in all Board and committee meetings. • Refrain from intruding on administrative issues that are the responsibility of management, except to monitor the results of the organization. • Accept my responsibility for providing oversight of the financial condition of the organization. • Avoid acting in a way that represents a conflict of interest between my position as a Board member and my personal or professional life, even if those actions appear to provide a benefit for the organization. This includes using my position for the advantage of my friends and business associates. If such a conflict does arise, I will declare that conflict before the Board and refrain from voting on matters in which I have conflict. • Abide by these Board operating procedures.

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PROTIP

Resource Roundup

L Free Judge Training Course The NSDA has produced introductory cultural competency guidelines through a brief, voluntary course created in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations (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. Share the cultural competency guidelines course with your judges and encourage them to take the full judge training course to learn judging best practices and review sample performances. For links to both courses, visit www.speechanddebate.org/judge-training.

earn the ins and outs of coaching in our new Intro to NSDA Coaching course! This course is hosted on our new platform, NSDA Learn, where you can enroll in courses and complete them at your leisure. Intro to NSDA Coaching covers many of the basics of NSDA membership and answers the following questions:

What are NSDA merit points?

What can I do to start the season well?

How do I learn more about NSDA points, events, and rules?

What is Nationals and how do students qualify?

What are other forms of recognition through the NSDA?

All coaches who complete the course by the end of 2019 will receive one free student membership! Upon completion of the course, please email a copy of your certificate to lauren.mccool@ speechanddebate.org along with any feedback on the course, and we’ll apply the credit to your account. Log in to your account and click Enroll Now to begin!

Find more resources online!

Visit our website to learn more about our professional development portal!

www.speechanddebate.org/resources

www.speechanddebate.org/learn ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 19


COMMUNITY

Inclusion Commitments for 2019-2020 by Amy Seidelman

T

he NSDA remains extremely committed to its diversity and inclusion efforts. We strive to provide the leadership our community needs and wants in this area. In her letter on page 8, Board President Pam Cady Wycoff shares our recent adoption of equity, along with respect, as organizational values to build even further upon our prior value of inclusion. This year’s commitments are still very inclusion-oriented, but the work to define equity for the NSDA described below will become a guidepost for what we hope to call equity commitments in years to come. This 2019-2020 school year started off with the Glenn Singleton workshop Courageous Conversations, attended by staff, Board, and NSDA members and ignited an even deeper sense of the gravity and importance of this work. The Board of Directors took that work further at the Fall Board Meeting, and equity became the focus of the organization’s inclusion strategy. What we’ve learned, along with the ever-valuable feedback of the Coaches’ Caucuses that meet each year at the National Tournament, has led the following commitments for this school year.

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The NSDA will update organizational core documents to reflect the value of equity. • Review the organization’s mission, vision, and codes to determine where and how to best solidify equity’s place in the guiding statements about our organizational purpose.

The NSDA will highlight, continue to refine, and promote best practices for diversity, inclusion, and equity within the speech and debate community. • Continue to promote safe and inclusive tournaments through modeling and sharing of best practices, communication with tournament hosts, and awareness-building around harassment and discrimation, pronoun use, dress codes, all gender restrooms, use of a tournament equity officer, and more.

• Collect, curate, and promote best practices for recruiting, coaching, and mentoring individuals from traditionally marginalized and disenfranchised communities. • Continue to promote cultural competency training for judges using our materials developed with the National Federation of High School Assocations (NFHS), and solicit more feedback on future improvements to that training.

The NSDA will strive for leadership at all levels that represents the diversity of our speech and debate community. • The Board of Directors will continue to recruit and consider appointed Board members from traditionally marginalized and disenfranchised communities when openings occur. • District Committees have been offered the opportunity to appoint a sixth member from an underrepresented community or school in their district. • Tabroom.com training documentation and inperson instruction will be made available, to help more individuals gain leadership roles in tab rooms. The National Speech & Debate Tournament tab room staff


National Speech & Debate Association

— Core Values — EQUITY • INTEGRITY • RESPECT • LEADERSHIP • SERVICE

selection process will continue to emphasize representation. • Student leadership on this issue will be recognized by involving NSDA students in the conversation about equity in our organization on a national scale.

The NSDA will celebrate diversity and inclusion within the speech and debate community. • Continue to enhance and encourage celebration of Pride Month (June), National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15), and Black History Month (February). NOT LENG ED ME TO MY DEBAT E CHAL DGE PARTS OF JUST ACKN OWLE ALITY I HAD SEXU ELY GEND ER AND , BUT AFFIR MATIV AS A SUPPR ESSED MY IDENT ITY EXPLO RE WHAT WOM AN WAS. QUEE R BLACK

AT A TIME WHEN I WAS AFRAID TO SPEAK UP, DEBATE TAUGHT ME HOW TO USE MY VOICE TO FIGHT FOR A BETTER WORLD.

CARLOS MAZA

Academy,

Women’s Debate

E E C H & D E B AT WE ARE SPE www.speechan

Institute

• Continue to provide space and time for Coaches’ Caucuses to meet during the National Tournament, proactively promoting awareness and attendance of these discussions leading up to the tournament. • Explore creating or sharing current avenues for an ongoing connection between these communities during the school year.

• Consider how to more directly address implicit bias in judging through a Rostrum article, webinar, or other tool. • Continue to recruit and offer the opportunity for National Tournament judges to selfidentify as diversity enhancing. • The NSDA will assist teachers and students in finding diverse literature that may inspire more students.

#SPARK LE ADERS

IN A WORL D THAT TEACH ES BLACK WOM EN THAT WE ARE LESS THAN , SPEEC H AND DEBAT E TAUG HT ME THAT I CAN BE EVERY THING AND SO MUCH MORE .

Christopher Columbus High School, FL - Class of 2008

UGH BROOKE KIMBRO MI

University Preparatory Board Member,

The NSDA will continue to provide and promote safe spaces for underrepresented or marginalized groups to meet.

Video Producer, Vox

Raymore-Peculiar

WE ARE SPEECH & DEBATE www.speechanddebate.org

ANDREA AMBAM

High School, MO

2014 Original Oratory

- Class of 2015

national champion 2015 Original Oratory and finalist

www.speechan

ddebate.org

ddebate.org

• Add Asian American Month (May), International Day for Persons with Disabilities (December 3), and Women’s History Month (March) to the annual slate of communities we highlight and celebrate by featuring members of that community in inspiration materials and building speech and debate resources around.

The NSDA will continue to strive for an equitable and representative judging pool at the National Tournament. In these efforts, the NSDA will offer and promote implicit bias and cultural competency training for speech and debate judges. • Continue to recommend that attending schools utilize the cultural competency training for judges, including best practices for completing a thoughtful and inclusive ballot.

Get Involved To learn more about our ongoing inclusion efforts and access related resources, visit www.speechanddebate.org/ inclusion.

Amy Seidelman is the Assistant Executive Director for the NSDA.

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 21


MEMBERSHIP MINUTE

How Do You Help Your NSDA District?

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hether you’re a Manatee, a Yellow Rose, a Tarheel, or something more directional in nature, as a member school, you are an important part of one of our 111 NSDA districts! All schools and coaches play a role in the well-being of their local speech and debate infrastructure, whether you realize it or not. How?

VOTING

Each school has an equal vote on their five district leaders in odd-numbered years. Your vote is an opportunity to say who’s responsible for local programming and to decide how you want to be represented. See your current local committee members on the District Info tab of your account.

“RUNNING” FOR OFFICE!

Just by letting your district know you’re interested and willing to take on a district leadership role, you are more likely to be considered for election or committee appointment in 2021. Serving in a volunteer role at the district tournament or offering up another skill—like writing newsletters or mentoring—can help you contribute while determining if future committee membership is right for you. Any coach can also go through the new District Onboarding Course at www. speechanddebate.org /learn to see what’s involved.

ADDING STUDENTS

The number of new members in a district this year will help determine how many qualifiers the district has to next year’s National Tournament. More qualifiers equals more opportunities for students! If your district schools register 200 students, combined, the district is able to send at least two qualifiers in each event to Nationals. If your district schools register 400 or more students, combined, that nets three qualifiers for each event.

EARNING CHARTER STATUS

In addition to being one of the NSDA’s highest forms of school recognition, your school’s charter status can really help a district. Charter status, earned by collecting 25 or more degrees over a three-year period (for schools with enrollment under 500) or by collecting 50 or more degrees over a three-year period (for schools with enrollment over 500), is critical to many districts’ level. Districts with 12 or more charters get two qualifiers, and districts with 24 or more charters get three.

EARNING NSDA POINTS

Like new members, Honor Society degrees earned by students and coaches through participation and service also help determine the district’s level. A total of 700 degrees earned by district schools this year means at least two qualifiers next year, and 1,400 degrees earned means three.

PARTICIPATING IN THE DISTRICT TOURNAMENT

Attending the district tournament provides an educational and competitive experience with local teams for your students and supports the district’s qualifier numbers at the same time. Starting in December for most districts, look out for information from your District Committee on how and when your district will run its qualifier. Check out the video overview of districts at www.speechanddebate.org /all-about-districts if you’ve never attended.

LIVING THE COACHES CODE OF ETHICS

Being a model member of the community benefits everyone you interact with—students, coaches, parents, alumni, judges, and school administrators. To download the code, visit www.speechanddebate.org /nsda-coaches-code-of-ethics.

JOINING OR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP!

Any district with 20 schools of any type (member or charter) maintains at least two qualifiers; districts with 40 or more schools earn three.

CREDIT: Icons by the Noun Project. Artists: Marta Ambrosetti, Miguel C. Balandrano, Adrien Coquet, Yeoul Kwon, Kevin, Mello, Amy Morgan, trang5000, and Vectorstall.

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DEBATE AND SPEECH Illinois College is proud to sponsor Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the 2020 NSDA National Tournament.

AT IC, YOU WILL: • Receive individualized coaching from dedicated faculty. • Earn scholarships and college credit for participating in speech and debate. • Participate in a comprehensive program of both debate and individual events. • Develop skills that will help you in your career. • Be part of a close-knit team with a winning tradition that traces back to Abraham Lincoln.

To learn more about competing for the Illinois College Debate and Speech Team, visit www.ic.edu/debate or contact Head Coach Shawna Merrill at shawna.merrill@ic.edu


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an announcement in school publications, Additional free resources, including posters, fundraising tips, templates, and more are available at www.SpeechAndDebateDay.org. announcements, websites, and other 24 ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 sources!


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COMPETITION

TABROOM.COM TIP:

Faster Autoposting of Competition Points Log in to your account at www.tabroom.com to get started.

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e received feedback from coaches that they would like competition points to be autoposted closer to the end date of their Tabroom.com tournaments. We also heard from district tournament attendees that they would like points to be posted after each weekend of their Tabroom.com tournament instead of waiting for the entire tournament

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series to be completed. We heard you! Now, tournament directors can push through the autopost of their tournament points in Tabroom.com as soon as their tournament ends. If there is a school linked to the NSDA attending your tournament, you will see a new tab appear once results are entered. Go to Results » NSDA Points after an event is completed,

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

confirm that the correct tournament, go to event is selected from Settings » Tournament the dropdown, and click » Dates & Deadlines. “Post.” This gives the For districts held on tournament director the Tabroom.com in 2019ability to post points 2020, chairs will have before coaches leave the ability to autopost the tournament site! points for each event as If a tournament it finishes. Coaches will director does not no longer have to wait do this, points will for the conclusion of automatically be their district tournament posted within an hour series to see their after the tournament’s autoposted points. scheduled end time. To check what this Learn More! To read time is for your about Tabroom.com features and support, visit http://docs.tabroom.com.


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COMMUNITY

EVENT SPOTLIGHT:

PROSE AND POETRY by Erik Dominguez

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Prose and Poetry, as events, sometimes get overlooked. With the rise of Program Oral Interpretation and the fact that Prose and Poetry are supplemental events at the National Tournament, it is easy to see how the events themselves can sometimes get hidden among the others. However, both of these events are tremendous building blocks, especially for novice competitors and coaches.

Some Advantages The black book binder is a wonderful tool to help novice performers who

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might be a bit hesitant. It literally gives them something to hold on to, and serves as a safety net for memorization. Plus, sometimes you will find a piece of literature does not quite “fit” any of the other events. It might not have some of the qualities needed for other performances, but the story and writing still have a ton of value.

Some Pitfalls Don’t think that the black book binder is just for novices! Prose and Poetry require advanced acting skills. And, just because students have the words in front of them does not mean they shouldn’t be well memorized and familiar with the script. They

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should refer to the black book binder from time to time, but simply reading the script out loud would not be effective.

Tips for Finding Prose and Poetry If students are searching for a Dramatic Interp script, they are already searching for a Prose piece. Many scripts that might not have the emotional weight or movement capabilities for DI can fit right into the Prose category. Make sure they are not using prose selections from plays, but otherwise they can find prose pieces in collections of essays, short stories, even newspaper articles! The best way for students to find a great Poetry performance is to invest in a stack of postit-notes. Have them visit

your school or public library and read, read, read. Advise them not to read for theme, just read to enjoy. Any time they find a poem they remotely like anything about, have them stickynote it! Once they have a good stack of poems, ask them to lay them all out on a table. They will start to see a common theme in tone, topic, or characters that will pop right out at them. When cutting a Prose, use the same story arc guidelines as you would for a DI. When cutting a Poetry also use the same story arc guidelines. Each poem should have a semblance of “plot” even though the focus is on the language. Think about creating a thematic Poetry program similar to creating a musical mashup; each song gets a certain amount of air time, but the transitions


are not only smooth— they help create a new, more exciting song! Finally, remember that page turns are your friend! Use page turns as transitional points, pauses, and even for emphasis. Searching for Prose and Poetry selections is something that should be an ongoing routine for interpretation competitors—even if the selections they find for Prose and Poetry don’t

quite fit together for that particular event, keep an ongoing box or file of great stories and poems. They might be able to pull from that for future selections as well as for POI performances!

Erik Dominguez is a two-diamond coach who has been competing and coaching for more than 20 years.

Order Interpretation Black Book Binders and Page Protectors Online! www.speechanddebate.org/ store ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 29


COVER STORY

WHY AMERICA NEEDS A RURAL DEBATE REVIVAL by Dr. Kevin Minch

“Now, more than ever, we need all hands on deck—urban, suburban, and rural—to study, debate, and negotiate a common future.” — Dr. Kevin Minch

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fter 33 years of involvement with forensics, I have experienced the range of participation motivations: competitive success, social engagement, student success, and pedagogical. Today, as an educator, I am concerned about outcomes and strategies to optimize learning (Minch, 2006). In recent years, however, the state of national politics, polarization on critical issues, and the emergence of once-clandestine voices of hate have made me reconsider what should motivate our investment in forensics and where our resources should be committed. Orwellian doublespeak, data fabrication, fallacious appeals to base instincts, cynical

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media exploitation, and discrediting of experts and journalists all underscore the need to provide the next generation of adults with the capacity to make sound and ethical judgments about claims. The manipulations we see are more easily perpetuated when there are disparities in access, we are socially isolated, and communities are pitted against one another. When all communities enjoy the advantages we know forensics provides, an additive benefit comes from their capacity to share well-supported ideas and values with others. As readers know, researchers concerned with justifying investment in speech and debate have been

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assessing the activity for years—particularly in the area of critical thinking outcomes, but also in other learning gains (Minch, 2006). Allen, Berkowitz, Hunt, and Louden (1999) completed a meta-analysis of studies on the critical thinking relationship indicative of “a large substantial positive influence of public communication training relating to critical thinking” (p. 25). In particular they found, while all forms of communication skills training improve critical thinking, participation in forensics yields better results, and that argumentation classes produce better outcomes than basic public speaking courses (p. 26). For years researchers have also recognized the importance of using

debate as a tool for empowerment in urban communities. America’s urban debate leagues have been a major success in education innovation, promoting a sense of community for historically marginalized communities (CridlandHughes, 2016, p. 52), augmenting inadequate curricula within schools (Cridland-Hughes, 2018, p. 2), and improving test scores and GPAs (Mezuk, et al., 2011, p. 628-630; Minneapolis Public Schools, 2015, p. 11). In this essay, I will argue that policymakers and educators need to turn attention to forensic education in rural America—with an initial emphasis on debate— as another frontier in educational support. I do not advocate this to the exclusion of the


I DIDN’T LIKE TO SPEAK OUT IN PUBLIC. I WAS A LITTLE SHY. BUT AFTER MY FIRST SPEECH AND DEBATE TOURNAMENT, I REALIZED THIS WAS KIND OF FUN! DEREK COLLINS 2017 NATIONAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR FINALIST

efforts to grow debate in urban communities— which must continue and grow—nor to the detriment of existing support in suburban areas. Rather, I contend that a new emphasis on rural forensic education is a necessary counterpart to these successes in preparing the next generation to address problems of pressing concern.

THE CHALLENGE OF RURAL FORENSIC EDUCATION To put it simply, coaching forensics in rural communities is hard. Like their urban counterparts, rural schools face resource limitations plus logistical impediments. As a university administrator involved in K-12 outreach, I have talked with

superintendents who struggle to find a math teacher who can meet the needs of an entire district. Opportunities for enrichment that suburban schools may take for granted are strained. Rural teachers with specializations (music, theater, special education) are much harder to find and harder to justify at individual schools (Bryant, 2010, p. 55). Add to this an already limited market in forensics and the odds for access decrease. Assuming coaches can be found, the structure of rural education can make supporting forensics logistically challenging. The trend in rural schools has been toward consolidation, where several schools are merged. Strange (2011) observes: “...

mandated consolidation is always forced on the politically most vulnerable schools—those that serve low-wealth communities, especially communities of color” (p. 11). These districts, whose transportation and budgetary resources are already strained, may now find it difficult or impossible to actively participate. Imagine living in a desert community, or on a Native American reservation, or north of the Arctic Circle, and trying to mount a program that specializes in policy debate with no other policy schools for 500 miles or more. One of the unfortunate realities of isolation is that rural districts have to spend more per student to serve a smaller population. State formulas may provide more aid per

pupil, but the economic realities of many of these communities often make it difficult to raise additional funds to make-up shortfalls (Hardy, 2005, p.20). For school districts already hard-pressed to meet basic needs, teaching speech and debate may simply not be a priority. Yet the absence of this kind of programming, and the struggles of those currently providing this education, should be of great concern.

A HIGHLY VULNERABLE POPULATION For very good reason, there has been significant focus in recent decades on the substantial disparities in educational access between students living in urban and

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suburban communities. Significant research has demonstrated the impact of these inequalities. Remarkably less attention has been paid to parallel challenges faced in rural areas. Strange (2011) observes: “If these high-poverty rural and small-town districts were one school district, it would be the largest, poorest, most racially diverse district in the nation.” (p. 9). In 2017 rural poverty was at 16.4%. The urban poverty rate was 12.9% (United States Department of Agriculture, 2018). While their populations may be smaller, over half of operating school districts are in rural areas (NCES, 2011, p. 1). In 2011, 48% of public school students were eligible

for free and reduced lunch (NCES, 2011, p. 3). These statistics can be further deceptive because more than 25% of rural residents live “just above the poverty line” (Bryant, 2010, p. 55). Poverty also tends to be much higher among minorities in rural communities. A 2007 study found that 87% of rural Black schoolchildren and 79% of rural Native American schoolchildren live in poverty. These numbers are higher than the equivalent populations in urban areas (Bryant, 2010, p. 55). As one might expect, these high levels of poverty correlate with academic challenges. Johnson, Strange, and Madden (2010) studied the rural school districts with the highest poverty and concluded they “exhibit both local graduation

rates and a pattern of racial and ethnic achievement gaps that is all too familiar” (p. 14). They further observed that these districts are more likely to serve children of color (p. 14). Achievement gaps appear between lowincome and non-low income-students on a regular basis (Bryant, 2010, p. 55) and schools have faced penalties for their low scores on proficiency tests in math and reading (p. 56). Education researcher, Paul Theobald, argues, “That the two categories of schools [urban and rural] share so many problems suggest that there may be significant advantages to collaborative efforts between them…” (p. 116).

Visit www.speechanddebate.org/resources and use the following filter options to find resources similar to what Dr. Minch mentions: Use the Filter Resources box to type in “teacher”—Teacher in a

Box curriculum helps incorporate speech and debate activities in a classroom setting. Use the tags or the filter to the left of the resource table to find

Extemp practice questions, Impromptu prompts, and Original Oratory lesson plans, all at member level access.

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A CRUCIBLE FOR CHANGE: FOR ILL OR GOOD Rural America is intimately linked to many debates that are critical to America’s future: energy production, agricultural sustainability, clean and accessible water, land use, climate change, immigration, drug abuse and treatment, healthcare access, internet access, and entitlement programs, just to name a few. Bringing future leaders to the table on America’s most critical debates is vitally important. Rural America is also increasingly isolated. While rural communities in the aggregate are diverse, the level of diversity in any given community may vary widely. With an increase in cultural tension being fomented by the nation’s divisive politics, Americans should be concerned about how isolation contributes to further polarization— and even outward expressions of hate. Geographers Medina, Nicolosi, Brewer, and Linke (2018) have studied hate in the United States as it relates to region.


They note: “Hate groups are geographical phenomena. The connection of hate and place stems from the social construction of place and its link with identity formation and stability (Gallaher 1997) (p. 1008). They further observe, “Participation in hate groups is a way of briefly subduing the fear and hopelessness associated with cultural threats….hate is an identity-based social movement predicated on protecting places from the perceived threat the ‘outsider’ poses to identity and socioeconomic security (Gallaher, 2003; Della Porta and Diani, 2006)” (p. 1009). Pointedly, the researchers argue: “Less diversity, more poverty, less population change, and less education correlate with more hate groups…. This might be the case in rural middle America” (p. 1015). As a society, we need to be concerned about combating the social isolation that leads to hate because the consequences of hate group activity intersect all communities—urban, suburban, and rural.

BUILDING ON WHAT WORKS While I value all forensic genres, I argue there is an urgent need to address the challenges facing rural debate. I see the urgency stemming from the aforementioned isolation facing these communities and their students. Rural schools need their counterpart to the highly successful urban debate leagues. The success of the urban debate league experiment demonstrates that organized networks of teachers, in a defined geographical area, with dedicated support and a clear mission that extends beyond mere competition, can have profound effects on academic performance, the sense of community, and student empowerment. To succeed, however, these leagues will need an infusion of resources and fundraising efforts similar to their urban counterparts combined with a kind of “academic evangelism” that can motivate leaders in small communities that the investment of time and limited resources in building such a network is justified.

Because of the physical isolation facing rural schools, new innovations will be needed for leagues to be successful. Where tournaments and workshops may be more easily facilitated in a compact urban setting, virtual workshops, webinars, and web debates may be necessary to close these distances on a regular basis. Where weekly face-to-face tournaments might be more convenient in an urban or suburban setting, in rural communities, regular league debates may be difficult when the nearest participating school might be in the next county. It may ultimately prove more efficient to develop networks of school-to-school virtual debates over the course of a longer period of time than to overcome these transportation challenges. Partnerships may also need to invest in “circuit riding” trainers who visit regional schools to provide support to teachers at the local level. As significant financial resources are already devoted to transporting student athletes, schools may

To learn more about increasing access to speech and debate through virtual tournaments, turn to page 36.

also find it useful to send debaters to neighboring schools during football, basketball, or other sporting events where they can complete interscholastic debates, while their peers are on the field, without any added transportation costs. To underscore the value of the debate experience for new communities, a focus on topics with relevance is critical. Serious issues of public policy confront America’s rural communities and more esoteric subjects or questions of value— while intellectually and socially important—may not carry with them the same interest for students. For this reason, Policy Debate or Public Forum Debate—with their emphasis on current

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I WAS AFRAID TO EVEN RAISE MY HAND IN CLASS IF I KNEW THE ANSWER. DEBATE HAS GIVEN ME THE EXPERIENCE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOICE MY OPINIONS AND SHARE MY THOUGHTS. CHLOE DENNISON 2017 NATIONAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR FINALIST

affairs—represent a logical starting point for leagues. While a focus on policy issues may have immediacy for rural students, it is also possible that the scope of national topics may prove intimidating for resource-deprived, small school programs, and thus, while debating national topics has the advantage of connecting isolated communities to the larger world, some leagues may find it more effective to select narrower versions of a national topic, or use limited case lists or common evidence sets, to promote a more manageable, resourceadapted starting point. This model has been successful in promoting novice debate and may have its advantages.

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Nonetheless, where such variations are employed, leagues should use topics that connect students to the larger world, encourage consideration of the diverse perspectives, and reach out to their urban counterparts to facilitate collaboration. There also must be recognition that debate education does not need to be limited to interscholastic tournaments to be impactful in these communities. Debate in the classroom—even if students never set foot in a tournament—is a vast improvement over no debate. Scholarship already exists on the value of “debating across the curriculum” or “argument across the curriculum”

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models. Where schools simply lack the number of students necessary to mount a viable debate program, an extension of a successful league operation may be training for the faculty of remote districts in how to bring argumentation instruction and activities into their everyday teaching. Additionally, while “full service” individual events programs may not be logistically possible in the early days of a league, adding a confined set of persuasioncentric offerings—such as Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, or Impromptu Speaking—might provide an additional outlet for schools unable to field team events due to small numbers of students.

A BROADER MANDATE The societal problems referenced in this article are bigger than any one community or broadbased educational reform, and no singular solution can claim to be the silver bullet that creates equality of opportunity with respect to program access or can claim to ameliorate the isolation that can lead to problems identified in this article. Nonetheless, when one considers the scope of problems now facing all segments of American society— problems that reach to the core of who we are as a democracy—we may have reached a point where advocacy needs to extend beyond


local schools, school boards, and charitable foundations, and reach as far as state legislatures and the halls of Congress. While we should be reticent to encourage legislatures to define aspects of the curriculum, encouraging direct funding and grants for valuable aspects of the curriculum and co-curriculum—such as debate—particularly

for urban and rural communities where access is constrained, can go a long way to advancing the change we seek. As a nation we sit at a crossroads where decisions on several key issues may impact the living conditions of humanity for generations to come. Yet, at this time of critical decision making, our politics are

more polarized than ever and much of that polarization has become regional and economic, fueled by frustration over real or perceived levels of access to the fruits of the American Dream. Now, more than ever, we need all hands on deck—urban, suburban, and rural—to study, debate, and negotiate a common future.

Dr. Kevin Minch is Associate Provost and Professor of Communication at Truman State University in rural Kirksville, Missouri. He was an NSDA member at suburban Royal Oak Kimball High School in Michigan and, before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wayne State University in downtown Detroit.

REFERENCES Allen, M., Berkowitz, S., Hunt, S. & Louden, A. (1999). A meta-analysis of the impact of forensics and communication education on critical thinking. Communication Education, 48, 19-30. Bryant, J. A. (November 2010). Dismantling rural stereotypes: One-size-fits-all solutions don’t meet the needs of ignored and misunderstood rural schools. Educational Leadership, 68, 54-58. Cridland-Hughes, S. (2016). The Atlanta Urban Debate League: Exploring the making of a critical literacy space. American Educational History Journal, 43(1), 41-57. Cridland-Hughes, S. (2018). ‘We don’t wanna straight-jacket you’: Community, curriculum and critical literacy in urban debate. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 14(1), 1-30. Hardy, L. (April 2005). A place apart: How rural schools are tackling the twin problems of isolation and poverty. American School Board Journal, 18-23. Johnson, J., Strange, M. & Madden, K. (2010). The rural dropout problem: An invisible achievement gap. Rural School and Community Trust. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED516681.pdf Mezuk, B., Bondarenko, I., Smith, S. & Tucker, E. (2011). Impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement: Evidence from the Chicago Urban Debate League. Educational Research and Reviews, 6(9), 622-635. Minch, K. (2006). The value of speech, debate, and theater activities: Making the case for forensics. Indianapolis, IN: National Federation of State High School Associations. Minneapolis Public Schools (September 2015). 2014-15 Urban Debate League MPS Evaluation. Retrieved from https:// urbandebate.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?juwpfisadmin=false&action=wpfd&task=file.download&wpfd_category_ id=5&wpfd_file_id=334&token=37e9c0112355d5e8e00bd1997861174c&preview=1 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2011). The condition of education. Chapter 3/elementary and secondary education. Spotlight: The status of rural education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe_tla.pdf Strange, M. (2011). Finding fairness for rural students. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(6), 8-15. Thebold, P. (2005). Urban and rural schools: Overcoming lingering obstacles. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(2), 116-122. United States Department of Agriculture. Rural America at a Glance 2018 Edition. Retrieved from https://www.ers.usda. gov/webdocs/publications/90556/eib-200.pdf

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COMPETITION

Increasing Access to Speech and Debate through Virtual Tournaments Learn how virtual competition can provide access to underrepresented groups.

A

s educators who believe in the transformative power of speech and debate, we envision a world in which every student has access to high quality competition. Unfortunately, our current competition model is failing underrepresented students. Tournaments are expensive and can price out schools, programs, and individual students due to a lack of financial resources. Students need to participate in order to see the benefits of the activity, but without investing time and resources into getting students to tournaments, it can be difficult to convince parents and administrators that the commitment is worthwhile. Even for well-supported programs, schools in rural or remote areas find that the distance to travel to tournaments is prohibitive.

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It is time for our community to look for unique ways to supplement the brick and mortar tournament infrastructure currently in place so we can better serve all of our students. One strategy to explore is providing access to speech and debate competition through virtual tournament opportunities.

PROVIDING ACCESS How can virtual competition provide access to underrepresented groups?

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Cost: It can be easier to fit virtual tournament costs into a small budget. Virtual tournaments remove the cost of transportation, hotel fees, and meals for a program. Entry fees may be lower because they do not need to

cover a host’s costs for facilities, custodial staff, or concessions.

Frequency: Virtual tournament options have the potential to provide access to more frequent, high quality events with diverse competition. Programs would no longer be limited to competitions in their geographic area, and students could learn from competitors and judges with different backgrounds.

Buy-In: Student participation at lowcost, low-commitment events allows parents and administrators to see the benefits of the activity in order to justify the time and financial commitment of a funded program.

Training: Virtual competition could provide training opportunities for coaches and judges.

Imagine holding a statewide judge training for Public Forum on a weekday after work hours early in the year. A live, online training reduces the barriers of scheduling and drive time, and it can even feature a live debate by available students. It can be recorded and sent to people unable to attend. Building an army of virtually trained judges and knowledgeable coaches can build the infrastructure for robust local competition.

Preparation: Online competition has the potential to provide practice rounds and pretournament preparation between students. It can be difficult to grow a program with a new coach or a lone Policy team, but having access to virtual infrastructure that connects them to other competitors or coaches for a pre-tournament scrimmage can help them grow their experience.


LOGISTICS There is no right or wrong way to run a virtual tournament, but here are a few ideas to consider! Is the whole tournament virtual, or are some people physically present and others participating virtually? If it is a combination of in-person and virtual competitors, have clear procedures for a judge to connect with the online student. Consider having backup laptops available and gathering Skype or Google Hangouts usernames prior to the tournament to put on the schematic. Make sure Wi-Fi at the host site is open! What platform will you use to host the online competition? Free platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype are available to host competition. Once a schematic is released, the students and judge in a round would be responsible for setting up their video chat and reporting back when the round is complete. There are other platforms like Zoom, which is available for a monthly subscription fee, that allow a tournament director to gather all students and judges in one virtual meeting space and then place them into breakout rooms for their individual rounds. The tournament director also has the capability to check on breakout rooms to be sure the round has started or assist with questions.

How will you tabulate your tournament? Using an online tournament management software for registration, tabulation, and online ballots will help streamline the tournament. Online ballots will allow the tournament director to ensure rounds have begun on time and easily share feedback with competitors. How long will the tournament last? A virtual tournament may mirror an in-person tournament schedule and last a full day or two. Alternatively, a virtual tournament may be run with one round per week. Posting “Student A will debate Student B in front of Judge C� and allowing them to schedule a time and platform that works in that week could work as well! Some virtual tournaments have students put their speech on YouTube and email links to judges to be ranked.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES There are a few potential challenges to keep in mind when you are considering hosting a virtual tournament. First, do attendees have access have access to reliable technology and consistent internet connection? Consider working with schools in your area to allow students to check out laptops to take home. Help attendees test their internet connection prior

to the event and find an alternative place for them to compete if their home is not an option. Technology problems will always happen, even at an in-person tournament, so a tournament director should create a policy that allows a grace period for attendees to work out a technology issue but keeps the competition on time! It should be communicated in advance that technology cannot be a reason to hold up the tournament. Next, it can be a challenge to ensure that virtual competition is high quality. Consider establishing an expectation that attendees use a camera and microphone during virtual debates to replicate in-person competition. While it is improbable that students are more likely to violate rules at an online tournament than an in-person

tournament, it is important to remind attendees of the Code of Honor and create a mechanism for them to report rule violations or issues. Finally, some state associations have rules or norms that do not explicitly translate to online tournaments. Be sure to check with your state association officials to be sure you are compliant with state rules.

MORE INFORMATION Do you host a virtual tournament or are you interested in learning more? Contact Competition Manager Lauren Burdt at lauren.burdt@ speechanddebate.org to share your experience! Lauren Burdt serves as Competition Manager for the NSDA.

Sample Schedule for a Saturday Virtual Tournament 7:00 a.m.

Roll call and camera/microphone testing for all students and judges 7:30 a.m. Share online tournament procedures and expectations 7:40 a.m. Online ballot training 7:50 a.m. Pairings released 8:00 a.m. Round 1 9:15 a.m. Round 2 10:45 a.m. Round 3 12:00 p.m. Round 4 1:15 p.m. Advancing entries announced Lunch break 2:00 p.m. Quarterfinals 3:15 p.m. Semifinals 4:30 p.m. Finals

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COMMUNITY

The Most Challenging Event in Speech and Debate:

PEER COACHING

Fostering student leadership can be critical to your team, regardless of roster length or goals. Here’s how.

by Erik Dominguez

I

will confess something many coaches have a hard time confessing, which also took me a long time to admit to myself: I like control. Over everything. I want to coach every student in every event, every time, before every tournament. Sure, I know I need other coaches, and I know they will add good aspects to the performance, but every performance needs my stamp of approval. Not only is that an egotistical thought, but it also is one that can be severely detrimental to a coach’s longevity. Logistically, we cannot put our stamp of approval on everything. So we learn to trust the coaches around us. It can be difficult, but we learn to do it. Then another challenge comes our way: Trusting students. To coach. Whoa. At first, peer coaching became a useful form of busy

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work while I was occupied with all the other responsibilities coaches tend to take on. “I have to [insert your least favorite task] right now—hey, [name of senior], go coach [name of freshman].” Then something odd happened. Students started to embrace the role of student coach and take initiative to work with novice members. At first, it was a bit chaotic and tapped into many of my worst fears of losing control of performative standards for the team. Yet, my intentional busy work had created a monster I could not stop—and one that ended up being one of the most effective tools for team unity, teaching, and success. Below are a few lessons I learned to develop student leadership and peer coaching relationships, and why they are critical to your team, regardless of roster length or goals.

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Advantages of having a peer coaching structure Fundamentals for all. Not everyone is a born educator or coach. There are some performers who are naturally gifted, have tremendous instincts, but cannot explain any of the fundamentals to our activity. Peer coaching creates a culture in which all performers must articulate how to approach an event. This articulation often corners these students to evaluate their own foundations in performance. I found this was especially beneficial at the start of the season where students want to skip the part where they work for the state/ national championship and simply show up!

Team, team, team. One of the most difficult challenges for students today is that they can sit in a class with someone for an entire year, not know

their name, who they are, what they are like, and miss a connection. Student leadership and peer coaching structures connect students who might not otherwise connect on their own. How wonderful is it for a freshman to have a senior looking after them? How empowering is it for a senior to be able to brag that they are mentoring someone?

Competitive success. Do you know who watches more rounds than you do? Your students. Do you know who reads more ballots than you do? Your students. Do you know who experiences speech and debate more than you do? Your students. They are watching, observing, and analyzing at a much higher capacity than you are. They understand the regional and national norms, standards, and trends that are working and those that are not. When you put students in the


position of leadership and coaching, you are also empowering some pretty amazing minds. Some of the best jokes, arguments, movements, characterizations, and moments came from students—not seasoned coaches.

Recruiting and training coaches. Everyone wants to see success and growth in what they do. When you empower, even second-year competitors to mentor, you are training them to be assistant coaches. If they stay in your town upon graduation, you have someone who knows your team, your standards, and has coaching and teaching tools to help others be successful. Even if these alumni only come in once or twice a year for practice, it is a powerful moment for you knowing that whatever novice you pair them with, they are in good hands!

Pitfalls of having a peer coaching culture Not everyone is a natural coach or teacher. The biggest mistake I made early on is assuming that great competitors who had been taught well had gone to camps, had experienced highpressure situations. They would certainly know what was acceptable and what was not in a coaching session. Wrong. Many times our highest performers crave that constant attention and make the coaching sessions about themselves and what they have experienced or the accomplishments they have reached. (And, gut check—some coaches do, too. Do you?) These norms fluctuate from team to team, school to school, culture to culture. But here are some that I have kept as hard, fast rules:

• Coaching sessions are not about you; you can share experiences as examples, but only if it benefits the situation. • All of your comments are suggestions. While you can encourage a teammate to try something in practice, you cannot force them to do anything in actual competition. • Get to know the person you are coaching before you coach them. Why are they on the team? What are their goals? What are their performance fears? • Embrace the following phrases: “I don’t know, let’s ask.” “Let’s try...” “What are you going to try next?” “How do you feel about...” and many others. Teach your peer coaches to check in with their teammate. • Follow up. Always follow up. Even if it is just a quick question or high five during the next practice, remind

your teammate that they are important to you and the team.

You have a responsibility to help the team... and sometimes that means not helping. You will get students who SHINE at coaching. They love helping others and thrive in that enviornment—to the detriment of their own goals and performance standards. I have seen students invest so much in their peers that they forgo their own responsibilities to the team. Keep a cap on the time that students peer coach so they also work on their own journey, not just others.

Nuts and bolts of student leadership and peer coaching Choose captains and leaders. You should have a captain for each genre of our activity that your team participates in. So you should have

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a captain for PF, CX, LD, Congress, interpretation, public address, and limited preparation. Your best competitor is not always your best captain. This is a hard lesson I had to learn! Competitive success does not always equal leadership success. Choose someone who has the time and motivation to handle the logistics of being a captain.

Have a varsity and captain camp, before the novices show up. This should be before school begins, or before you launch your recruiting kick-off. Spend some intentional time with the varsity/ returning members of your team and train your captains and peer coaches like you would any other event. Assign reading, discussions, and activities.

Have varsity members/captains lead novice lectures. Yes. You read that correctly. Writing it admittedly puts a pit in my stomach, thinking about some of the cringeworthy things certain sophomores would say during their lesson! But it also fills me with pride, thinking of some of the amazing things other sophomores would share. I was transparent with everyone and explained they were going to be taught by a returning member to help that student articulate fundamentals, but that I would be there to clarify anything as needed. Not everyone is a natural born teacher—but this is real-world public speaking. Empowering these team members to lead activities is what they will be doing once they leave your team!

Establish consistent groups. Follow camp lab structure and have

a leader for every three or four students. This gives novices a first point of contact for the team and eventrelated questions (and watch your email count suddenly plummet!). Empower student leaders to establish their own culture of a team. You will quickly see some natural born leaders!

one of the most effective ways to improve our instruction. It is the same way with our peer coaches! Experiencing a coaching session is not the same as observing one. Coach the way you would, but point out after the fact how you helped that student improve and how you navigated any potential conflicts.

Have coaching sessions with and for your coaches.

Final Thoughts

Just like you have meetings and coaching sessions with all of your events, you should have them for all of your captains and student leaders/coaches. Assign them weekly readings, discussions, and questions to pose. Check in with what is going well and what is not going well. Have them share their coaching successes and struggles with each other to learn from one another and coach them how to improve.

Have them observe your coaching sessions, and observe theirs. As teachers, we know that observing others is

If you are anything like me, the idea of setting up these systems gives you two fears: loss of control, and loss of time. And, honestly, you will lose both. There will be times when a peer coach will lead an unsuspecting novice astray, and all of this requires an additional workload on your already packed work week. It truly is like taking on another event to coach. The first few years are incredibly challenging and time-consuming, as you work out the kinks in the systems you create. However, think of this time as an investment. You will find the joys of peer coaching to be immeasurable as your students form deeper connections and improve the competitive success of your team well beyond what you thought you could control.

Erik Dominguez is a two-diamond coach who has been competing and coaching for more than 20 years.

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TOP 10 NATIONAL PI KAPPA DELTA PROGRAM

3-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS 2016, 2018, 2019 Pi Kappa Delta Debate Champions

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To learn more about speech and debate at Simpson, email spencer.waugh@simpson.edu

SIMPSON.EDU


COMMUNITY

A Simple Technique for Affecting Belonging, One Genuine Connection at a Time by Dave Stuart Jr.

I

t’s common enough to see a really well-meaning teacher whose chief goal is to create a classroom where kids feel welcome, included, enjoyed, and honored, but to forget that this is only half the battle. Yes, we need kids to all identify with school, to identify with our class culture, to feel that who we’re asking them to be lines up with who they are. And yes, this is very, very challenging with many of our kids. In my own practice, I’ve found this challenging

TRACKING GENUINE CONNECTIONS At the start of the school year, I get all of my kids’ names onto a single piece of paper, clip it onto my clipboard (see Figure 2), and keep track of moments of genuine connection. I don’t always write down what the moment was or what we connected on, but I always at least make a marking (e.g., a green dot) next to kids whom I’ve connected with at least once. I’m going to share some examples of the types of things that get said during these “moments of genuine connection” because I think that’s the clearest

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way of communicating what I mean by “moment of genuine connection.” A student who succeeded after setbacks: “Henry, I know you joined this class late, and I want you to know that I realize the challenges that come with that. When you scored so well on our most recent quiz, that spoke to me of your determination to improve—and that’s exactly what I’m after in you this year. Keep it up, young man.” A student who I know is shy: “Jessica, the last thing I was expecting today for our first pop-up debate was for you to stand up first, boldly making

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in Baltimore, MD, Cedar Springs, MI, and in the various substitute gigs I took while living in New York City. Yet belonging alone isn’t enough. Rather, it’s only the first of two difficult steps suggested by one of the five academic mindsets. (See #3 in Figure 1.) The second step is equally critical: belong to what? In this article, I want to examine the efficient means through which I aim to create belonging.

Five Key Beliefs Beneath Student Motivation 1. Credibility: I have a good teacher. 2. Value: This work matters to my life. 3. Belonging: People like me do work like this. 4. Effort: I can improve at this if I try. 5. Efficacy: I can succeed at this. From Stuart Jr., D. (2018). These 6 Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

FIGURE 1: Believing that I belong to this certain kind of class community.

your point. Even now with class over, I’m blown away by that, Jessica, just blown away.”

sophomore slump, but

A former student in the hallway: “Noah, I heard

set your eyes on doing

you saying that you had a

Doing better happens

listen to me: it sounds like you’ve recognized that as a problem and that you’ve better in your junior year.


one day at a time, Noah. Improve one day at a time. If you need anything, I’m here.” A student who I don’t know that well yet: “Austin, I just wanted to say that I’m glad you’re in my class. If you work hard this year, I know you will set yourself up for a successful high school experience. It will be my job to teach you how to do that while we also learn world history.” An eleventh grade student who gave a flippant answer to my ‘plan after graduation’ question: “Bobby, by the end of this year I want you to be able to tell me, without any joking or shame, what your plan is after graduation. You are an enjoyable young man who deserves a life of providing for himself; whether the

plan is working right after high school or community college or whatever else, I want you to be able to quickly state it when I ask you to. Let me know if I can help talk it through with you.”

W 

hile these are all unique examples for the past few months, there are at least things they have in common. First, it’s not a moment of genuine connection if it’s not genuine. Duplicity is the enemy of belonging. I can’t hate my kids behind their backs and genuinely connect with them while they’re with me. The integrated life is what we’re after—that’s what will make us saner in life and better at teaching, all at the same time. Second, regardless of the situation or the kid, I’m

FIGURE 2: My high-tech approach to tracking genuine student connections—because the simplest technology is the best technology.

trying to communicate, each time, “Hey, I see you, and I see you as one of us. I’m glad I get to be around you this year. I see potential in you.” Psychologists would call this identity-based motivation. I am speaking to their sense of self and arguing for that identity to include a shard about being a part of my class. Third, as I looked through my clipboard and chose the above examples to share with you, I didn’t do any editing in writing them. Despite that, when I look back at them, I see me saying the kid’s name, every time. Early on in my career, I had a mentor named Trent Gladstone who always used my name when he would talk to me—probably once a minute almost. I don’t have any research to back this up, but there seems to be something powerful about the use of a person’s name. THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING TRACK Once or twice per school day, I’ll go through my list and add any “moments of genuine connection” that I’ve had with kids, marking them and moving on to other work. I jokingly refer to my “high-tech”

clipboard in Figure 2’s caption, but this really is a key component of the effort. If I don’t keep track of these moments of genuine connection on the clipboard, guess what happens? I forget kids. Had I not kept track this year, I wouldn’t have known that Isaac, Aden, and Easton needed a minute of my time, either in the hallway or during class. So, there you have it: a simple technique for working at the initial goal of making kids feel like they belong. And all throughout, let’s keep in mind that this isn’t for the ooshy-gooshy feelgooders, it’s part of a systematic approach at leveraging noncognitive factors to create classrooms where more kids are motivated to learn, all without forcing us all to the family-sacrificing lady from Freedom Writers.

Dave Stuart Jr. teaches high school in Cedar Springs, Michigan, and he writes for educators at his blog, DaveStuartJr.com. His book, These 6 Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most, has an entire chapter on teaching speaking and listening. This blog post originally appeared November 12, 2016, on DaveStuartJr.com and is reused with permission of the author.

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MILESTONES

Diamond Coach Recognition Fifth Diamond

u FIFTH DIAMOND u

SHARON VOLPE

North Allegheny High School, PA February 6, 2019 • 297,187 Points

distinguished service plaques and has worked in NSDA tab rooms, in Extemp prep, on committees to make rules, and on committees to design curriculum, among other tasks. She served as the Pittsburgh district chair for a number of years as well as the Pittsburgh mentorship chair. In addition to coaching, Sharon has a full schedule of teaching AP Calculus. She has sponsored multiple clubs including Young Democrats, UNICEF, and Key Club. Sharon started her speech and debate life at Mercer High School under the coaching of Hugh Ringer in the Pittsburgh District. She lives in the North Allegheny district with her husband Ron and daughters Quinn and Mackenzie.

u FOURTH DIAMOND u

u THIRD DIAMOND u

u THIRD DIAMOND u

KATHLEEN HAMM

MELINDA SCHULZ

FR. MICHAEL TIDD, OSB

Ransom Everglades School, FL February 20, 2019 • 128,375 Points

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Sharon Volpe began coaching in 1987 for Upper St. Clair, and has been coaching at North Allegheny in Pittsburgh for the past 21 years. Her teams regularly have more than 160 active members with another 150 in their middle school program. Under her leadership, she has qualified more than 125 students to NSDA Nationals, and has had multiple state championships, a long list of individual state championships, more than 80 NSDA Academic All Americans, multiple top team awards, a TOC championship, won the NSDA Pittsburgh district sweepstakes many times, students in the top six at NSDA nationals, as well as two final round wins. Sharon has almost 300,000 coaching points as well as three

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

Boise High School, ID February 11, 2019 • 63,163 Points

Delbarton School, NJ February 22, 2019 • 92,508 Points


DIAMOND COACH RECOGNITION

u THIRD DIAMOND u

JAMES FOUNTAIN

u THIRD DIAMOND u

SALLY GRAHAM

u SECOND DIAMOND u

STEPHANIE KING

Perry High School, AZ March 20, 2019 • 60,504 Points

Castle View High School, CO April 17, 2019 • 60,263 Points

Rufus King High School, WI January 8, 2019 • 31,443 Points

u SECOND DIAMOND u

u SECOND DIAMOND u

u SECOND DIAMOND u

Riverside High School, SC February 25, 2019 • 30,031 Points

JEFF SCHMAUCH

Lincoln East High School, NE March 6, 2019 • 30,242 Points

KIM SAMUELSON

AUDRA S. LANGSTON

u SECOND DIAMOND u

u SECOND DIAMOND u

u FIRST DIAMOND u

DARLENE ESLINGER

MICHAEL YEAKEY

Twin Falls High School, ID March 13, 2019 • 30,541 Points

Bethany Christian High School, IN April 18, 2019 • 31,254 Points

Grand Oaks High School, TX March 7, 2019 • 56,391 Points

SHANNON VANCE

Mountain Vista High School, CO November 4, 2018 • 23,527 Points ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 45


DIAMOND COACH RECOGNITION

u FIRST DIAMOND u

KEITH EDDINS

u FIRST DIAMOND u

u FIRST DIAMOND u

Oak Hill School, OR February 23, 2019 • 17,311 Points

Holy Cross Catholic Academy, TX March 5, 2019 • 15,235 Points

FR. ROBERT A. BUSCH

MICHELLE MCINTYRE

u FIRST DIAMOND u

u FIRST DIAMOND u

u FIRST DIAMOND u

DIANE KING

Fresta Valley Christian School, VA April 22, 2019 • 17,578 Points

BETH STEINLEITNER

Dassel Cokato High School, MN April 24, 2019 • 19,531 Points

Washington High School, SD April 4, 2019 • 16,623 Points

CHAD CHENOWITH

Bishop Dwenger High School, IN May 3, 2019 • 25,097 Points

Seeking Hall of Fame Nomations The highest honor for any high school speech and debate coach is election to the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame. Each year, nominations are sought from member coaches. In the month of April, current Hall of Fame members and coaches with at least three Diamond Awards vote to determine which nominees will be elected members of this most distinguished body. The nomination deadline is February 3, 2020.

Visit www.speechanddebate.org/hall-of-fame to learn more! 46

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COMMUNITY

DEBATE

USA DEBATE: From Dallas to Denver, Training for Success in World Schools by Anh Cao

(left to right) Arham Habib, Abbey Xu, Anh Cao, Jack Johnson, Elyse Dewbre, Miles Wang, Liana Schmitter-Emerson, Rohit Jhawar, Roopa Irakam, Cassandra Berlin, James Hu, and Genevieve Cox.

E

njoying Denver’s stunning mountain vistas, the USA Debate Team reveled in recent training that was a perfect blend of wholesome bonding and challenging debates. On October 18, members of USA Debate flew to Colorado from all corners of the country. As the students trickled in one by one, we worked on cases for an upcoming tournament in Germany. After lunch, the team held an impromptu round over government ownership of culturally significant art. With the help of coach Aaron

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Timmons and assistant coach Danny DeBois, the team unpacked our quarterfinal round from this past year’s World Championship and gained new perspective on round strategy. When the team returned to the hotel to enjoy some late-night Shake Shack, we played a game of “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” Much to our dismay, it turns out we are not, flunking questions such as, “Can you name three NFL teams?” On our second day in Denver, the team donned cozy USA Debate

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

sweatshirts and did multiple impromptu drills and two practice rounds. The returning members faced off in a lively debate against USA Grey—comprised of alumni Ishan Bhatt (’19), Danny DeBois (’14), and Ella Michaels (’18)—about the LGBT+ movement’s stance on whether or not being LGBT+ is a choice. After a jam-packed day, the team returned to the hotel to tackle casework. However, Mr. Timmons and Ishan Bhatt had a surprise planned. They threw an impromptu s’mores party, and we

enjoyed each other’s company—although some of us were better at burning marshmallows than roasting them. To conclude the intense training weekend, our third day consisted of additional casework and more rounds. With the help of alum Piper Doyle (’18), who hosted us at the University of Denver, we watched a collegiate British Parliamentary final round over ethical consumption. We cheered on the leader of the opposition (and member of the extended USA Debate family) Nicholas Aranda.


Congrats to Nick for winning and placing top speaker at the tournament! USA Debate members returned from Denver with impromptu prep skills and many cherished memories. The lessons learned built upon our earlier training held during the season opener at the Greenhill Fall Classic in Texas. In September, all 12

team members met in Dallas to compete. With the help of coaches Cindi Timmons and Aaron Timmons along with guest lecturers Miha Andric of Slovenia and Sam Myat San of Singapore, team members learned about speaking style, argument development, and government systems around the world. This training translated to excellent results, with USA

Debate closing out the tournament in semifinals and securing the top four speaker awards. Senior Roopa Irakam is thrilled to have these experiences. “I come from a small school. My sister and I actually started the debate program, so I am excited to learn from renowned coaches and share my knowledge with my school.” As we train for our upcoming international

tournaments, the USA Debate Team remains enormously grateful for the constant support of our coaches and the NSDA. We hope to use our training to continue a great competitive season and help grow our programs at home!

Anh Cao is a senior at Bentonville High School in Arkansas. She currently serves as a publications intern for the NSDA.

THREE TIPS FOR DEBATING IN THE WORLD SCHOOLS FORMAT Debating in the World Schools format can be daunting— you’re asked to speak about issues of global importance, sometimes with no research and only an hour to gather your thoughts. Though challenging, this style of debate can be the most rewarding, as it trains you to find the heart of the debate quickly even with limited information. Here are some tips for learning the format: Work to understand the core conflicts behind motions. Though it seems like there are too many topics to track in the format, a lot of World Schools motions come down to very similar themes and clashes. For example, “This House would make voting compulsory,” “This House would require people to pass a political knowledge test in order to vote,” and “This House believes that a strong dictatorship is preferable to a weak democracy” are all variants of a debate about whether it is okay to create restrictions on political freedoms in order to create what could arguably be considered a better society (with the last motion being the most extreme version of that). If you learn how to argue each side of these broad general clashes, you can apply them to many different topics without necessarily having to know all of their intricacies, and you’ll have a deep understanding of the fundamental questions any World Schools debate will boil down to.

Read—especially sources with an international perspective. Stay up to date on current events, learn about major events of the 20th century, understand the

basics of the major schools of moral philosophy, and get a sense of key principles in economics and political science. One good source to get you started is The Economist—it covers major stories around the world and often gives you a perspective that goes beyond just the basic facts, which can help you learn arguments that you can then repeat in rounds. There are many sources worth reading, so try to find what works best for you.

When developing arguments, focus on the logic. Judges in the World Schools format don’t care that you found an author who agrees with your point or that you have one example supporting it—rather, they want a clear analysis of why the thing you’re claiming as true is true, why the example you’re using is a representative account of the phenomenon you’re describing, and why we’d expect other studies to have similar conclusions to the study you’re referencing. Be able to walk the judge through every cause and effect linkage in your argument, and why you’re likely to solve the problems you’re raising.

Learning the format can take time, but there is a wide range of resources available to you. I recommend watching videos from the World Schools Debating Championship to get a sense of the different ways people structure speeches and implement the ideas I mentioned above. Good luck with your efforts! Compiled by Danny DeBois (’14), Harvard graduate and Assistant Coach for the USA Debate Team.

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COMMUNITY

Words from the Hall

Words of Wisdom by Jimmy L. Smith

things from him, but his best advice was very simple: “ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING.” If you stop and think for a minute, you will realize that during the school year, we spend more time with our team members than we spend with our own children! Think about that. Now, what would it be like if you weren’t enjoying your job and the people around you? He also taught me that at every tournament,

Some of the earliest advice I received was given by David Longnecker from Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado. I had the honor of being his assistant coach for three years and learned many

we needed to find something “enjoyable” for the students to do. Sometimes it’s as simple as going to a restaurant or an ice cream shop that the students like. It does not have to be something expensive— just enjoyable!

Photo: Mark Ferguson

W

hen I received an email from the national office asking if I would write a “words of wisdom” article for Rostrum, my first response was to laugh. “Wisdom” from me— everyone who knows me, knows that wisdom and Jimmy Smith do not go hand in hand! So, I decided to share some advice and wisdom I have received from others over the years—from people who have wisdom!

Jimmy Smith was inducted into the NSDA Hall of Fame in 2017.

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ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

The second piece of advice I would like to share was something Frank Sferra, former NSDA Board President of Colorado, told me. At the time I had a Duet team who was almost unbeatable—10 tournaments in row with nothing but ones. We were at a meet in Denver and in round one the girls received a three. Like all coaches, I knew it was

because the judge was incompetent—that was the only way to explain it! Sitting in the tab room looking at the ballot, I stated the obvious, to which Mr. Sferra said, “NO ONE IS GOING TO WIN ALL THE TIME.” Of course, this wasn’t what I wanted to hear or believe. Later when I asked the girls about it, they were happy it wasn’t a five or a six. It seems they “screwed it up badly.” Just remember, sometimes we aren’t as good as we think! Several weeks later I received my next advice from both Frank Sferra and Lowell Sharp. I was once again in the


“I had the honor of being David Longnecker’s assistant coach for three years and learned many things from him, but his best advice was very simple: ‘ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING.’”

tab room—this time I was listening to several of the “older and more intelligent coaches” talking about a Policy team from one of the Denver area schools and how they should go far at the National Tournament. The whole conversation was not about “their team” winning but supporting the students from other schools. This left a very large impression on me. Here were two of the winningest coaches in Colorado forensics and they were supporting another school. This taught me another important lesson: “ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT ALL STUDENTS EVEN IF THEY ARE FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL!”

Lanny Naegelin of Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas, instilled in me: “LEARN TO HELP OTHERS.” What Lanny taught me was the only way your team could improve was to help other teams improve. This may sound strange but think about it—if the other teams are better, you have to improve or you will lose. Therefore, when you help others, everyone will improve! I also received a slice of wisdom from Pam Cady Wycoff. At the National Tournament several years ago, we were discussing the “large vs.

small” school approach in the forensic community. She made a comment that has stuck with me: “SMALL SCHOOLS CAN WIN AT NATIONALS.” This is very true! Over the years I have been lucky enough to have several students in finals with one winning a national championship. You just must believe and keep trying! Tom Montgomery of California taught me a very important lesson: “REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE ETHICAL IN WHAT YOU DO.” So true! We are here for the students—ALL of the students.

Throughout my career, I have been blessed with the opportunity of working and learning from many friends in the speech community. But one of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever received was from Don Crabtree of Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri: “WEAR A HAWAIIAN SHIRT AND ENJOY!” Thank you, Don—I do it daily! Jimmy L. Smith is a fivediamond coach and member of the NSDA Hall of Fame.

Learn more about the NSDA Hall of Fame! www.speechanddebate.org/ hall-of-fame

ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 51


“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

NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE ASSOCIATION

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 www.speechanddebate.org/trophyshop


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THANK YOU! Your support makes the life-changing benefits of speech and debate possible.

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From August 1, 2019 through November 1, 2019 FINALIST ($5,000 and up) Adam and Ashley Johnson Tom and Vicki Rollins SEMIFINALIST ($2,500 - $4,999) Joe and Pam Wycoff QUARTERFINALIST ($1,000 - $2,499) Susan Anderson The Kettles Law Firm OCTAFINALIST ($500 - $999) Peter L. Coffey and Kristine H. Cleary James Cox Vicki Pape Jill Sitnick In Memory of Carl Grecco

DOUBLE OCTAFINALIST ($250 - $499) David and Katherine Abel Ted W. Belch Susan Sprung and Christopher Keyser COMPETITOR ($100 - $249) Jarrius Adams Jennifer Burton Jacqueline Evrard-Vescio Betty Whitlock and Kathy Owens In Memory of Doris Compere J. Scott and Megan Wunn

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WE ARE

MAKING AN IMPACT. SAVE THE DATE! SUNDAY, JUNE 14 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ALBUQUERQUE, NM If you are a new(er) coach attending the National Tournament for the first time, we hope you’ll join us! Don’t miss one-on-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.

PLEASE CONSIDER THE NSDA’S WILLIAM WOODS TATE, JR., FUND IN YOUR YEAR-END GIVING PLANS. 100% of donations to the Tate Fund will be used to support underresourced schools attending the National Tournament. Up to $10,000 raised this year will be matched by an anonymous donor. To make your tax deductible gift, please visit:

www.speechanddebate.org/donate ROSTRUM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 55


IN THE EDUCATIONAL WORLD, BUDGETS MUST BE MADE WITH A KEEN EYE TO DISTINGUISHING WANTS FROM NEEDS, AND THE DISCERNING ADMINISTRATOR IS NEVER CONFUSED ABOUT THE NEED FOR SPEECH AND DEBATE PROGRAMS. THEIR ABSENCE IS AN IMPOVERISHMENT SCHOOLS—INDEED, LAWRENCE E. WALL , JR . THIS COUNTRY— 2019 NSDA High School Administrator of the Year Head of Upper School – Charlotte Latin School , NC CANNOT AFFORD. The 2019 National Speech & Debate Association High School Administrator of the Year is Lawrence E. Wall, Jr., Head of Upper School at Charlotte Latin School in North Carolina. He was nominated for “his genuine interest in forensics and for his fathomless support of it.” The NSDA’s High School Administrator of the Year program recognizes outstanding high school principals and administrators who have succeeded in providing high-quality opportunities for students in speech and debate programming. It is one of thousands of awards the NSDA issues its members each school year.

The NSDA, founded by Bruno E. Jacob as the National Forensic League in 1925, was created to motivate high school students to participate in speech and debate activities. Today, the organization’s mission is to connect, support, and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate. That diverse community is comprised of middle and high schools from every U.S. state.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NSDA AWARDS:

www.speechanddebate.org/school-recognition Find letters of advocacy on our website:

www.speechanddebate.org/resources


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Profile for Speech & Debate

2019 November/December Rostrum  

Volume 94 Issue 2

2019 November/December Rostrum  

Volume 94 Issue 2