Community Impact Report 2020
At the core, community is such a huge part of who we are and what we do. We hear from alumni decades after their time in speech and debate has ended that the friendships formed in this activity have lasted a lifetime. Despite all the challenges we’ve faced in the last year, our community is alive and well. We came together online, supported each other, found solutions, and stayed connected. I hope that’s what we take away from this year. That even once your team is no longer in the same squad room every day, once the season ends, or students graduate, that this community and the skills that students learn here are permanent. I hope you find useful takeaways and inspiration from all we accomplished as a community during the 2019-2020 school year.
In March, National Speech and Debate Education Day once again provided an opportunity for speech and debate teams to celebrate, connect, and share their story with others in their community! Actor Jared Padalecki served as spokesperson, reflecting on how speech and debate and the work of NSDA coaches shaped his life.
Meeting Your Needs
We continue to provide financial support to speech and debate teams across the country! In 2019-2020, more than $350,000 was awarded to teams and students through grants and scholarships.
Jaylon Muchison was selected as the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year for his character, leadership, and commitment to bettering his community. At the National Tournament, Jaylon claimed the rare “Triple Crown” when he was named Student of the Year, Humorous Interpretation champion, and final round Interp Bowl winner all in the same year. Jaylon reflects on the importance of student voices and overcoming the obstacles this year presented in the video below.
Coaches play an important role in this community, working tirelessly to support and inspire students through speech and debate activities.
Here are just a few of the many coaches whose involvement we recognized this year.
This year we celebrated Wooster High School in Ohio as the first school in the history of the National Speech & Debate Association to reach 70 National Tournament appearances. Wooster’s first National Tournament appearance was at the second annual National Tournament in 1932! Wooster’s years of achievement represent thousands of students who have learned to collaborate, communicate confidently, and think critically and creatively.