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May 1, 2018 | A weekly publication of the National Speech & Debate Association

Dear Coach, 

Happy May Day! This week marks the last weekly coach newsletter of the year, but we'll be in touch with important updates and National Tournament results over the summer. Plus, if you're heading to Nationals, you'll begin receiving our weekly Nationals newsletter next week with important tournament information! 

High School Nationals Entries Due Today! 

Registration and fees for the National Tournament are due today, May 1. Click here to learn more about judge requirements, entries, and forms. See you in the sunshine!

2018 High School Coach of the Year Award 

We are thrilled to announce Joni Anker as the 2018 NSDA High School Coach of the Year! Joni has been an NSDA coach since 1981 and is a member of both the NSDA and the Minnesota State High School League Halls of Fame. She teaches English and Speech and is the founder and head coach of speech and debate at Eagan High School. Joni's colleagues describe her as an outstanding and creative teacher, director, and advisor. We couldn't agree more! Hear from Joni and read an excerpt from her nomination below. 
"My most memorable events in coaching have involved witnessing a student fall in love with performing and competing, no matter whether they win an award or not. The greatest gift I have been given from this amazing activity is to see a student discover they can do something they never thought they could.”
- Joni Anker, 2018 James M. Copeland High School Coach of the Year
"Her room, 107, has become a safe haven for students to go for guidance, laughter, and support. She has created a diverse community united through a common love of communication that will last a lifetime. Ms. Anker is not just a coach or mentor, she becomes a part of each student's family." 
- Eagan High School Speech Team Captains

National Tournament Corner

Topic Release » We released the Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate topics for the National Tournament this morning! Visit our Topics page for these and more topic areas!  
Watch the Livestream » If you can't make it to Nationals, keep up with all the incredible performances on the final round stage via our livestream, presented by Victory Briefs Institute, at
Middle School Nationals » Don't forget, fees and paperwork for Middle School Nationals are due Friday, May 11. Learn more at 

Rostrum Reader Survey - Enter to Win! 

Please take a few minutes to provide feedback and suggestions for Rostrum magazine. If you complete the survey by May 15, you will be entered to win a FREE Words Matter sweatshirt from the NSDA. 
Take the Survey

Connect with Peers in Person

We can’t wait for you to join us at the 2018 NSDA National Conference July 28-31! It’s a chance to network and learn from other speech and debate educators in person—an opportunity that many don’t have access to throughout the year. Join us for a range of sessions that support our theme of Radiant Voices: Empowerment through Speech and Debate!
"Being a speech and debate teacher is a lonely job. Even at large high schools, there is usually just one teacher in that field, so collaborating and sharing materials requires us to leave our school building. Having so many fellow Lone Rangers in one place makes sharing ideas, methods, and materials much easier! It’s ironic that we who teach communication often have no one else to talk to about our field."
- Steve Meadows, 2017 NSDA National Conference Attendee
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