November District Leader Newsletter
November District Leader Newsletter

Dear Leader,

As we enter the giving season, I want to express my gratitude for everything you do as leaders to provide opportunities to students. Thank you for your service! Below, we share details on new district awards, service project ideas, and more. 

Service Projects at District Tournaments 

Consider how your district tournament can incorporate the service tenet of the Honor Code! In Florida, each invitational on this circuit incorporates a cause for which students do direct service or provide support by fundraising. Below are five suggestions for service projects you could add to your district tournament!
  1. Hold an eye glasses drive and donate old eye glasses to organizations that distribute them to people in need. 
  2. Have a bake sale for a charity like the 2018 Student of the Year, Elena Cecil!
  3. Have students make cards for a local senior home or hospital. 
  4. Hold a book drive, collect unwanted childrens books, and donate them to a local library. 
  5. Collect unused art supplies and donate them to a local after-school program or homeless shelter. 
If you are able to showcase your students’ speaking skills in any of these events, they may be eligible for service points! Rules regarding service points begin on page 10 of the Unified Manual.
Apply to Present » Share your proposal for a session, round table discussion, or panel at the NSDA National Speech & Debate Conference by November 12
Increase District Levels » Chairs, check out tips to increase your district level and bring more students to the National Tournament with outreach to potential member schools. 
District Award Overview
The awards you give out at your district tournament are a special way to thank your local champions and recognize those who go above and beyond for speech and debate! 

NEW District Coaching Awards 

We're excited to announce three new or improved district-to-national awards! Each District Committee may select a deserving member coach in their district to receive the awards below, and from those district-level award winners the national winners are selected.
District High School Coach of the Year Award » This award annually honors high school coaches who reflect outstanding leadership and commitment to speech and debate activities. This year, the national recipient will be selected from the pool of district winners rather than from a separate nomination form! 
District New Coach of the Year Award » This new award will recognize an exemplary new coach who is in their first year of NSDA membership. If you're not sure when a coach membership was paid, please reach out to us!
District Assistant Coach of the Year » This new award will recognize an exemplary assistant coach serving at an NSDA member school. 
More information and standard nomination forms will be available soon! 

District Student of the Year Award

The District Student of the Year Award recognizes one graduating senior from a district who best represents the tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor: integrity, respect, humility, leadership, and service. Nominees must also demonstrate strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community. District nominations are collected via this standard form and a copy of each nomination is sent to the district chair and the national office. 
Each year, six students who win their district award are selected as finalists for the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year award. Learn more about what sets a student apart in this profile on 2018 Student of the Year Elena Cecil and her commitment to our fifth tenet, service. 

Engage New Coaches at Districts  

Do you onboard new coaches to your district tournament? Consider giving new coaches the option to be a "floater judge." By lessening or tailoring their judging obligation, you can give new coaches a chance to observe rounds, observe tabulation, or observe the ballot table. Learn more about engaging new coaches at districts here.

District Tournament Registration Reminder 

We're excited for the start of district tournament season! To ensure that all districts receive their materials on time and that the appropriate steps have been taken at the national office, district tournament registration due dates are as follows:
  • All NSDA districts beginning any portion of their event between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018 have already completed the registration process. Thank you! 
  • All NSDA districts who are beginning their tournament series after Jan. 1, 2019 MUST complete the tournament registration process by Nov. 30, 2018
Please note that if your tournament is not registered by the appropriate date, you will receive a basic district supply box that may not contain all of the speciality awards or ballots you'd like to order.
Chairs, you can register your tournament series here when you're ready! We ask that all district leaders also consider the pilot programs for this year. Learn more »

House Qualification Numbers

Remember, at the Spring 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors voted to increase the number of students who may qualify to the National Tournament in the House. This change will go into effect in the 2018-2019 school year at this season's district tournaments.
The detailed rule changes can be found on pages 59-60 of the High School Unified Manual and pages 5-6 of the Pilot District Qualification Manual. To accommodate a quarterfinal round at the National Tournament, changes to the House advancement procedures and schedule will be coming soon.

District Connections

Our new District Support Manager Erik Dominguez is available to help you reach your district goals! Chairs, if you have not yet connected with Erik, please do so by December 1. He can be reached at
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