December District Leader Newsletter
December District Leader Newsletter

Dear District Leader,

All of us at the national office are grateful for you this holiday season! We're wishing you a well-deserved break and relaxation to wrap up 2019. Check out reminders and news from the community below!

What's New on the District Leader Forum

Conversations are happening between committee members across the country on our new District Leader Forum! Pose questions to the 2020 host committee, pick up advice for new chairs, discuss rules questions, or start a new conversation. Log in and visit to jump in. 


District Leader Toolkit
View the Unified Manual
View the Pilot Manual

New Advocacy Page with Recruitment Tools

We know many of you do your own outreach to new or lapsed schools throughout the year. To help you in your efforts, we've updated our advocacy page with all the tools you need to get the word out at tournaments, speak to administrators, or reach out to new schools. Get started at
Debate and Academic Performance. 36% increase in reading test scores. 31% increaase in regular attendance. 15% higher self-esteem. 100% increased interest in their classes. 87% increase in analytical skills. 100% were unlikely to engage in negative risk behavior.

New Coach Quick Start Guide

We are developing a new version of our New Coach Quick Start Guide, a draft of which is available here. If you have any suggestions for this page based on questions you get from new coaches, please email Annie Reisener at The guide will launch later this month and will be accompanied by an updated Competition Events Guide. 

2020 Board of Directors Election

Any member coach of any age with five years of Association coaching experience, who is listed as a member coach on 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. Learn more about Board member responsibilities, deadlines, and election details here

2020 Hall of Fame Nominations

The highest honor for any high school speech and debate coach is election to the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame. As a member coach, you can submit a Hall of Fame nomination by February 3, 2020, for consideration! 
In April, current Hall of Fame members and coaches with at least three diamonds vote to determine which nominees will be inducted.

All About District Awards 

When a chair submits the district dates reporting form, they also let us know which awards your district will give out this year. The corresponding plaques will arrive in your district box a few weeks prior to your tournament. Below is a reminder of how the process works and a description of each district to national award. 
Collecting Nominations » Standard nomination forms are available to save you time and provide consistency at the national level. We receive a copy when a nomination is submitted! The Student of the Year nomination form is available here. Forms for the other awards open January 6. 
Selecting and Reporting Your Winners » You can select your winners any way you like. Learn how other districts determine their winners in this conversation on the District Leader Forum. Each district winner is automatically entered into the running for the national-level award when the district chair reports their information to us via this form. You can name your winners at any time, but the reporting deadline for national consideration is April 16
District High School Coach of the Year Award » This award honors high school coaches who reflect outstanding leadership and commitment to speech and debate activities. 
District New Coach of the Year Award » This award recognizes an exemplary new high school 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 award recognizes an exemplary assistant high school coach serving at an NSDA member school. 
High School Administrator of the Year » This award honors an administrator who has succeeded in providing high-quality opportunities for students in speech and debate programming, as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.
District Student of the Year Award » Each NSDA district has the opportunity to name a District Student of the Year, a graduating senior who best represents the tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor: integrity, respect, humility, leadership, and service. 

Mission Moment 

What you do as coaches and district leaders helps us build a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate. Thank you for helping Jacqueline and 140,000 other students across the country uncover their confidence and find their voices. 
 “Thank you on behalf of the thousands of students that are in this association because your contribution and your dedication has made a small, nervous, frightened girl into who I am today. It will also make thousands of other children into the generation of global leaders.” -Jacqueline Wei

Take the District Leader Onboarding Course 

Each district leader is invited to grow in your understanding of your role as a District Committee member or chair by taking our District Leader Onboarding Course! Offered for free through our new online professional development portal, NSDA Learn, this course is self-paced and can be taken at one's leisure. 
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