[Ndca-l] NDCA Forum for Coach Communication

dana randall danarandall
Mon Feb 24 14:05:42 EST 2014

Dear Members,

As I mentioned in my letter 1/31 and many others in the community have
expressed,  I would like to facilitate and engage in more discussions among
coaches regarding how to ensure this community, which we all care so deeply
for, remains one of the most educational and rewarding for all of our
To that end I have arranged with the help of other NDCA board members the
space and time for any debate coach to gather and collectively fulfill that

The NDCA will host a conversation for coaches on Saturday March 22, 2014
from 11am-2pm at the Woodward tournament. There will be a presentation
regarding Mutual Preference Judging that will encompass the arguments for
or against MPJ, as well as possible strategies for addressing how to better
utilize the system with regard to the concerns raised in Jim Menick's email
to the list.  There will also be time following the presentation for
questions and conversation so we can become more acquainted with other
members of the coaching community.

I am also pleased to inform you that this year's NDCA tournament will begin
on the evening of Friday April 11, 2014 with a Coaches Reception hosted by
the board from 7-10pm at the tournament hotel.  Many board members will be
in attendance and look forward to initiating and/or continuing discussions
with coaches in the community to identify opportunities for improvement
with the organization and community at large.

I look forward to seeing you.


Dana Randall
Director of Debate Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
Chairperson of the Board, National Debate Coaches Association

On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:29 AM, dana randall <danarandall at gmail.com>wrote:

> Dear NDCA Members,
> Although I have been chair since last fall, I wanted to reach out to you
> to both introduce myself and begin a dialogue about the important dynamics
> going on in our community.
> At the Emory tournament this past weekend, I was able to have many great
> conversations with debate coaches this weekend of all sorts.  These
> conversations really made me reassess what I wanted to achieve as a board
> member of this incredibly important organization.
> I ran for the board because its mission to support the development of
> coaches in the community really resonated with me.  I like many of you
> debated in high school and college.  My love of debate made the decision
> to become a coach the easiest and most rewarding of my life.  I was
> welcomed graciously into this community by the coaches most responsible for
> creating this organization - many of whom continue to be my personal heroes.
> For many years I took this for granted.  I rarely experienced the
> difficulty many new coaches do when they enter the profession - with
> forming relationships with their administration, parents, students, and
> with other programs.  It was only when I began to include travel to more
> regional tournaments that I understood the host of obstacles most coaches
> confront just to get their students four rounds of debate on any given
> Saturday.  The desire to pay forward the support I received from other
> educators in this field is why I chose to serve on the board of this
> organization.
> For the past eight years that I have traveled with the Carrollton debate
> program I have spent the majority of my time at each tournament with my
> eyes glued to my laptop in search of the most recently published article
> discussing W.'s/Obama's "political capital."  The legitimate concerns and
> brilliant ideas of my peers escaped my notice.  Last Friday night the
> impact to my lack of perspective was palpable.  One of our colleagues
> brought the recent debate in the Texas State Board of Education's decision
> to eliminate the high school speech communication course requirement to my
> attention.  I along with others was asked to contact the SBOE to provide
> insight regarding the value of speech communication instruction prior to
> the Board's final vote.  With only hours to elicit letters I, like many
> asked, was able quickly to provide dozens of testimonials to the Board
> about the impact of speech.  But I was left imagining how much of a
> greater impact we as a community could have provided with more time to
> mobilize.  I regretted more than ever my lack of information about the
> challenges faced by coaching colleagues.
> Challenges like this and obstacles to our pedagogical objectives are
> inevitable, but so are opportunities to facilitate the growth and evolution
> of this activity through conversation.
> In an effort to fulfill the commitment I made to this organization I would
> like to dedicate the time and thought necessary to fostering more dialogue
> among the educators in this community.  I believe the recent effort made
> by other coaches to make time to sit down with one another and understand
> the obstacles and opportunities we are each grappling with is exactly what
> is needed.  To this end the NDCA will announce several initiatives this
> spring to foster conversations at regional and national tournament.
> Please feel free to write me with any suggestions regarding this
> initiative.
> Sincerely,
> Dana Randall
> Director of Debate Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
> National Debate Coaches Association Chair
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