FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2014

Speech and Debate USA Places 3rd in Practice Tournament Sweepstakes 

Speech and Debate USA started the 2014-2015 season with distinction.  All three Speech and Debate USA students who attended a practice tournament at the beginning of the month won awards—a hopeful indicator for the upcoming NCFCA Regional Qualifiers.  The students also felt well prepared to compete and blessed to be part of a club and league that emphasizes communication for Christ.

Wheaton, IL – At the Ignite practice tournament—the first tournament attended by Speech and Debate USA students this season—Bailey Brown earned 3rd in sweepstakes, for placing well in multiple events.  Her sisters, Hannah and Sarah, also competed and placed in multiple speech events.

All three of the Browns, who have competed in NCFCA before, found it a bit difficult to start speaking again at the start of a new season.  “It was a challenge, since it was the first time I had spoken in a while…there was a lot of mental rehearsing pre (and, not gonna' lie, post) speech rounds,” Sarah, who placed 2nd in Informative, said.

The Browns had joined Speech and Debate USA and affiliated with a new region (Region VI) before the start of the season “to decrease the amount of travel time in an attempt to increase the academic focus.”  Bailey found the first tournament in a new region especially challenging, but in the end she enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people: “I was a bit nervous going into our first tournament in a new region, but I really enjoyed it.  I met many new people, so it was quite a relaxed environment,” she explained.

The Brown sisters also felt that Speech and Debate USA prepared them well for speaking.  “Although we have only been a few months with Speech and Debate USA,” Hannah, who placed 1st in Illustrated Oratory and 2nd in Persuasive, mentioned,  “I am enjoying it, and appreciate the effort that the coaches and fellow students contribute through feedback, constructive criticism, and encouragement.”  Bailey added that “…the coaches are great and very encouraging.”

Speech and Debate USA’s focus on communication for Christ was a large factor in the Brown’s success and enjoyment of the tournament.  Hannah, who mentioned that she was able to remember all the coaching “tips and tricks” after prayer before approaching the judging table, said she felt comfortable representing Speech and Debate USA at the tournament.  “The coaches are not only committed to helping students succeed at tournaments, but are also interested in embodying the true essence of well-rounded communication skills,” she expounded. “Without a doubt, the objective of the club and the NCFCA is to teach students to ‘do all to the glory of God alone.’”


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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com
  



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2014

Speech and Debate USA Names New President 

Speech and Debate USA, a national student-led speech and debate club that meets online, has named its new president for the 2014-2015 season. The president is responsible for oversight of the club: leading the Regional Directors in the ten U.S. Regions of the club, leading weekly meetings, and managing the Board of Director meetings. 

Glen Ellyn, IL – Yesterday, the Speech and Debate USA Board of Directors unanimously voted Craig Chinchilla Jr. as the new president of Speech and Debate USA. Craig, the former Region VI Director, ascended to the position with ease. “Craig has worked closely with me on the club,” said Olyvia Chinchilla, the former two-term president who was tasked with appointing a successor. “…It is only natural for Craig to take over, and I know that he will take Speech and Debate USA to new heights.”

Craig, a good-natured, tall fellow who plays the trumpet and naturally commands an authoritative presence, felt honored to be named the next president. “Leading Speech and Debate USA—a national corporation—is a large responsibility, and I am grateful for the opportunity.” His aim for the one-year term is to increase membership in new states, effectively run club meetings, and continue to support members while they are at tournaments. “All of our members make the club, and it is a privilege to serve them…” he said.

Olyvia, meanwhile, is heading to Northwestern University (in Evanston, IL) in the fall. There she plans to major in Economics, as well as to remain active in Speech and Debate USA—as treasurer, board member, and webmaster. “I can’t help but continue to give back to the speech and debate community; many, many skills I will use in college are due to the activity, and I want others to have the same opportunity.”

Speech and Debate USA meetings begin in early September, and the entire board is preparing for the upcoming season. Several coaches will be announced this coming week, and all the positions are being finalized soon. “We are excited that several coaches have chosen to return this year, and the new additions to our team will make an excellent fit as well,” Craig declared.

President Chinchilla is beginning his term with a trip to an Ethos Team Policy debate camp in South Carolina next week. “There is nothing like preparing for the season with a full-week camp,” he acknowledges. “It will also be fun to meet new people and learn in a different Region…I’m looking forward to it, and I am eager to start the season with excellence.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2014

Speech and Debate USA Coach of the Year Winners Announced

 Speech and Debate USA, a national, student-led speech and debate club, is coached by numerous well-known speech and debate alumni.  In May, students of the club cast their vote for the Coach of the Year, to honor the service of the coaches throughout the season.  The winners of the award were featured in the 2014 NCFCA National Championship Commemorative Program and will receive a prize for their excellence.

Purcellville, VA – This week, Speech and Debate USA announced the long-anticipated outcome of its students’ vote for Coach of the Year.  Haley Kirychuk was named the 2014 Speech and Debate USA “Speech Coach of the Year” and John Bush was named the 2014 Speech and Debate USA “Debate Coach of the Year.”

Both Haley and John are former NCFCA Hall of Fame winners, having placed first in Impromptu (2011) and first in Team Policy debate (2013), respectively.  “We were honored to have Haley and John coach the club this season, and we heartily congratulate them on their most recent accomplishment,” said Olyvia Chinchilla, the current President of Speech and Debate USA.

Haley Kirychuk felt honored to receive the award and thankful for the opportunity to coach.  She felt particularly humbled, since she realizes the competitiveness of the award: “I know the other coaches involved with Speech and Debate USA are very capable and any of them could have received this award, so I am very grateful for this honor,” Haley said.

John Bush was similarly grateful to receive the award.  “It is a huge honor to be recognized as Speech and Debate USA's debate coach of the year,” said John.  For John, the opportunity to coach was extra “wonderful.”  “Living overseas prevented me from competing in forensics my last year,” explained John who is a senior in high school, “but Speech and Debate USA helped fill that gap, it was a true blessing.”

The students and leadership of Speech and Debate USA felt blessed as well.  “Indeed, all of the coaches were invaluable throughout the year,” commented Craig Chinchilla Jr., the current Region VI Director.  “Next year, we would love to have several coaches returning—and we hope that no matter who is ultimately selected, they will live up to the spirit of excellence set by Haley, John, and the remainder of our 2013-2014 Team.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2014

Voting Ends for Speech and Debate USA Coaches of the Year

Speech and Debate USA, a student-led, on-line speech and debate club, is coached by numerous speech and debate alumni—both across the United States and overseas.  With a slate comprised of well-known NCFCA National Championship winners, Speech and Debate USA’s first speech Coach of the Year and Debate Coach of the Year awards are highly anticipated.

Glen Ellyn, IL – Voting has ended for two highly anticipated awards: the Speech and Debate USA Speech Coach of the Year, and the Speech and Debate USA Debate Coach of the Year.  The purpose of the awards is to reward the coaches for their work.  “We have an all-volunteer coaching staff, and their generosity and excellence can not be overstated,” said Olyvia Chinchilla, the President & Acting Director of Speech and Debate USA.

The four debate coaches and five speech coaches of the 2014 Speech and Debate USA coaching staff were responsible for attending weekly meetings, instructing, critiquing speeches, assisting with debate cases and counterplans, and everything in between.  Most recently, the coaches are even responsible for writing a weekly “Tip of the Week,” a new Speech and Debate USA offer that is available to both members and non-members alike.  “The coaches make our club,” Olyvia reiterated.  “…really, we were blessed with an amazing coaching staff this year.” 

Voting was open to all members of Speech and Debate USA, and ended on Tuesday.  The response was positive from all of the members.  One speech member, from Florida (NCFCA Region VIII) voted for his choice because of the “connection” the coach aptly made between book knowledge and real-world speaking.

Nonetheless, several members also expressed difficulty in deciding before casting their vote.  “It is a difficult decision to make regarding who to vote for,” exclaimed Craig Chinchilla Jr., the Region VI Regional Director.  “Speech and debate USA has a wonderful group of hard working individuals, who helped make this year a success!”

Such a talented group of coaches is what makes Speech and Debate USA stand out.  The competition also makes the awards all the more anticipated.  It remains to be seen who will win.  The winners will be announced during the NCFCA National Championship in Purcellville, Virginia, on June 9-13.


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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2014

Speech and Debate USA Finishes Strong at the Region VI Invitational

The Speech and Debate USA Team Policy debate team of Chinchilla/Chinchilla ended the Region VI Regional Invitational tournament with a 13th place final finish. An unpredictable tournament for many other teams, Regionals solidified Chinchilla/Chinchilla’s reputation as both a solid affirmative and negative team. One of Speech and Debate USA’s members was also honored to receive a phone call offering an “At Large” invitation to Nationals in an Individual Event.

Greenwood, IN – The Regional Invitational marked the last Regional tournament of the year for Region VI—the tournament that would determine which teams advance to the National Championship. Speech and Debate USA was honored to have a Team Policy debate team vie for one of the slots, as well as multiple speakers compete in numerous individual events.

The Team Policy debate team of Craig Chinchilla Jr. and Olyvia Chinchilla advanced to Octafinals with a winning record. They faced Lueken/McLean in a “flip round.” “We were hoping to hit them all year, so this was a great round,” Craig Jr. said. After Myles McLean was asked to call the flip and correctly chose “heads,” Chinchilla/Chinchilla was set to debate negative.

The close round, on ballot-counting of Primary elections, was watched by many spectators, and the judges were well-pleased. Although the judges sided with the affirmative team in the end, the decision was nowhere near obvious. Following the round, an alumni judge commended the negative team for their excellent job. He wrote in his Reason for Decision that he “Went into the 2AR [2nd Affirmative Rebuttal, the last speech of the round] leaning negative.” “It was one of those close ‘ping-pong rounds,’” Olyvia mused. “In those rounds, aff wins, because they have the last word.”

The round was bittersweet, since it determined who would go to Nationals; all of the Quarterfinal teams, as well as the 9th place team, qualified directly to Nationals. “It’s kind of difficult being so close, yet so far away,” Craig Jr. sighed. Chinchilla/Chinchilla placed 13th, so their chances of receiving a “Roll-down” (when a higher-ranked team declines) or an “At Large” position (for doing well all year) are slim if still possible. “We are a couple slots away both in Roll-downs and AL…but I guess God has a reason for that,” Craig Jr. stated. “For me and the rest of Speech and Debate USA, there is always next year,” he smiled.

Olyvia, who is a senior, was honored to break to semifinals in Impromptu and Informative. After giving once of her best Informative rounds ever, and giving a creative Impromptu speech, she fell just short of advancing to finals. However, she was delighted to receive a call after the tournament, offering her an “At Large” Informative spot to Nationals, for ranking well all year. The Regional Coordinator stated that she was “first in line to represent Region VI,” a challenge she readily embraces. “I’ll do my best to represent Region VI, NCFCA, Speech and Debate USA—and, most importantly, Christ,” Olyvia promised. “God has a reason for everything: I’ll spread my message—do my best—and pray that my audience is blest!”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2014


Speech and Debate USA Places 14th in Team Policy at NCFCA MN National Open

The Speech and Debate USA Team Policy debate team of Chinchilla/Chinchilla ended its first National Open tournament of the year with a 14th place final finish.  Both members of the team felt honored to compete among many Nationals-level teams. They also felt that being a part of Speech and Debate USA—which meets online and is the only national NCFCA club—prepared them well for the tournament, since they are used to working with members from across the country.

St. Paul, MN – After ending their six preliminary rounds with a winning record, the team of Olyvia Chinchilla and Craig Chinchilla Jr. advanced to a “hidden” Octafinal round at the NCFCA Minnesota National Open.  Three rounds during the same period were Double Octafinals, so Olyvia and Craig Jr. were happy to find out at the next announcement that they were high enough of a seed to vie directly for Quarterfinals.

NCFCA, National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, is the third-largest speech and debate league in the country.  It is divided into ten Regions, which each hold 4-5 Regional Qualifying tournaments each year.  In addition to Regional Qualifiers, the league holds 2-3 National Opens, where students from across the country can compete and qualify directly to the National Championship with high enough placings.

Chinchilla/Chinchilla fell just short of advancing, after debating negative against the team that ended up taking third overall.  According to one debater, Chinchilla/Chinchilla was a “fingernail” away from advancing, and the split decision among the judges confirmed that analysis.  Both teams enjoyed the round, which was over the issue of military member enfranchisement, and Chinchilla/Chinchilla learned some valuable lessons.

“I guess my 2NR [Second Negative Rebuttal, the last negative speech of the round] refutation has to be tighter,” Olyvia said.  “I think two points, both refuting a previous argument better and ‘spiking’ a future argument, would have changed the outcome of the round.”  Craig added, “We all know that repetition doesn’t equal refutation, and it is critical to implement that mantra during close rounds when one point makes the difference.”

Olyvia Chinchilla was excited to win 11th place in Team Policy debate speaker awards.  At a National Open tournament, many of the debaters attending will later go on to place high at the National Championship.  “The opportunity to compete among Nationals debaters is great,” Olyvia mentioned, “It is an honor to be named one of the top speakers when measured against those competitors.” 

Both Olyvia and Craig Jr. also appreciated the national aspect of the tournament, since they were able to meet many new people and spread the word about Speech and Debate USA.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able meet people from across the U.S., many of whom know friends who can’t do speech and debate because they don’t have a club,” Craig stated.  “We received a lot of interest and promises to spread the word about Speech and Debate USA.”

Olyvia added, “The whole purpose of Speech and Debate USA is to incorporate those into speech and debate who otherwise couldn’t participate in the activity due to a lack of a club… Meeting others nation-wide who share our vision of increasing speech and debate participation is both encouraging and promising for the future of Speech and Debate USA.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2014


Innovation Fuels 4th Place Speech and Debate USA NCFCA IN Qualifier Win

The Speech and Debate USA Team Policy team of Chinchilla/Chinchilla ended the 2nd Regional Qualifying tournament of the season with a 4th place final finish. Unlike the more than 50 competing teams, however, Chinchilla/Chinchilla has not practiced debating another team in person this season.  They have not worked with their coaches face-to-face either. Why? Their club is the only league affiliate to meet online, with coaches spanning the globe.

Indianapolis, IN – The team of Olyvia Chinchilla and Craig Chinchilla Jr. debated its way to Team Policy semifinals at the 2nd NCFCA Regional Qualifying tournament of the season. They ended the tournament after a close round against the team that went on to win the tournament and has already qualified to Nationals at the Idaho National Open. Observers of the semifinal round noted the excellent argumentation “clash” between the sides and the superior speaking skills of the debaters—overall “well done” according to one of the judges.

NCFCA, National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, is the third-largest speech and debate league in the country. It is divided into ten Regions, which each hold 4-5 Regional Qualifying tournaments each year.  Chinchilla/Chinchilla, from IL, is a member of Region VI, the six-state Midwest Region of NCFCA.

Geography does not bind Chinchilla/Chinchilla, however. Unlike opponents at the tournament, Chinchilla/Chinchilla is not a member of a local club, but rather a national club with chapters in each NCFCA Region.  Members in their club, Speech and Debate USA, range from Hawaii, to Florida, to Indiana.

Sounds like a travel hassle to meet once each week? Not really: club members are only clicks away from each other, because they meet online.  Does it work?  Apparently so, given the 4th place finish.

Olyvia Chinchilla, attributes the success of her and her partner to Speech and Debate USA’s coaches. “Our excellent coaches are the backbone of our success…John Bush, who won Nationals last year, in particular has been really great.  He coaches from Ukraine—and because we meet online, we have that opportunity,” Olyvia said.

The club is still relatively new, only in its second year of existence, but it is rapidly gaining members and has thus far proved the value of its existence.  Craig Chinchilla Jr., is focused on his team’s prospects for future success.  With a smile and a nod he added, “As we gather more members and research, you’ll hear more about Chinchilla/Chinchilla and Speech and Debate USA.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2014


Speech and Debate USA Places 6th in Joliet, IL Qualifier Speech Sweepstakes


The Speech and Debate USA speech team ended the 3rd NCFCA (National Christian Forensics and Communications Association) Region VI Regional Qualifying tournament of the season with a 6th place final finish. Olyvia Chinchilla, leading the speech team, placed in four individual events— Apologetics, Illustrated Oratory, Impromptu, and Informative. Weekly practice and coaching sessions—all conducted online—have sharpened the speaking skills of Speech and Debate USA members.

Joliet, IL – At the 3rd NCFCA Region VI Regional Qualifying tournament of the season, Olyvia Chinchilla placed 5th in Apologetics, 4th in Illustrated Oratory, made Semifinals in Impromptu speaking, and placed 2nd in Informative speaking. Her high placements in the Individual Events earned her a sixth place final placement in Sweepstakes, for high placement in three or more speech categories.

Impromptu and Apologetics are considered “Limited Preparation” events, where the speaker prepares for two minutes and four minutes, respectively, for a five and six minute speech. Olyvia felt particularly blessed to deliver her third Apologetics speech in preliminary rounds to an audience that included a community judge. “Sometimes you wonder whether you have used an example too many times in Limited Prep speeches,” she said. “When I walked into my last preliminary Apol round, I realized that I was communicating a message (even if similar from round-to-round) that could have a lasting impact on my judges for good.”

Olyvia’s passion for sharing her message came through: in that round she received a “picket fence,” when all of the judges on the panel rank the speaker first in his or her room.

Olyvia was also particularly excited to “break” (compete in outrounds and qualify to Regionals) in her Illustrated Oratory speech. The speech on the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta was well-received, and several of the judges mentioned on their ballots that they were so intrigued they had to remind themselves to keep judging rather than simply observing. “I really just love sharing about the Regatta,” Olyvia said, “I have wanted to do an IO [Illustrated Oratory] on the Regatta for years now…I couldn’t graduate without doing that,” Olyvia, who is a senior, mentioned.

Speech and Debate USA also fielded a winning Team Policy debate team at the IL Qualifier, held at St. Francis University in Joliet. Olyvia Chinchilla and Craig Chinchilla Jr. debated in Double Octafinals after finishing their six preliminary rounds with a 4-2 record. They were knocked out on a split decision among the three judges. The close negative round was against a team running a case on felon enfranchisement. Observers, who included Maria Rodriguez a candidate for IL lieutenant governor, noted the quality of the debate—“excellent job” according to one of the judges.

Craig Chinchilla Jr., acknowledged that the team’s main goal is to gather more evidence before the next tournament, the Minnesota National Open the following week. “We still have research to do, but the momentum is positive and we have high hopes for Minnesota.” Olyvia Chinchilla added: “With our coaches and club, I’m sure we can make it happen.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2014

Speech and Debate USA Places 8th in Team Policy at NCFCA OH Qualifier

The Speech and Debate USA Team Policy debate team of Chinchilla/Chinchilla ended the last Regional Qualifying tournament of the year with an 8th place final finish. The tournament was the last in a series of qualifying tournaments, before the Regional Invitational at the beginning of May. Heading into that tournament with positive momentum, the team feels they can continue to advance with help from their innovative online club, Speech and Debate USA.

West Chester, OH – Commonly referred to as the “Buckeye Blast,” the last NCFCA Region VI Regional Qualifier of the year brought not only a blast of cold air to the area from a Chicago team, but also a stunning debate upset. The Speech and Debate USA Team Policy debate team of Olyvia Chinchilla and Craig Chinchilla Jr. knocked out the highest seed at the tournament in Octafinals, during an affirmative round.

After winning the coin toss—the method of determining which team supports or negates the resolution, “affirmative or “negative,” when neither team has faced each other during the six preliminary rounds—Chinchilla/Chinchilla chose to go affirmative. “It was basically like a re-match of round five at the Minnesota Open,” Olyvia said. “At the Open, we hit Bock/Bock, lost with an alumni judge who gave great feedback, tightened our aff strategy, and were well-prepared this time.”

The Ohio Octafinal round was hotly contested, with both sides disputing a crucial piece of evidence.

In the end, the logic and real-world examples of the affirmative team won the day. “It’s true that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’; it’s also true, so to speak in debate, that an example is worth a thousand points,” Olyvia chuckled.

Both Craig Jr. and Olyvia enjoyed the debate round immensely. “It’s true that competition brings out the best,” Craig Jr. mused. “We both gave our best in that round, which made for a fun debate.”

In addition to their debating success, Craig Jr. and Olyvia also advanced to outrounds in Informative speaking. Craig Jr. ended as a semi-finalist, and Olyvia placed 7th overall.

In debate Quarterfinals, Chinchilla/Chinchilla lost a negative round against an affirmative case similar to their own. “Switching mindsets can sometimes be difficult,” Olyvia acknowledged. In this round that was one of the issues…by the time we probed the affirmative’s weakest points, and realized their strongest argument, it was the end of the round—and aff gets the last word.” Craig Jr. chimed in, “What we hope to do when debating negative in the future is to get the issues out earlier, making it easier for us to negate the aff arguments.”

Moving into Regionals, Chinchilla/Chinchilla already has a slew of evidence briefs, counterplans, and arguments in the works. “Hopefully we’ll see more re-matches at Regionals…along with some fun and challenging new surprises,” says Craig Jr. “As Speech and Debate USA members who have lots of coaches to help us out, we feel ready to tackle the rounds ahead.”

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/ or contact Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com    




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 17, 2015


​Speech and Debate USA Announces Coach of Year Award Winners

Speech and Debate USA, a national, student-led speech and debate club, is coached by numerous well-known speech and debate alumni.  At the end of each competitive year, students of the club cast their vote for the Coach of the Year, to honor the service of the coaches throughout the season.  The winners of the award are featured in the 2015 NCFCA National Championship Commemorative Program and will receive a prize for their excellence.

St Paul, MN – Speech and Debate USA has announced its Speech Coach of the Year and Debate Coach of the Year for the 2014-2015 season, which ends this week, after the NCFCA National Championship in St. Paul at the University of Northwestern.  Rachel Bechtel, Apologetics coach, has been named the “Speech Coach of the Year” and Alexandra Chinchilla, Team Policy debate coach, has been named the “Debate Coach of the Year.”

​Both Rachel and Alexandra are former National competitors, with Rachel Marathoning (competing in five speech events) at Nationals in 2014 and advancing to finals, semifinals, or quarterfinals in all five events—and Alexandra competing at Nationals in 2010 and 2011.  “Rachel and Alexandra were fantastic coaches, with their expertise and enthusiasm—and we were blessed by their dedication this year,” said Craig Chinchilla Jr., the current Speech and Debate USA President.  “We congratulate them on winning this competitive award, a token of Speech and Debate USA students’ appreciation for their assistance.”

Rachel, who graduated from NCFCA last year, mentioned she “loved” coaching and said she felt honored and blessed to receive the Speech Coach of the Year award.  More important to her, however, was the blessing of coaching: “Over all, the award means little to me in comparison to the friendship and fellowship with which the Lord blessed our small apologetics group,” she exclaimed.  “I saw so many wonderful things – growth, courage, kindness – in each of the students this year. Most of all, I saw the Lord working in and through them… what a joy!”

Similarly, Alexandra, who is currently a PhD Candidate in International Relations at the University of Chicago, said she was “honored to receive this award, in light of Speech and Debate USA's great coaching line up.”  She continued, “…since the students themselves choose the winners of this award, it really meant a lot to hear I had connected with the students…”  For Alexandra, her favorite memory of the year occurred at the last official meeting of the season.  “I felt a bit emotional saying goodbye to the students I worked with for a whole year,” she explained.  “I felt like I got to know them pretty well and I was so proud of all they learned. It was great to just have that moment to reflect on the year and to see that all our hard work was worth it.”

The students of Speech and Debate USA also felt grateful for the year of work with the coaches and other Speech and Debate USA members.  As Hannah Brown, of Region VI said earlier in the year, she “…appreciate[s] the effort that the coaches and fellow students contribute through feedback, constructive criticism, and encouragement.”  Hannah and Sarah Brown are competing at the National Championship in Minnesota this week.  As the season draws to a close, Speech and Debate USA is looking to the future with enthusiasm.  “We thank all our members and coaches for their hard work and hope that many will join us again next year,” said President Craig Chinchilla Jr.

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Speech and Debate USA is a national, student-led speech and debate club that meets online to prepare its members for competition in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) league. For more information, please visit: http://speechanddebateusa.com/or contact
Speech and Debate USA: Info@speechanddebateusa.com