Subject: Summary of Speech and Debate Parent Meeting, September 29th, 2009 1. Attendance: About 30 parents of new and returning speech and debate team members were in attendance for the first parents meeting of the year.
2. Meet and Greet:
The meeting began with all parents in attendance introducing themselves, detailing their students' speech and debate team experience, if any, and which events their student(s) may participate in this year. At the same time a yellow pad circulated for parents to list their names, student names, parents phone number(s), addresses, and email address (very important!).
Carol Lintz described briefly the multiple and critical roles that parents perform on the Needham High School Speech and debate team: driving, judging, preparing students, and hosting the home tournament. Parents out of necessity are more involved in the operation of this student activity than in any other.
4. Coach Paul Wexler: Mr. Paul Wexler, team coach and NHS history teacher, spoke at length about:
- his background in speech and debate: - 10 years at NHS, 16 overall - largest team in Massachusetts Forensic League (MFL) having a single head coach for speech and debate - largest such program that is operated outside of school curriculum - home phone 781-647-0802 cell phone 781-330-6610
- practice schedule - Tuesday and Wednesday evenings: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM or later - Thursday afterschool: 3:00 PM - - there may also be Monday afternoon scrimmages @ Manchester
- tournament schedule - tournaments are usually one day events on Saturdays - specific tournaments may have speech and/or debate events - see team website for complete schedule http://needhamdebate.com/ - first tournament for novices on Saturday October 10 at Catholic Memorial High School - for novices students only - - new judge training for speech events separate from ongoing novice tournament - judges needed for tournament, varsity team members desired - drivers to be needed, how many will be known after students have registered
- speech and debate events - 18 speech events to chose from - described various events, such as Lincoln - Douglas (LD) debate, preparation required, how many rounds in which students participate, judges required - preparation varies per event, may involve research (debate events, Congress), rehearsal for all - LD debate 4-5 rounds, competition is 1 on 1, 1 judge, winners and losers work through brackets - speech, such as Novice Reading, 3 rounds, 6 students in room perform in random order, 1 judge - ex temp (current events) - 1 student in room at a time, 1 judge - judge score sheets, with constructive criticism, are all returned to students via Mr. Wexler at next practice
- parent judging - no experience necessary - speech and debate tournaments cannot operate without volunteer parent judges - 1 judge needed for every 3 debate students entered, 1 for every 5 speech students entered) - team can db disqualified from tournaments if not enough judges volunteer - judge training for speech events to be held at Catholic Memorial on October 10: 9:30 - noon - judge training for debate and speech events to provided at next parents' meeting on October 13
- what is expected at tournaments - boys are expected to wear shirts and ties at minimum, jackets are usually worn - girls are expected to dress as one would going to work in an office - everyone should bring money to buy lunch and snacks - students are expected to stay for the whole tournament - when they finish their events, students are expected to stay and watch finals, to root for their team-mates, etc. - students may bring along homework
- first tournament for novices on Saturday October 10 at Catholic Memorial High School - for novices students only - student sign-up/registration by October 7 - tournament registration is usually $5 per student - registered students must attend event unless very ill or in case of emergency - tournament head counts need to be accurate or tournament operation is disrupted - team is fined by MFL for no shows - new judge training for speech events separate from ongoing novice tournament - judges needed for tournament, varsity team members desired - drivers to be needed, how many will be known after students have registered
- home tournament: This year the Needham team will have its home tournament on Saturday, March 20, 2010. This is the last scheduled tournament of the season and the last opportunity formstudents to qualify for the state tournament. As before, the parents group will organize and run the food concession. In addition to being a necessary service, this is our primary fundraiser. Proceeds from the concession provide funds for research materials for the team and help to defray travel expenses for those team members who attend national competitions. Everyone is needed during the day to help with set-up, serving, clean-up, etc. It's a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun.
5. Webmaster Terry Furman:
Terry is the webmaster for the website Friends of Needham Speech and Debate. Please check it out for tournament schedules, FAQs, team pictures, and other good information and links. The website is fairly new and still growing.
6. Transportation Coordinator Mary Ann Riordan:
Mary Ann Riordan is the returning parent driver coordinator. Ashok Mehta will be the co-coordinator with Mary Ann this year. All speech and debate events, except the home tournament, need parent drivers to drive the signed up students to the tournaments. All parents should contribute with driving during the tournament season. If all parents participate it makes life much easier for the students, Mr. Wexler, and the coordinators. Drivers are needed to transport 3 - 6 students or guest judges each: - to tournaments, leaving from 7:00 or 7:45 AM on Saturday depending on tournament site - from tournaments, returning after awards given, anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 PM or so, depending on the tournament - both, if driver(s) are also judges - special events, like Manchester two day tournament, that needs Friday afternoon drivers - Mary Ann or Ashok will distribute email to parents on Wednesday/Thursday before tournaments after student head count is known asking for X number of drivers - parents may volunteer in advance for specific tournaments if they wish - students may not drive to tournaments - 2 drivers, Jeffrey Samet and Diane Browne, will be driving 6 speech students to Yale - 3 drivers, Jeffrey Samet, Carol Linz, and Doug McFadden will be 14 students and coaches back from Yale on Sunday (news as of Thursday October 1)
7. Treasurer Carol Lintz:
Carol is the team treasurer. She distributed a balance sheet of club finances showing a current balance of $4211.48. This balance has already deducted the cost of Amtrak tickets to the Yale tournament this weekend. Mr. Wexler, Mike Lintz (team alumnus, Olin College student, and new team assistant debate coach), and 7 students are traveling to New Haven via Amtrak early on Friday.
8. Chairwoman Carol Urwitz:
Carol is the chair of the organization. She announced that the 3 senior students had written a fund raising letter over the summer and that the club had received its first donation of $25.00.
9. Next Meeting:
The next parents meeting is set for Tuesday October 13 at 7:00 PM.