The Road to States: Another Look Back

Updated-headshotBW.pdfThis weekend’s Opening Ceremony will feature speeches from three new OSDA Coaches’ Hall of Fame inductees (Dolores Muller, Alan Bates, and Jason Habig).  In preparation for these upcoming speeches, here is a look back at one of last year’s inductees, Holly Custer of Wooster High School.

Can you remember a time when your life changed?

Maybe it was a big life event—like a wedding, a birth, or a death.  Or maybe it was a smaller change, like starting a new job or making a new friend.  We all have moments in our lives that help shape and define who we are and whom we will become.  For me, one of the most definitive moments of change happened in the spring of my eighth-grade year.  That spring, I said “yes” to speech and debate, and that decision completely altered the trajectory of my life. Continue reading The Road to States: Another Look Back

The Road to States: A Look Back

Penny HarrisThis weekend’s Opening Ceremony will feature speeches from three new OSDA Coaches’ Hall of Fame inductees (Dolores Muller, Alan Bates, and Jason Habig).  In preparation for these upcoming speeches, here is a look back at one of last year’s inductees, Penny Harris of Canton Central Catholic.

According to one famous comedian, “Life isn’t something you possess.  It’s something you take part in, and you witness.”  Thank you, Cleveland, for welcoming us to “The LAND.” The Land where we are all witnesses. Where Lebron James proved that a dream fueled by dedication, drive, and vision can be achieved.  How appropriate that The Land is hosting the OHSSL State Championship.

We may flex different muscles in speech and debate, but we share a few common denominators: similarities such as passion, competitiveness, and heart.  We are all witnesses to the power and effectiveness of speech and debate.  I am so honored to be standing here to join this group of individuals for whom I have the utmost respect, but no one stands alone in The Land.  Many people stand with me—including all of you.

We are all witnesses.  What I want to share with you now is my witness: how I got here; what I’ve witnessed; and why I love The Land.

I’m just a girl from Canton. Continue reading The Road to States: A Look Back

Motivation for 2016-17: Reflecting on March

 

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2016 HOF Inductee Amy Roediger (Shaker Hts.; Mentor, CLE)

The following is another memorable speech from March’s HOF Induction Ceremony in Princeton, given by Amy Roediger of Mentor (Cleveland).

May it inspire you and your team in preparation for the upcoming season.

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March 4, 2016 – Princeton HS (GMV) – State Finals

Before I say anything else, I want to express my congratulations to Missy [Stertzbach, fellow inductee] and also recognize Pam Pesa, Dale Schilling, and Chad Ries.  I would be thrilled to be included in just a sentence with these people; to have shared the Hall-of-Fame ballot with them is such an honor.

A lot of people are talking this season about the use of visual aids in Informative Speaking, so it must be a little-known fact that visual aids have been allowed in Congress for some time.  In fact, a couple of years ago, I suggested to my Congress team that we start bringing a felt board to tournaments so that we could make spontaneous visual aids as we needed them.

We could place different-colored people on the board to match up with statistics like “Three out of five people support a piece of legislation…,” or use pieces of circles to make pie charts.  Well, I got that far before one of my Congress kids placed a circle on the board and said, “One hundred percent of us think this is a terrible idea.”

Somehow, though, when I would be the one speaking in front of 1200 people, they suddenly thought the felt board was a tremendous idea.  I guess there is no turning back now, so here are my 10 words and a felt board.

One of the many things I love about Amy is that she cares passionately about all of the students who do this activity, not just those from Mentor.  She often asks about a specific student of mine who just placed for the first time, or who is back competing after some time off, and it isn’t because she is being “creepy-competitive”—but rather because she really wants the best for every student.  Of her many amazing qualities, this is the best.

–Jason Habig, Hathaway Brown

Continue reading Motivation for 2016-17: Reflecting on March

Seeking inspiration for 2016-17? Look back to March

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Coach Stertzbach of Hoover HS (Canton), 2016 OHSSL HOF Inductee

As the 2016-17 Forensics season draws ever closer, the tasks of recruiting, auditioning, organizing, coaching, and hosting (among others) can seem daunting.

OHIOspeaks reminds coaches to be positive and to look back at States 2016 in Princeton for inspiration.  Remember, you can find videos of both the opening- and closing ceremonies at the OHSSL website.

Here is a closer look at one of the HOF speeches from this past March, from Missy Stertzbach of Hoover (Canton).  May it inspire you and your fellow coaches.

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March 4, 2016 – Princeton HS (GMV) – OHSSL State Finals

For most of us in this room, it’s all about the words.  After all, that’s what we do.  We talk.

So, of course, I decided to start out by breaking it down by the numbers.

My speech-and-debate ride began 31 years ago: four as a student; two as a judge; and 24 as a coach.  I’ve coached over 500 students, with this many qualifiers and that many champions.  By the numbers, that about sums up my speech-and-debate career.  So, I guess I’m done here.  Thank you very much!

Okay, so about half of you were thinking, “Yes! She’s done!”  But those who know me well know that there is no way I am going to pass up the opportunity to force this many people to listen to me.

So—what do those numbers really mean?  For me, speech and debate has been so much more than those numbers.  It has made me who I am.  The lessons I have learned have, indeed, been life-changing.  Truthfully, it’s been some kind of ride and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Lesson #1: Never let a bump in the road derail you from your ride.

My first coach, David (we’ll stick with just a first name here to protect the not-so-innocent), retired at the end of my freshman year, and when I think back, I can’t actually remember ever practicing with him—not once.  I realized, even then, that I wasn’t a priority; he didn’t think I had a future in speech and debate.  The fact is, that could have been the end of this entire journey.  Except up ahead on the road were Barbara Barthel (you’ve met her) and Angela Smith, who believed in me and showed me how great speech could be.  And…the rest is history.

So, David, look where my ride has taken me.

Missy has been a huge reason why the Tusky Valley team has been so successful as a “four-year team.”  Her support and knowledge as a mentor has given us the tools we need to grow.

— Carrie Spina and Cierra Spina, Tusky Valley

Continue reading Seeking inspiration for 2016-17? Look back to March