Toastmasters International Recognizes (Canton) GlenOak’s Nick Bollas

Submitted for OHIOspeaks by Vicky Nann, Toastmasters International District 10 Public Relations Manager

On Saturday, April 16, Toastmasters International District 10 (Northeastern Ohio) will present Canton-area resident Nick Bollas with the Communication and Leadership Award 2015-2016.  The Communication and Leadership award is presented by the District to a person in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader.

Toastmasters International District 10 is recognizing Mr. Bollas’s decades-long outstanding achievements in promoting public speaking and leadership.

Nick Bollas

The award will be presented at the Toastmasters District 10 spring conference at noon at the Johnson Center, Malone University, in Canton.  The address is 2600 Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton.

A graduate of Mount Union University and Kent State University, Mr. Bollas has been a high school speech coach since 1974.  Since then, he has coached thousands of students, including 254 students who qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association’s (NSDA) tournaments, and hundreds who went on to compete in the Ohio High School Speech League (OHSSL) state tournaments, where seven of them won in their event competitions.

Mr. Bollas has received the Diamond Award, the NSDA’s award for coaching success, three times.  He has earned the NSDA’s bronze, silver, and gold District Chair citations.

Mr. Bollas served on the board of the OHSSL for 15 years, and was elected chairman of the board for three years.  He was inducted into the OHSSL Hall of Fame by his peers in 2006 after decades of successful coaching and mentoring other speech coaches.

About Toastmasters District 10: District 10 comprises more than 100 corporate and community Toastmasters clubs in Northeastern Ohio and is one of 96 districts world-wide.  To learn more about District 10, please visit:

About Toastmasters International: Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.  Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization’s membership exceeds 332,000 in more than 15,400 clubs in 135 countries.  Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit Also, you can follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

“So, You Want to Host States, Huh?”

by Melissa Donahue, Mason High School (GMV)

 It was the eve of another OHSSL State Tournament….

 We were set to host over 1,200 competitors, coaches, and judges…. 

Teams would be arriving in less than 24 hours… Competitors were longing to talk to our walls… Only, I hadn’t made a single preparation….

I frantically awoke from a cold sweat the other night, realizing that my nightmarish dream was just that—a dream.

Fortunately, this year’s state tournament responsibilities will be dutifully executed by Alan Bates at Princeton High School, but with the State Finals returning to the Greater Miami Valley district this year, I’ve been reflecting upon my experiences as host in 2009 at Mason. Continue reading “So, You Want to Host States, Huh?”

OHSSL State Finals 2016: The T-Shirts Arrive

This weekend at Princeton all competitors, judges, and coaches (anyone!) will be able to purchase these cool t-shirts for only $10 each!

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Once they’re gone, they’re GONE, so be sure to purchase yours while supplies last!

COACHES: Don’t forget to pick up your team’s tournament booklets at registration on Thursday night at Princeton High School.  And don’t forget to give them to your students and judges before the tournament begins!  These booklets include schedules, maps, and other important information (plus quality reading for downtime between rounds).

Program Covers 2016

(These look pretty cool, too.)


OHSSL’s “Rep Your Event” Video Contest (2016)

The Ohio High School Speech League is excited to announce a creative opportunity for all current OHSSL student competitors!

Contest Rules & Guidelines:

  • Create a 1-minute video encapsulating what makes your OHSSL competitive event great.  Voiceovers, interviews, and demonstrating the event are all allowed.  There are multiple ways to present your message, but performance clips are encouraged.
  • All videos must be appropriate for public display.  Use discretion.
  • DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Sunday, February 21, 2016

Winning Entries:

  • All Grand Prize-winning videos (number to be determined by OHSSL Executive Committee, not to exceed one winner per event) will be shown at the State Tournament in Princeton, and their submitters/producers will be recognized at the State Tournament Awards Assembly;
  • Winning entries will be posted to the OHSSL’s YouTube channel (which itself will be “released” with the winning entries of this contest);
  • One of the finalists will win a $100 scholarship, which will be determined at the State Tournament in March 2016.

DISCLAIMER: By submitting a video to this contest, or by assisting with production of a video submitted to this contest, you acknowledge that OHSSL retains the right to use any submitted video, or portions (including still images) thereof, for promotional purposes.

Lights!  Camera!  Action!  We look forward to seeing your creative visions.

New Year’s Message from Rich Kawolics – Chair of the OHSSL Executive Committee

Dear Ohio Speech and Debate Community:

As I opened my Facebook three days after Christmas, an item from Poland Seminary coach Jodi West caught my eye. Her post linked to a petition from former competitors in the Virginia High School League (VHSL, the state speech and debate organization) asking the League leadership to move the state speech and debate tournament from Liberty University, the private school that has hosted the event for the past several years. The petitioners were responding to comments made by Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. in which he encouraged his students to carry weapons as protection against the perceived threat from Muslims. Falwell later qualified his words – “If more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in” (1) – to refer only to “Muslim terrorists”, not to all Muslims. But for the petitioners, the implication of Falwell’s words, however qualified, was all too clear: Muslims are not welcome at Liberty University. Continue reading New Year’s Message from Rich Kawolics – Chair of the OHSSL Executive Committee

Revezzo Coaching Citation

At the DeceVezmber 2015 meeting of the OHSSL Executive Committee, a motion was passed to modify the John Revezzo Coaching Citation.

After implementing the original Revezzo Coaching Citation process, the Executive Committee discovered flaws with the means of awarding points towards conferring Revezzo Coaching Citations.

As a result, a more simplified approach will be taken:  The coach of the State Champion entry in each event at the State Tournament will have his/her accomplishments recognized with a Revezzo Coaching Citation Plaque. Continue reading Revezzo Coaching Citation

Welcome to the *NEW* Ohio Speaks!

The Ohio High School Speech League is excited to announce the beginning of a new format for our publication, Ohio Speaks!  Moving forward, Ohio Speaks will publish content regularly in this forum.  Watch for announcements, updates, articles, and other items of interest!