Staff Staff Awards

Speech and Debate Teacher Molly Beck Receives First Diamond Coach Award

Design of a shooting star

Congratulations to the high school’s speech and debate teacher, Molly Beck, on being recognized with the prestigious Diamond Coach Award! This award is bestowed from the National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society to those with professional careers that combine excellence and longevity in speech and debate.

Check out the news release below:

Local Coach Earns National Recognition

DES MOINES, IOWA (October 31, 2016) – The National Speech & Debate Association is proud to announce the most recent winners of the Diamond Coach Award! Twenty-two speech and debate coaches have earned this prestigious award in the National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society. Because of these coaches, thousands of students have access to the life changing benefits of speech and debate.

The National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society has been recognizing student and coach achievements in speech and debate since 1925. The prestigious diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity in speech and debate.

Congratulations to the following outstanding coaches:

Fourth Diamond

  • Thomas M. Fones, St. Paul Academy & Summit School – St. Paul, Minnesota

Third Diamond

  • Tara Tate, Glenbrook South High School – Glenview, Illinois
  • Mary E. Willoughby, Henry W. Grady High School – Atlanta, Georgia

Second Diamond

  • Bill Batterman, Woodward Academy – College Park, Georgia
  • Vivian Chien, Leland High School – San Jose, California
  • Shunta D. Jordan, Pace Academy – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jennifer Kwasman, St. Thomas Aquinas High School – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Jeffery Miller, Marist School – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Harry W. Strong, The Potomac School – McLean, Virginia
  • Christina Tallungan, Notre Dame High School – Sherman Oaks, California

First Diamond

  • Moses Baca, Salt Lake City West High School – Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Molly K. Beck, Ladue Horton Watkins High School – Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Timothy Ellis, Washburn Rural High School – Topeka, Kansas
  • J.P. Fugler, Lindale High School – Lindale, Texas
  • Jordan D. Hart, Jefferson City High School – Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Brandon Kendall, Starrs Mill High School – Fayetteville, Georgia
  • Natalie King, Shawnee Mission South High School – Overland Park, Kansas
  • Danielle Mahan, John Paul the Great Academy – Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Susan Moore, La Canada High School – La Canada, California
  • Heather R. Thompson, Blue Valley North High School – Overland Park, Kansas
  • Max A. Thompson, Banquete High School – Banquete, Texas
  • Scott Wheeler, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School – Rolling Hills Estates, California

Coaches earn distinction in the national honorary through team participation, student achievement, public service, and leadership work. To earn a diamond award, a coach must be a member of the National Speech & Debate Association for at least five years. Coaches earn additional diamond levels the more points they receive in the Honor Society. A coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond; they receive a second diamond for 3,000 points, a third for 6,000 points, and so on. Five years must pass between each diamond award.

These coaches will be recognized at the world’s largest academic competition, the National Speech & Debate Tournament, Birmingham, Alabama on June 22, 2017. More than 7,000 students, coaches, and parents from across the nation attend the National Tournament every year.

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.5 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit

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