The National Speech & Debate Association recently announced Susan Jones, Midway High School Speech & Debate head coach and computer science teacher, as a winner of the Diamond Coach Award. The Diamond Award is the highest honor for coaches to achieve as a part of NSDA and recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity in speech and debate education.
“Our Diamond Award winners provide access to the life-changing benefits of speech and debate for thousands of students,” National Speech & Debate Executive Director J. Scott Wunn said in a news release. “We are proud to recognize these educators for their service and thank them for their hard work.”
This prestigious award is presented to coaches who earn points through NSDA from team participation, student achievement, public service, and leadership work. Ms. Jones received 15,000 points in addition to the degree of merit to earn her first Diamond Award. Each point represents dedicated coaching and hours of practice, revision, and growth for students.
Since starting as head coach in 2012, Ms. Jones has been instrumental in the continued success of Midway High School’s speech & debate team. Each year, the team has experienced countless wins across multiple competition events at the district, state, and national levels. Her students have been named semifinalists in Cross-Examination Debate in the State UIL championships and have earned an impressive 10th place finish at NSDA Nationals.
While coaching her students to success in debate, Ms. Jones is also able to leave a lasting impact on their lives.
“I find myself using a lot of the management and communication skills I learned in debate every day,” Ben White, Midway High School class of 2020 and one of Ms. Jones’ debate students, said. “I hold very close to my heart the memories and lessons I learned.”