When I think back to my high school and college days, speech and debate were a couple of the activities that had a lasting impact on my friends and me. Whether it was learning to craft an effective argument, learning how to think better, or responding to what was said, it's one of the things we've carried with us long since we stopped thinking about speech or debate. So I want to take this time to acknowledge one of the best speech and debate coaches in Missouri.

Congratulations to Mr. Adam Higgins of Raytown High School. Mr. Higgins picked up his second Diamond Award from the National Speech & Debate Association. This is according to a press release. The Diamond Award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity in speech and debate education.

Diamond Awards are given to speech and debate educators/coaches who are members of the National Speech & Debate Association. Coaches earn points through team participation, student achievement, public service, and leadership work. Additionally, coaches become eligible to win a Diamond Award after being an association member for five years and accumulating 15,000 points. A second Diamond Award can be earned at 30,000 points and a third at 60,000 points. Five years must pass between Diamond Awards as well.

National Speech & Debate Executive Director J. Scott Wunn says, “Our Diamond Award winners provide access to the life-changing benefits of speech and debate for thousands of students."  He went on to say he thanks his Diamond Award-winning educators fir their hard work.

Mr. Higgins and all the National Speech & Debate Association award winners will be acknowledged at the world's largest academic competition, the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa in June of 2024.

Mr. Higgins holds a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Central Missouri and a Master of Education from Rockhurst University.

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