Performance shines like a diamond

Performance shines like a diamond

Coach wins the ultimate award

Debate coach Rory Mckenzie recently earned his first Diamond Award from the National Forensics League. He received this honor for having over 1,500 NFL points from competing in and teaching debate.

“It’s a really big honor and I’m really excited to have gotten it,” Mckenzie said. “It’s my five year mark and it’s a great way to mark my time as a debate coach.”

The National Forensic League is an honor society founded to encourage and motivate high school students across the nation to participate in public speaking. Members earn points for speaking and debate. A coach gets one-tenth of the points earned by their students. After five years and at least 1500 points, a debate coach in the NFL is eligible for a diamond award.

“It’s not a surprise,” Mckenzie said. “Once you meet the criteria you earn the award. I was waiting for it, but I was really excited when it actually came through. All of my former students contributed to my diamond.”

Mckenzie has been in debate since high school and came back to Lindale, his alma mater, to teach and coach the LHS debate team.

“He was one of my students in high school and he earned some of those points as a student,” speech and debate teacher Janice Caldwell said. “He was an outstanding debate student and as a debate coach he is doing very well.”

The diamond award is the highest honor a coach can receive in the NFL and represents the mission of the NFL to “encourage speech and debate activities as a means to develop a student’s essential life skills and values.”

“All of the best debate coaches in the world, in the state, in the country have one,” Mckenzie said. “To earn my first one is kind of a validation for me that let’s me know I’m on the right path.”

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