Green River Star -

People Editor 

GR speech team: coach honored


January 3, 2018

The Green River Speech and Debate Team is well-known throughout the state as being the group to beat, and now they are getting national attention too.

Recently, head coach Carina White was notified of not only an award for herself, but for her team as well.

"I am proud to inform you that the Green River High School Speech and Debate team has been named one of the top 100 schools in the National Speech and Debate Association for the 2016-17 school year. GRHS ranked number 59 out of more than 3,000 schools nationwide," a letter from the National Speech and Debate Association stated.

Assistant coach Jason Grubb said the team was ecstatic when they found out they are ranked in the top 100.

"The students have a sense of pride. Upperclassman know they have contributed to this success; underclassman know they have a legacy to uphold," Grubb said.

To obtain this honor, students earn points and degrees based on their competitiveness and service-related activities.

"Our program is ranked with schools much larger than ours and it speaks to the level of talent and dedication of this group of students," White said. "As a coaching staff, we always comment on how much of an impact we believe speech and debate can have on a student, the records this team has broken and the honors it has received are humbling."

"Due to the incredibly high number of students involved in your speech-and-debate program and the degrees they have earned through competition, your school was named one of the top programs in the nation. This is the most prestigious membership award the association can bestow upon a school," the letter stated.

Accompanying the letter, was another letter officially designating the GRHS speech and debate team to the 400 Club.

White said each team member earns points for every round they compete in and this is calculated by the National Speech and Debate Association. The total points earned translates to degrees. When a team earns 400 degrees or more in a season, they are then ranked in the 400 Club.

"This is an honor held only by a select number of schools nationwide," White said. "This is the first time in our school's history we have received this honor."

"The hard work you have invested to achieve this distinction will pay dividends for years to come. I encourage you to build upon this momentum to ensure that even more students are empowered to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals and honorable leaders in our global society," the letter stated.

Grubb said it takes time to build something special and it takes years of dedication and hard work by the coaching staff.

"To be one of the top teams in the nation is a great honor," Grubb said. "Dan Parson and Carina White played critical roles in this success. The have been coaching for years and have helped bring the team to where it is today. Their dedication to the team is unmatched. Countless hours have been spent working with students and traveling students to tournaments."

It's not just about the coaching though, it's about the students who work hard and are dedicated.

"The success of the teams says something about the quality of students at GRHS," Grubb said. "They are smart, dedicated, hard working, willing to do whatever is needed to represent their team, school and community."

Coach honored

Along with the other two letters, was another one was for coach White herself informing her that she had earned her two diamond degree of membership in the National Speech and Debate Association's Honor Society.

"Due to your students' speech and debate presentations, competition and service, you have earned more than 3,000 points. Because of you, countless students have gained access to the life-changing activity of speech and debate," the letter from the association states.

White had to earn 6,000 coaching points and put in 10 years of service to obtain the second diamond award.

"I was very honored to be recognized for coaching a team that I love. I have been involved in speech and debate since my high-school career and it is truly a part of me," White said.

"It says Carina is an outstanding coach. It takes time, dedication and hard work to reach this level. To be a second diamond coach means she has dedicated 10 years to coaching speech and debate. But is just isn't about longevity. Students have to be competitive and do well earning points for their coach. Thus, coaches succeed as students succeed," Grubb said.

"For Carina though, points are an after thought. It is all about the students for her. She is an educator in every sense of the word teaching. Students not only how to compete in the various speech and debate events, but how to compete well. She cares and because she cares the students do well," Grubb said.

White will be recognized at the 2018 National Speech and Debate tournament Donus D. Roberts Diamond Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She will receive a custom certificate at the assembly. The diamond coaches will also be acknowledged in the "Rostrum" magazine.

Grubb said the success of the team is because of the support from the administration, district community and parents.

"These recognitions aren't just for the team, they are for everything we have going on at GRHS and in Green River," Grubb said.


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