Monday, November 24, 2014

Debate Season is Finally Here!

I am so excited for another debate season! Each year when the new season starts, I remember back to when I began my first ever year as a debater. I can feel how terrified I was and how emotional I felt learning to speak out loud. I was so afraid when I would think about how my voice would be the only one everyone would hear in the room. But then, just like every other student I now watch as a judge, I feel the change. I can remember feeling like I was learning something new... confidence. All of the sudden I could hardly wait to present my case. My teammates and coaches supported me to change into the person I was all along and by the end of the year, I was excited to be given opportunities to speak. 

Debate programs, coaches, and students continue to impress me every year and I can't wait to be a part of another fantastic season. My favorite moments are watching the growth of the students from the beginning of the year to their skill development to the end of the year. It's truly inspiring to watch a student develop courage and come out of their shell just like I did. I am so honored to be a part of so many stories similar to my own and I want to invite you to help make a difference too!
The free online certification test to become a speech and debate judge in North Dakota opened on November 3rd. It's open to anyone who is interested and you don't have to be a former competitor to judge. It's a simple test and I would love to help anyone who would like to be a judge this season. Judges are paid for their time at the tournament and most tournaments even provide free food in the lounge. Tournaments need judges to run successfully, and a lot of times coaches are asked to judge because there aren't enough, which doesn't give them time to coach. If you are interested in supporting schools in your community and the growth of students as they become confident speakers, then you fit all of the criteria! The following website gives a step-by-step photo guide as to how to get started, but feel free to contact me as well if you are interested! Hope to see you there!

http://www.ndhsaa.com/uploads/files/Help/Speech_Debate_Judge_Test_Help_Screens.pdf

​Meg Pulkrabek RD, LRD ​
Miss North Dakota International 2014