Coaching the New Fairfield Academic Decathlon Team to a National Victory
When my daughter Tanya decided she wanted to put up an Academic Decathlon team in her new high school in New Fairfield, I knew she would need a lot of help. Decathlon was a totally new idea in her school and she would need all the help she could get to train a team of nine decathletes in ten subject areas. So I volunteered to coach the speech and interview events of the competition. I even pulled in members of my home Toastmasters club, WestConn Toastmasters, to help coach the young decathletes by delivering lectures on speech writing and delivery, and listening to and critiquing the decathletes' speeches.
Not only did the team sweep the speech and interview awards during state competitions at Yale last February, but they also won the Connecticut State Championship and advanced to the national finals. Last April, they forged on and won the Rookie Team of the Year award at nationals in Omaha, Nebraska. And our crowning glory - team captain Tanya won 1st place in the Speech Showcase category, a second level speech competition where the top 12 speakers of the contest compete again before a second set of judges and the entire decathlete delegation.
There is such a wealth of expertise and experience available right here from members of our home Toastmasters Clubs. Expertise gained from years of Toastmasters practice. I completed this year's coaching experience as my High Performance Leadership Project and would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful men and women of WestConn Toastmasters who helped make this experience a memory to treasure for both me and the nine outstanding young decathletes of New Fairfield High.
Links from the Danbury News Times:
Ruby Parker is the Area A4 Governor for 2010-11 and is a member of WestConn Toastmasters
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