National Forensic League Appoints Board President, Vice President

National Forensic League Appoints Board President, Vice President

Educators Bring 75 Years of Speech and Debate Experience to Leadership Positions

RIPON, Wis. (Nov. 7, 2012) – The National Forensic League, the speech and debate honor society, announces the appointments of Don Crabtree and Pam Cady Wycoff as President and Vice President of the Board of Directors, respectively.

“Don and Pam bring more than 70 years of combined experience in speech and debate activities to these leadership positions,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Forensic League. “The Board could not have chosen two people who are more devoted to, or passionate about, speech and debate and the long-lasting benefits the League provides to student members across the country.”

Crabtree has coached forensics for the past 42 years, most recently at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. During this time, he has inspired more than 70 students to qualify for the League’s National Tournament. He is an eight-diamond coach and was elected to the National Forensic League Hall of Fame in 1988. Crabtree is the only coach to have received 15 Distinguished Service plaques, demonstrating his outstanding commitment to the speech and debate community. He joined the League’s Board of Directors in 1987, and was elected Vice President in 2002.

“I am very humbled and honored to be the League’s Board President,” said Crabtree. “It is my goal to continue moving the League forward and finding ways to offer new resources and services to our members. I care deeply about this great organization, and plan to continue representing our coaches and students with civility and hard work.”

Wycoff began coaching forensics in 1982, and she continues to coach and serve as the director of forensics at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minn. She has qualified students to the National Tournament every year since her career began, including 39 National Tournament finalists (top six in the nation) with nine national champions among them. Wycoff was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 2004 and the National Forensic League Hall of Fame in 2007. She was elected to the League’s Board of Directors in 2005.

“The League is an amazing organization that promotes honor, integrity and ethical communication,” said Wycoff. “Under our leadership, all programs – regardless of geographical location or circumstance – will receive the same respect and consideration because each school faces unique challenges and needs.”

Crabtree and Wycoff will serve two-year terms in their new Board positions at the National Forensic League, which boasts a growing membership of more than 120,000 middle and high school students, representing nearly 3,000 schools and 3,500 teachers nationwide. They received their appointments following a vote from the League’s nine-member Board of Directors.

In his role as Board President, Crabtree serves as chairman of the Governance Committee and appoints the members and chairpersons of the League’s five standing board committees, which includes Competition/Rules, Budget/Finance, Strategic Planning and Development. As Board Vice President, Wycoff oversees the ongoing work of the committees and assists each chairperson in proper reporting to the Board of Directors.

Since 1925, the National Forensic League has promoted speech and debate activities as a means to develop a student’s essential life skills and values. These valuable leadership, communication and critical thinking skills prepare students for higher education and employment opportunities.

About the National Forensic League
The National Forensic League is the honor society for middle and high school speech and debate. The nonprofit organization recognizes participation and progress in public speaking and debating activities as a means to meet the Common Core State Standards in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The League empowers students to become effective communicators, ethical individuals, critical thinkers, and leaders in our democratic society. Since 1925, more than 1.4 million students have participated in the League, with more than 120,000 active members representing nearly 3,000 schools. The League awards more than $200,000 in college scholarships at its annual National Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world. For more information, visit

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