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February 2017

Service of Love 

In a service of love, the Board is meeting in Texas for several LONG days of planning this week - NITOC, spring vote, budget, tab software, and more!  We would LOVE for you to pray with us - safe travel, thorough communication, and clear guidance from the Lord in all we consider.  For details on how to pray, please be watching Stoa social media accounts.  
In Love, 
Your Stoa Board of Directors

A Little Love from the IT Department 

February brings to mind Ground Hog Day, sweethearts, black history month, and of course tournaments!  This month, there are eleven tournaments scheduled in February from California to Virginia, Pennsylvania to Texas, not to forget Washington, Illinois, Tennessee, and Colorado! Want to stay on top of ALL of the latest Stoa news including tournaments? Load Stoa Alert! Stoa Alum, Adam Allevato of Colorado created this fantastic tool.  Stoa Alert scans the Stoa USA calendar and sends an email alert every time a new tournament is added.  The best part is that YOU, the subscriber, can choose one state, multiple states, or the nation to follow!

We LOVE to watch Stoa videos.  Here's a video about how our members LOVE Stoa.

Would you LOVE to see how other people are competing in the Stoa events?  Watch our YouTube!
MelRae Ambs, IT

The Race Set Before Us

The tournament season is off and running. And if you are like some of us, you are on a marathon, hoping to have enough stamina to make it to the end. What a blessing to see more tournaments being offered with each new season.
In Hebrews 12:1 we are told to “run with endurance the race set before us.”
Beautiful words as we picture our lives on that path.
What is “endurance”?
How do we get it?
Why are we not told just to “run the race”?
Endurance implies giving it all and doing our best. We can’t to either of these things if we don’t train and work to be prepared. So, what does training and preparing look like in the world of Stoa? Researching, speaking practice, memorization, practice, working with partners, listening to coaches, rest, nutrition, more practice….and the list goes on. So, we are admonished to be prepared and go to tournaments ready to give it our all.
And the results????  What are we to do about the results? What happens when we prepared as commanded but the results (from our human perspective) are different than what we expected? What about when something “unfair” happens? What about when our friends say that we “definitely won that round” or I was “definitely the best speaker in the room” yet the results reflect differently?
Here is the best news of all: God doesn’t need you to “worry” about the results. He calls us to be faithful in the preparation and we need to prepare as if to win (1 Corinthians 9:24), but He is the one who is sovereign and he takes care of the results. He knows who needs to be lifted up, and who needs to be brought down. He will work through good judges, bad judges, late rounds, tired parents, timing mistakes, forgotten lines and a perfect flow. He is sovereign so we can rest knowing that the results are in His hands!
Mary Winther, Debate Chair

The word articulate has a secondary meaning: having joints or segments.  An articulated robot uses joints and chains so that each one joint supports another further in the chain. Similarly, our coaches, parents, alumni, and judges each support one another and, of course, our students.   

You don't want to miss out on the opportunity to attend this year's Stoa Academy.  Registration opens soon.  Find out more information at
CJ Tam

Love Stoa and Yourself

You may be "feeling the love" this month. Stoa shows the love through providing opportunities to hone character and skill to your students. Donations help Stoa continue that work, making improvements to software and systems and by bringing down prices for membership. You can share in the love by blessing with your donation to Stoa here:
You can show love to Stoa and to yourself by simply opening a checking account at The Christian Community Credit Union. You will RECEIVE $100 from the Credit Union for yourself and Stoa will receive $50 from the Credit Union.  More information here:
Angela Childress

Tab Trivia  

What are Sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes is a way to reward the students who perform at the highest level throughout the tournament, and it should represent the “sweep” of the tournament with all speech and debate events receiving credit.  A student should be rewarded for performing well on the first day of the tournament as well as performing well on the last day of the tournament.  However, more credit is earned as the tournament progresses to outrounds with the largest point awards being awarded in finals.  Large events are mathematically more difficult to win, but large events can’t be given so much credit that the winner of a single large event wins sweepstakes.  One method is to divide events up by size, e.g. small, medium, large and extra-large and decide how many points an event in each category is worth, attempting to implement meaningful mathematical progressions based on the size of the event.  At NITOC, we add Speech Sweeps Points + Debate Points + Speaker Awards Points to determine the Tournament Champion.  If you would like to know more, please consult the Tab Manual found on the Stoa website.

Dave McKinley

Hints and Tips from the Speech Committee

Regarding Script Submissions:

Please be sure to read AND follow ALL the instructions on the Script Submission forms. A few common mistakes: 

Debbie Snyder, Speech Committee Chair

Board Prayer

Lord, my prayer for Stoa students and parents this season is that they would train hard and that they would work as to win. Lord, give them energy and perseverance to strive to do well, to what you have called them to do. But dear Lord, also please help them to rest in knowing that the results are in Your hands. Help them, Lord, to accept the victories and defeats with the knowledge of Your divine plan for their lives. Amen
Mary Winther

Until Next Time...

Mark Russell, Angela Childress, CJ Tam, Dave McKinley, MelRae Ambs, Craig Smith, and Patricia Shaw
Debbie Snyder, Speech Committee Chair, 
Mary Winther, Debate Committee Chair

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." ~Romans 11:36

Stoa Core Values Highlight

Stoa Vision Facts #1

Facilitate opportunities for competition and training.

Proverbs 22:6 says "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."
 Stoa will offer eleven tournaments for the month of February. And while the competition is important, the training that goes with that competition is worthy. As our students train for the competition that is before them, they train for the greater race of speaking boldly and changing the world for Christ. 

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