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January 2017

New Year, New Resolution 

The temperatures are dropping, the fireplace is burning, the trees are bare, and it is time to face another glorious year filled with expectations & possibilities.  Through the ups & downs of 2016, God has graciously enabled Stoa to grow & thrive and stand firm in our commitment to strive always to uphold our Stoa vision & values.  Reflecting on our key verse, "For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen.", we are reminded that God makes Stoa possible and it is for HIS glory that we exist and plan for this year.   We are invested in the hope of bettering this world and its people in a way that honors our LORD through our plans & resolutions for 2017.  Peppered throughout our January Stoabyte are a few 'resolutions' that our Board hopes to complete during 2017 in a way that brings a smile to each of you and glorifies our Lord.  May the LORD bless & enable each of us to stand firm on His promises and seek His glory in 2017!

"We resolve to encourage & educate our Stoa parents & leaders."  

CJ Tam

"We resolve to include alumni more at NITOC 2017."

How do we hope to achieve this resolution??  The Stoa Board has recently changed our minimum age requirement for judging at NITOC.  Here is the new wording on our Stoausa website (under NITOC 2017- Judging at NITOC):

  • Judges at NITOC shall be age 18 on January 1.
  • Student may not compete and judge within the same competition season.

We welcome our alumni to come and judge at NITOC 2017 and invest into our Stoa competitors.


"We resolve to involve more vendors, more sponsors, more options at NITOC 2017."

Our Stoa fundraising committee is now gearing up for NITOC 2017. Our fundraising team is in the initial stages of making NITOC 2017 better and more affordable for our members! If you have a skill set in marketing or fundraising, we are adding to the team. Have an organization that you would like to see represented at NITOC? Please let us know who they are. Wish that your favorite university could see what we do? We do too. Join the team and invite them. If you are interested in being a vendor, sponsor or provide a scholarship, we would love to get your input as well. Please respond to today, and let us know how you can give back to such a great organization. 

Patricia Shaw

"We resolve to provide opportunities for building world class communities."

Don't you just love those after Christmas sales?  Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't save our shopping time until AFTER Christmas and be surprised by all of the bargains where we can stretch our dollars further.  Sometimes it is a larger gift that we thought we missed out on... Have you been thinking about that Club Site we mentioned last month?  We're putting the finishing touches on it now, and will soon have a sample for you to peek at.  The Stoa Board wants to help YOU reach those in your community more easily. We know you will be thrilled when you 'open the package'!
Questions?  Contact

MelRae Ambs


"We resolve to grow strong Stoa leadership that support our vision & values."

YOU, or someone you know, could be the ideal Board member to enable Stoa to move into the future.  The talents, skills, & abilities that are hidden within our Stoa family are amazing.  Please consider if  you might be willing to use your time & gifts to serve the Stoa family & enable our students to 'Speak Boldly.  Change the World for Christ.'  Express your interest, or recommend someone you know, by emailing


Tab Triva  

There is a new Joy of Tournaments Manual available through the Stoa Website.  The 2016-2017 Manual contains some updated nomenclature references in Joy of Tournaments Debate Tiebreakers that should help bring some additional clarity to how Joy determines tiebreakers. Some updated items and items of special importance are highlighted in red throughout the manual.
All Joy of Tournaments support is managed by Stoa Tab. Please contact with any questions not Joy of Tournaments directly.
Stoa supports local tournament control in the setting of openness and transparency. For local tournaments, changes may only be made to Tabulation methods described in the Joy Manual (e.g. tiebreakers, power-matching process) if announced in writing on the tournament registration website before tournament registration opens in keeping with the signed Stoa Tournament Registration Form.
 Mr. Brent Hinkle is the author of Joy of Tournaments and has made a very generous arrangement with Stoa Tab personnel for use of his software, programmed specifically for Stoa, at all Stoa tournaments.  Mr. Hinkle has worked extensively with Stoa Tab personnel to customize the software for use at Stoa tournaments without accepting any compensation in return. Mr. Hinkle has provided many hours of technical support to Stoa Tab national staff over the years. He normally charges extra for this service, but has never billed Stoa for his time.  We are incredibly blessed to have Mr. Hinkle’s assistance over the years.
The above was derived from the New Joy of Tournaments Manual.

Dave McKinley


Hints and Tips from the Speech Committee

  • Cold Reading Tip:  The use of a lectern to hold the script may be  considered a prop by judges. In addition, it would hinder or conceal movement by the competitor. No lecterns will be used at NITOC for Cold Reading.

Board Prayer

Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and focused on His victory and not the temporal things of this world. Help me to take every thought that enters my mind captive so that it is not tainted by the ways of the world and stay focused on the eternal goal. The ultimate prize is in Heaven and not of this world. Help me Lord to focus on You and only You throughout my day.

Dave McKinley

Until Next Time...

Mark Russell, Angela Childress, CJ Tam, Dave McKinley, MelRae Ambs, Craig Smith,PatriciaShaw,
Debbie Snyder, Speech Chair, and Mary Winther, Debate 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 Core Value #6

We recognize competitive excellence.

Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men..."
 As you seek greatness remember that excellence is not just the end goal but rather it is in the journey to pursue quality as unto the Lord with a virtuous and pure spirit.

See More at:



February StoaByte
NITOC Nugget 

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