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November 2016

Fall Colors

The ballot color guide is up-to-date. This guide reflects the colors of ballots that will be used at NITOC and is a resource for tournament and tab directors to plan and prepare.  It includes pricing guide and names used by Staples. 

Speaking of tournaments, Stoa, with hearts full of thanks, is beholden to the Stoa coaches, parents, tournament directors and facilities for hosting nearly 150 tournaments in 2016!

Suggestion Box

Hey members!  We want to hear from YOU!  What ideas do you have for Wildcard Events?  Debate Resolutions? Changes to event rules?  Stoa is about listening to the membership.  Please share your great ideas for the NEXT season (2017 and beyond)!!!

Contact us.

Resolved: This House Believes in a New Resolution Every Year

Mary Winther

You may have just slipped on your farmer boots and ventured out onto your private property, but it is time to start thinking of 2017-18 debate resolutions!!! Yes, it is that time of year when your debate committee is looking into the future and soon we will begin working on resolutions for next season. If you have some ideas for either Team Policy or Lincoln Douglas, please send us your suggestions. You can just send in general resolution areas or worded resolutions. We look forward to your input. In the meantime, have a great year with our awesome 2016-17 resolutions. Please send your suggestions to

Hints and Tips From the Speech Committee

Sandra Bateman
Script Submission: To aid in electronic script submission there is a copy of the NITOC protocol under "Tournament Documents" that may be modified for local tournaments.
How Do We "Do" Citations: There is a new Citation Help page on the Stoa Website: (insert link [will it be up?}). This page should help in understanding the use of in-text citations and citation page for platform events.
Ballot Evaluation Scale: This is a basic scale indicating how the competitor measured up to your expectation.  The numbers are not used by the tournament to determine points or a win.

Ballots and Orientation Slides:  Both have been updated with improvements from suggestions made by you.

Is there someone you know who would be a potential Stoa board member?  Email the Stoa Board at


Going Viral

It's here! Stoa has her very own YouTube channel!  Complete with videos of you, our competitors.  Here is the direct link:
Or find it from the Stoa USA website at:

And the Academy Goes To...

Stoa Academy 2017 will be at California Crosspoint Academy in Hayward, California. Crosspoint serves the San Jose, Fremont, and Oakland area of California.  Check in is July 20 with the academy 21- 22, 2017!  Look for more details soon.
Here is what our attendees are saying about the Stoa Academy2016:
For a veteran mom starting a new club overall rating is great!”
Speakers did a fantastic job of speaking to the title of the workshop. Everyone from board to speakers were very available and willing to answer questions . Thank you To all who put together a fantastic academy.
Price... I still don't get how I was so spoiled for so cheap!

Hosting a Tournament?

Check out the minimum standards requirements for a tournament to be promoted on the Stoa calendar.  Now is the time to plan ahead for those late season tournaments and turn in the simple application.  Even if you have a tentative tournament location, start the process and pray for a place to get locked in.

Got Lexis?

MelRae Ambs
Stoa has posted the training video “How to Use Lexis Nexis” in two locations on the website.  Look under Lexis Nexis and under Resources.
Here is a brief testimony:  "Just watched the tutorial & it is perfect!  Isaiah did a great job walking through Lexis Nexis step by step and explaining how to use it simply.  I hope a lot of other students find it helpful as well." - previous Stoa debater, college senior

Tab Triva

Dave McKinley

Sibling Protect:  As with the concept of Club Protection, Sibling Protection (preventing siblings from speaking or debating against one another) depends on the tournament’s philosophy. There is no right or wrong answer to these choices, just different preferences. There are valid arguments to be made for both options. One side can reasonably support the decision not to have siblings compete against one another at a tournament. The other side recognizes that creating any form of protection advantages some students/families and can also create disadvantages for other students/families. Each tournament team will need to decide which option is best for you.

A Gift for You...Coming Soon

Watch for a Special Surprise coming up...  
The Stoa Board is hard at work on a Christmas gift for Stoa membership.  Stay tuned...

Board Member Prayer

Hello Stoa!
Repeatedly these past weeks, I have thought of Stoa membership as our club prepares to host our first tournament of the year.  In club, there is excitement, nervousness, and a pressing sense of time constraints.
Our new families have many questions about this complicated and unique competitive event, and our returning families are a wealth of information, from how to put together a debate box, to suggesting the girls bring slippers for their feet in-between rounds.
My prayer is that our returning families would feel the fresh, contagious wonder of our first time families.  And that our first time families would realize the accomplishment of a full season of disciplined mental gymnastics and continue pressing forward.  That misunderstandings from last season would be laid to rest as we begin a new season.  And that rivalry that arises this year will be the kind that is iron sharpening iron.  Prov 27.17
My Stoa friends, I pray that we daily live this verse:  "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."  1 Thes 5:11
Rejoice! Phil 4:4
MelRae Ambs

Until Next Time...

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

"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

Core Value 4: 

We communicate a clear vision and mission.

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