Thursday, August 9, 2012

9-Time KCKCC national champion staff hosts week of free instruction


High school debaters in the greater Kansas City area are getting an opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to work with a Kansas City Kansas Community College coaching staff that has won nine straight national community college debate championships – and at no charge.

“Many students cannot afford to attend camps around the country, some of which cost $1,500 or more,” says Darren Elliott, director and host of the Fifth Annual KCKCC Debate Institute being held this week on the College campus. “Here at KCKCC, students get a week’s worth of free education on the upcoming high school topic for the 2012-13 school year as well as the chance to work with some of the very best in college debate.”

This year’s high school topic for debate is Resolved: The U.S. federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure in the U.S.

“The camp is a great opportunity for students to learn about the topic, learn from experts in both debate and the topic area and bounce ideas off coaches and judges prior to the start of the season,” says Elliott. “Getting students on our campus is also a great opportunity for us to give back to the community and connect with high school students.”

Nearly 40 students and six coaches from as far away at Emporia are participating in the Institute. Tonganoxie, Spring Hill and the Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley and Olathe school districts are among the others represented. 

KCKCC assistant coach Scott Elliott is serving as assistant director and co-host of this year’s Institute.

Members of the current KCKCC debate team along with members of past national championship teams and coaches and debaters from the University of Kansas, UMKC and Wichita State are also involved with the instruction.

Lecturers included Tim Quinn, an expert in the transportation industry from; Martin Harris, an adjunct speech instructor at KCKCC who coached a Collegiate National Champion on a similar subject while coaching at Western Kentucky University; Mark Kapfer, retired Blue Valley West coach and one of the most distinguished coaches in Kansas high school debate; and Clay Crockett, a KCKCC national championship alum and coach now working in the transportation industry.

After three days of lectures and breakout sessions, the final two days of the Institute are devoted to practice debates against one another and getting expert feedback from college debaters and coaches.

“Some students attending this camp have already spent two or three weeks at other camps around the country including KU and Michigan so our camp is a great alternative or supplemental camp,” says Elliott.     

PHOTO: Armed with laptop computers, high school students from as far away as Emporia learn some of the ways to approach the 2012-13 national debate topic on transportation at the free Fifth Annual KCKCC Debate Institute. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)