Aaron Thomas Memorial Invitational at Mill Valley

2019 — Kansas City, Kansas, KS/US

Dear Colleagues,

You and your programme are cordially invited to attend the 2nd Annual Aaron Thomas Memorial Invitational to be hosted at Mill Valley High School on November 15 & 16, 2019. We are committed to having an excellent judging pool that will be one of the best in the entire Midwest, an unrivaled hospitality room, and beautiful, unique awards. Additionally, sponsors are willing to provide summer debate institute scholarships and opportunities to be livestreamed online.

- $3,500 worth of summer debate institute scholarships to be raffled away! 
- Opportunities to be live-streamed! 
- Experienced and paid judges to adjudicate rounds!

- Unique and amazing awards!

We offer Policy debate in the following divisions: Varsity (contestants will be eligible for Kansas Debate Coaches Invitational bids), Junior Varsity, Open (Saturday only), Novice, and Middle School (Saturday only). 

For those of you who were not blessed with the opportunity to know Aaron Thomas, he was one of the most joyous personalities to ever grace debate. An avid believer of debate's transformative power, Aaron was an exceptional debater at the legendary Kansas City Central programme where he racked up wins and friends amongst opponents and judges alike. He went on to debate at Kansas City Kansas Community College while actively volunteering at his urban debate league. Aaron was a pinnacle staple at in the UDL in Kansas City where he coached multiple teams throughout high and middle schools where he was a friendly face and a beacon of support for countless kids. He was beloved by students and coaches throughout the national circuit and beyond. Aaron tragically died in a car accident on January 1st, 2015. His impact on the community was as heartfelt as his loss was sorrowing. His passion and dedication to students and commitment to solidifying opportunities for young people to learn and grow are the guiding principles in the hosting of this tournament.

We will offer awards for all elimination participants awards in each division as well as unique speaker awards. Like last year, we will allow individual speaker awards to accept their placing with their choice of Walk Up music. Sweepstakes awards will be awarded to the top three placing programmes with a weighted formula which prioritizes the Varsity division. We will also be presenting the Jane Rinehart Coach of the Year Award and will accept nominations up to the week prior to the tournament. Our goal is have a true and proper awards ceremony, please have your students be prepared for that.

We will not be utilizing the KSHSAA parameters for our tournament; the following guidelines for our tournament will outline as best as possible our deviating norms. Additionally, we are actively looking for quality judges who have collegiate debate experience, if you know of any current college debaters please have them contact me. We are able to compensate experienced and highly qualified judges $10 per round.

We are interested in ensuring the tournament runs efficiently. To that end we have two points of emphasis. First, we will require all directors and coaches to be readily available to judge on Saturday morning. Secondly, we plan on making the ballot process as paperless as possible. All directors, coaches, and school judges should provide their Tabroom account (which ought to include a written paradigm) in order for us to ensure the tournament schedule stays on track.

Sohail Jouya



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