Aaron Thomas Memorial Invitational at Andover Central

2018 — Andover, Kansas, KS/US



The Jane Rinehart Coach of the Year Award

This award will go out annually to a selected coach of nominated candidates that reflect the values Jane Rinhart exhibited in her career. After turning down multiple lucrative offers to coach at prestigious programmes, Jane Rinehart decided to coach debate in the urban core at Kansas City Central – a school plagued by incompetent administration part of a failing and unaccredited district. Despite the lack of funds, inadequate budget promises, and even enmity from countless coaches in her state, Jane Rinehart transformed Kansas City Central into one of the nation’s most competitive powerhouses regularly being private schools. Jane’s refusal to acquiesce to the run of the mill conventions that her students were less capable helped countless students including Aaron Thomas, Ryan Wash, Marcus Leach, Brandon Dial, Dominique Baker, Ebony Rose, and several other collegiate debate legends find their passion and voice. Kansas City Central was the first high school debate programme to bring performative kritikal debate from college to the local and national circuits, revolutionizing knowledge production in the activity which caught so much attention Jane and her students were the subjects of the terrific book by Joe Miller “Cross-X”. Often times Jane transcended her role as coach to also include caretaking and giving her students a room to live in, sometimes for years. She continues to house and care for young people as her generosity is seemingly endless.


Nominations for Coach of the Year will be accepted until September 28th. Any student, assistant, or coach may nominate a coach – we ask for a letter to be written on behalf of the candidate sent to jouyas@usd385.org
We will select a worthy candidate who epitomizes Jane Rinehart’s resolve, fortitude, selflessness, grit, and passion to increase inclusivity to marginalized students in debate.


Sweepstakes Awards

We will give awards to the Top Five schools which will comprise of a weighted aggregate score of the top two entries in each division.
Varsity entry points will be multiplied by 2, JV entry points will be multiplied by 1.5, Novice entry points will be counted as is – the sum of these totals accounts for sweepstake rankings

Each school that places will receive a plaque.

Speaker Awards

We will recognize the Top Ten speakers in each division – in keeping with the tradition of Aaron Thomas, Gates BBQ sauce bottles(Aaron’s favourite) will be given away as speaker awards. Students will be able to select their own “Walk Up Song” that will be played as they go up to receive their award.

Top Speaker Champion Belt

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In our first hosting of a tournament, Aaron and I purchased an incredible replica WWE belt and customized it to award the Varsity division Top Speaker. We will continue that tradition as it will be a traveling award that will have the Top Speaker’s name forever engraved on the plates of the belt along with their school name and year as it will be passed down annually.