[eDebate] Presidential Thank Yous Re: CEDA NATS

Darren Elliott delliott
Fri Mar 27 00:10:11 CDT 2009

I plan to have a couple more emails before I officially am no longer your CEDA President.  But since I am stuck in a snow storm in Wyoming I figured I could get this one out now.

This was one of the most efficiently run, most hospitable, and excellent Nationals in my memory.  While I was honored to be a part of it, I consider myself lucky to have this Nationals fall on my watch.  Some people who deserve the credit:

Sarah Partlow-Lefevre:  An amazing coach, director, host, mother, wife, woman in CEDA.  She does it all.  The complete package.  To balance all she balances--wow!  Coached a team to Quarters (congrats Paul and Danielle), directs an awesome program, hosted and coordinated an amazing staff, made sure she made phone calls to and took time for her family, hosted a donor and other dignitaries, and did it all while looking like it was no big deal on the outside.  The picture of cool and calm.  Your student workers were right--this community loves you!!

Desaray:  Another amazing person.  She was a good debater.  Now she makes one helluva staff coordinator.  She ran a tight ship but everyone on her staff loved her and smiled through 14 hour days that I am sure they never could have perceived what they would be like.  All this and puts up with Odekirk!  That itself is worthy of a tribute.  But seriously, the smoothness of the days--not possible without you.

Gary Larson:  Debate's man behind the curtain.  Often unseen and underappreciated.  We cannot say enough how much he means to this community and our tournaments.  With the smallest of judge pools he puts to bed all fears of bad prefs.  THE MOST COMMON RANKING OF A JUDGED PLACED WAS A 1.  AMAZING FOLKS.  AND FEARS THAT FILLING A TRIPS BRACKET WOULD RESULT IN BAD JUDGING--NOT WITH GARY.  I seriously meant it at the awards ceremony--a reason for cloning--Gary Larson.  Thanks Gary for making us all look so good.

Wayne Kraemer:  Debate's favorite mustache (no offense Steinberg) and the man who makes the coordination of multiple buildings and ballot collection seem easy.  Ive seen him do this job under the most challenging of layouts and he does it with ease.  He runs a great tournament on the outside of operations and having him a part of yet another one meant a lot to me.

Idaho State Students:  Folks if you werent here you can never appreciate the amount of work and diligence these folks put in.  They always smiled, they always did whatever asked--even in snow and rain--and they did it right the first time everytime.  35 I think was the number.  Amazing.  My only regret--not getting to know them better.  The ones I did talk to were amazing students and people--and you could tell all of them really respected and looked up to Sarah and Des.  Pass along the community thanks.

Tournament Staff:  The folks who double checked buildings, ensured judges were spotted early and shuffled off to their rooms, ran last minute ballots, and otherwise made us all look good.  They were: Kelly McDonald, ML Sandoz, Mike Davis, Greg Achten, Gordon Stables, Jeff Jarman, Joe Patrice and Kathryn Rubino who came without teams and worked as tournament staff and judged prelims (amazing duo).  Kelly and ML were also here on their own and continue to give everything they have to this organization.

Teams that travelled to Pocatello:  I owe you a huge thank you for making this a memorable Nationals for a very humbled President.  Teams that could not be here truly missed an experience.  Those that came know what I mean.  Thank you for supporting the tournament and the Rocky Mountain Region.  I love CEDA Nationals.  I love the people, the community building, and the excitement.  Thank you for everything--and when I lost my voice on elim day, thank you for the kind words as I read decisions cracking my voice all the way.  Ill even thank those of you who provided some levity at those times.  

Towson Cooper and Love and Oklahoma Giglio and Watts:  A special thank you for the class act and excellent final round.  You 4 gave your all and have proven once again why CEDA Nationals is a special event.  RJ--your 1AC shout out to the "people" for the "peoples tournament" and the "peoples championship" will forever resonate in my mind and heart about CEDA Nationals.  You gave me goose bumps and I salute you especially.  You are so right!!

My team and family:  My team--often the sacrificed ones over the course of this year.  The duties of the organization are never easy and this year especially the case.  I appreciate your understanding and willingness to fight on even when you lacked coaching at times.  You all are amazing and you all have great futures.  I look forward to seeing you grow.  My coaching staff when they could be there stepped up and are amazing.  Welcome aboard and I am lucky to have you Amy.  To John, Clay, Adrian--you continue to be great friends and alumni and our program succeeds (6 years in a row the McClintock Champs) because of you all.  My family--my beautiful daughter Ashley, while only 5, often asks me to do "debate talk" for her, but who I miss seeing too much because of travel.  My amazing girlfriend (also an Ashley) of 2 years who kinda understands this debate thing but takes the brunt of our shared duties when I am on the road.  Both of you will be rewarded with lots of time and love now that this whirlwind is winding down.  I love you both.  Lest I forget my dogs who spend too much time away from me when Im gone.  : )

The road hasnt been easy, but to paraphrase a great debate coach, its the hard that makes it worthwhile.  If debate was easy, everyone would do it.

Thank you to all of you and it was great seeing all of my friends from around the country.  Best of luck on the end of the year and safe travels always.

With love and gratitude--your President

Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC
CEDA President

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