Educators from Oregon were among those honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Caroline Campbell, speech and debate coach at South Medford High School, is the Section 8 winner of the Outstanding Speech and Debate Educator Award. The state award for Oregon for the Outstanding Music Educator Award went to West Salem High School director Cole Haole-Valenzuela.
Outstanding Speech and Debate Educator Award
South Medford High School
Ever since she participated in speech and debate in high school, Caroline Campbell knew that she wanted to coach and teach speech and debate. As Campbell has now coached at South Medford High School for more than a decade, she has built a program that has had a number of State Champions in the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Speech and Debate events, along with multiple students that have earned Academic All-American honors through NSDA and earning the Leader Chapter Award twice since Campbell has taken the reins.
Campbell played a key role over the last few years in making sure speech and debate would continue in their schools and communities. Under her leadership, the speech and debate team were able to work with the South Oregon NSDA committee to ensure that her students could participate in the NSDA National Tournament, even through obstacles that took place. Campbell also was a key player in helping host an entirely virtual OSAA State Championships in the spring of 2021.
Campbell continues to provide her speech and debate knowledge at the state level, as she has served as president, first vice president, and second vice president with the Oregon High School Speech League Coaches Association. She also served as a committee member with the OSAA Speech State Championships Committee and OSAA State Championships Committee.
In addition to her team success, Campbell has been individually awarded, receiving the 2023 Oregon High School Speech League Coaches Association Speech Educator of the Year, the 2022 NSDA South Oregon Speech and Debate Coach of the Year, the 2019 NSDA Don Crabtree Distinguished Service Award, and the 2017 NSDA Donus D. Roberts Excellence Coaching Award.
Outstanding Music Educator Award
West Salem High School
Noted as a community builder, Cole Haole-Valenzuela is highly involved within the city of Salem and has been in education for nearly a decade. As an Oregon American Choral Director’s Association (OACDA) Emerging Conductor Award winner, Haole-Valenzuela’s ensembles have placed in the top four of nearly every competition they have been in the past five years.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.