June 2024


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Thursday, June 13, 2024

High School Forensics Coach responds

Dear Editor:

Thank you for running a story on the Berthoud Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team Qualifying for the National Tournament in Kansas City, MO. The hard work and talent that (recently graduated seniors) Ann Smith and Nicolas Alexander have demonstrated over the last two years have earned them national recognition, and your support for their success is greatly appreciated.

There are many reasons why I became a teacher and a forensics coach: I think high school is a particularly important time in our development, I think the study of literature and communication is essential to understanding the world beyond the narrow sight of adolescence, but most importantly, I believe that teaching English and coaching forensics allows me to bring out the very best in students and help them bring out the best in the rest of us.

Nicolas and Ann are two students who make the world a better place for the rest of us to live. Anyone who has been lucky enough to see them debate, or perform, can attest that they have gifts for critical thinking and creative expression. Although I coached them for the last few years, I am happy to say that it is no longer a question of what I have to offer them, but what they freely give to all of us. I see the world more clearly, feel it more acutely, because of the power of their words and the sincerity of their emotions. Ann and Nicolas are exactly the kinds of students, the kind of people, we want to empower through public education.

The Loveland and Berthoud communities have been generous in helping raise funds to make it possible for Ann and Nicolas to compete in the national competition, but we still have a long way to go. I’m asking for anyone who can support their achievements to make a donation to the Berthoud Forensics Team, 850 Spartan Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513.

The national tournament begins on June 12. If you can support these extraordinary students, please donate today.

With humble gratitude,

Brendan Gallagher

English Teacher/Forensics Coach Berthoud High School

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