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Plano East Senior HS Teacher Earns Prestigious Diamond Award

March 6, 2023

Plano Eash Senior High School Speech and Debate Teacher Madison Gackenbach has been recognized as a winner of the Diamond Coach Award by the National Speech & Debate Association!

This is Gackenbach's first Diamond Award and the honor is awarded to a professional that combines excellence and longevity in speech and debate education. To earn a Diamond Award, a coach must be a National Speech & Debate Association member for at least five years. Coaches earn points in the national honorary through team participation, student achievement, public service, and leadership work. A coach who reaches 15,000 points is awarded a first Diamond; a second Diamond is given once they reach 30,000 points; a third for 60,000 points, and so on. Five years must pass before the next Diamond Award can be awarded.

maddi gackenbach

"This has been a goal of mine since I started coaching five years ago, and I'm so excited to have done it at Plano East," said Gackenbach. "I could not have reached this milestone without the Plano East students' hard work and dedication to our activity."

“Ms. Gackenbach is a shining example of what it means to be committed to excellence, dedicated to caring, and powered by learning in Plano ISD," said Plano East Principal George King. "We are incredibly proud and thankful for her selfless service to our school and our district.”

Since 1925, the National Speech & Debate Association has been recognizing student and coach achievements in speech and debate. All Diamond Award winners will be honored at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in June 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 10,000 students, coaches, and parents from across the country attend the National Tournament every year.

"Our Diamond Award winners provide access to the life-changing benefits of speech and debate for thousands of students," said National Speech & Debate Executive Director J. Scott Wunn. "We are proud to recognize these educators for their service, and thank them for their hard work." 

Plano East 2022 State Qualifiers and Coach Gackenbach

Plano East 2022 State Qualifiers and Coach Gackenbach