Area coach Is best in the business, no debate about it
Every high school likes to brag about winning traditions, state championships and superior coaches, and Cypress Woods High School just got a lot to brag about after speech and debate coach Heath Martin was recently recognized with a Diamond Award for excellence in coaching by the National Forensic League (NFL).
The Houston resident will be honored on June 14 at the Lincoln Financial/NFL National Speech and Debate Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.
"Anytime someone says thanks to a teacher, it's really enough to make us smile," Martin said. "But to have a national organization like the NFL recognize what you do, it's so important. It reminds us of why we do what it is we do.
This is Martin's sixth year coaching high school debate, but he's been a participant in competitive debates since he was 14. Originally from Lake Charles, La., Martin ended up in Texas as a part of the Teach for America Program. He taught elementary school for three years, then moved up to the junior high level, where he began to coach debate. When the principal under whom he was working moved on to the high school level, Martin did too.
"Heath Martin is the very definition of a dedicated teacher who is passionate about the world of debate," said Kelly Ellis, Cypress Woods director of instruction. "He guides our students to success through his award-winning debate program. We are fortunate to have Mr. Martin, who has high expectations for all students in his program."
By winning the Diamond Award, Martin is carrying on something of a district legacy, as he is the second Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District speech and debate coach to win the coveted honor during 2011-2012. Jersey Village coach Leslie Wendt earned the honor in September.
Name: Heath Martin
Profession: Speech and debate coach at Cypress Woods High School
Community: Resident of Houston
Fast Fact: A rabid Madonna fan, Martin will finally get to scratch an entry off his "bucket list" when he sees Madonna perform live in Atlanta later this year.
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