2019 Tamar Kaplan Award

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Peter Nikolai
Posts: 232

  The Minnesota Debate Teachers Association created the Tamar Kaplan Student of the Year Award to celebrate the life and personal qualities of Tamar Kaplan.  Tamar was a former Minnesota State High School League state debate champion, Tournament of Champions qualifier, National Urban Debate League Tournament finalist, and 6th place speaker at the National Forensic League Tournament.  

Outside of debate, Tamar was a scholar.  She excelled in school, graduating high school in the top ten of her class.  She understood that her studies were equally important to debate.  But her classroom was not just in the walls of a school.  She saw the world, and understood the importance of living in the world.  She spent a semester abroad studying in Australia her sophomore year of high school and in South America during college.  She did her best in her short time here to experience life and the world around her.  

Tamar knew what it meant to serve.  While she was in high school, she took over the novice coaching her junior and senior year.  In addition, she coached the Highland Park Middle School debate team.  She worked for two summers at the Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshop at Augsburg College. Summers, she worked for a number of different non-profit organizations that helped those less fortunate than many of us. She continued working for non-profits in college.

The MDTA invites you to nominate a senior who you feel best exemplifies the personal qualities of Tamar.  Along with a plaque, to be given out at the MSHSL Debate Tournament, the winner of the Tamar Kaplan Award will be given a $1500.00 scholarship.  The runner-up will receive a $500.00 scholarship. Please e-mail a letter of recommendation to TamarKaplanAward@gmail.com.  Nominations are due by 5:00 P.M. on January 11, 2019. 


1. Competitive Success: Provide information such as the student’s win-loss record, record at individual tournaments for the past two years, honors received at tournaments (i.e., speaker awards, etc.) and any other comments you wish to provide about the student’s competitive success.  A table showing the students prelim record, elim record, and speaker awards for each tournament she or he attended is all that is required. 
2. Academic Success: Please provide information about the student’s academic performance. As a minimum, the student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. In addition to raw information such as GPA, or standardized test scores, please make a brief statement about the student’s academic credentials and intellect. 
3. Citizenship:  Please provide information about how the student has given back to her or his community, including the debate community.  Talk about community service the student has provided.  We are especially interested in what service the student may provide after graduation (i.e., will he or she coach or judge after graduation, work at a debate camp, plan on going into teaching, etc.). 

If your student is selected, you will be asked to give a short (2-4 minute) introduction of the student when the award is presented at the MSHSL debate tournament.

December 6 at 8:01 AM · · · ·
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2019 Tamar Kaplan Award
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Started on 12/6/2018 by Peter Nikolai
Last Post on 12/6/2018

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