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Roosevelt High School Principal Inducted into the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame


[DES MOINES, IOWA—July 1, 2024] Steven Schappaugh, three-diamond coach and Principal at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Iowa, was officially inducted into the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) Hall of Fame on Sunday, June 16 at the 2024 National Speech & Debate Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Steve has impacted the lives of thousands of students, teachers, and coaches across the country,” said Executive Director J. Scott Wunn. “He has made a lasting impact in the speech and debate community, and we are honored to recognize him in the Hall of Fame.”

Steve is best known for his determination to create opportunities for young scholars to achieve their best, even in situations where they may be at a disadvantage. Steve is the champion of all coaches with a personal drive for expanding opportunities and creating connections.

Steve’s competitive journey in speech and debate has been at the highest level of achievement at every program he has worked. His coaching took him from Iowa to North Carolina, and then to Florida, where he concluded his coaching career at Nova Southeastern University School in Fort Lauderdale.

While at University School, his team won multiple School of Excellence Awards in speech and debate and an Overall School of Excellence Award. Additionally, Steve has coached an NSDA national champion in Humorous Interpretation, TOC champions in Public Forum Debate, NSDA finalists in Congress and Storytelling, and semifinalists in numerous events. Steve’s programs have won several state championship titles, and he has coached over a dozen students to state championships in their events.

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However, it is Steve’s work as a leader in the speech and debate community that makes his candidacy stand out. As NSDA district chair in Broward County, Steve helped bring county and state programs back and he mentored new and veteran coaches to improve the NSDA district tournament. Steve is the youngest person to ever be elected to the NSDA Board of Directors. Additionally, he has served on the Lincoln-Douglas Rules Committee and has spent many years on the NSDA National Tournament tabulation staff. Even in retirement, Steve is still an active leader, volunteer judge, and passionate advocate for this activity.

Induction into the NSDA Hall of Fame is the highest honor available to speech and debate coaches. With approximately 200 members, the Hall of Fame honors fewer than one percent of NSDA member coaches.

All NSDA member coaches are given the opportunity to nominate individuals who either have at least 25 years of speech and debate coaching experience or have retired from speech and debate coaching. Current Hall of Fame members and other distinguished speech and debate coaches are then given the opportunity to vote new candidates into the Hall of Fame each year. Learn more about the Hall of Fame at

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