Almaden Valley Principal Wins National Award

Posted on July 1, 2011

Liz Chamberlin, Principal of Leland High School in the Almaden Valley is the years top principal according to the National Forensics League (Speech & Debate).

I am proud to say that I was a member of the Speech & Debate team at Leland when I was in high school. (I even won a couple of awards). At that time, we had about 20 kids competing in various events. My best friend in high school, Dennis Galvan, went to Nationals. He is now an International Relations Associate Professor at the University of Oregon.

Today the program has almost 400 members. It is the largest team in the nation. Much of the success of the Speech and Debate team goes to Gay Brasher. She is a member of the National Forensics League Hall of Fame, and taught at Leland for over 40 years. Even though she is currently retired, she continues to devote her time to helping high schoolers learn the art of speaking in public.

Many of you have seen me speak in public at our Boot Camp or at a lunch or dinner for your professional organization. As a lawyer, I am often called to represent clients in court. Speaking skills are an essential part of my work.

I can honestly say that most of the speaking skills I have are learned from Gay Brasher. Many days, after school, she would work with us on our techniques, hand placement, vocal intonation, etc. And there are thousands of others who can say the same.

This is my Thank You to her. For her efforts to make me a better speaker.

However, she could not do it alone. While we only had Mrs. Brasher to work with. Today, there is a team of volunteers who help. But there are also many others without whose support the Speech & Debate program would not exist. It is nice that the National Forensics League is recognizing that and making Liz Chamberlin their first Principal of the Year.