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March 28, 2014, 10:58 am

MOUNT VERNON — The National Speech & Debate Association on March 18 announced that Jeff Gottke, Mount Vernon High School speech and debate instructor, is its newest diamond coach.

The association provides diamond awards based on coach points received and Gottke received a First Diamond Award after earning 1,503 points on Feb. 23. A diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity. Coaches receive one-tenth the points earned by their students and one-tenth of the points earned as a student member of the association. After a minimum of five years as a National Speech & Debate Association member, a coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond; 3,000 points earns a second diamond, 6,000 points results in a third diamond and so on.

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