FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 9, 2021) — A total of 42 high school speech, debate, theatre and music teachers and coaches have been selected as recipients of awards from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The NFHS Speech, Debate, Theatre and Academic Association is honoring 20 individuals with the 2020-21 Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards, and the NFHS Music Association is honoring 22 individuals with the 2020-21 Outstanding Music Educator Awards.
Seven of the 20 speech/debate/theatre awards are section awards, and the other 13 are state awards. Section recipients receive a plaque from the NFHS to be presented in their respective state, while state award recipients receive a certificate. Likewise, seven music section awards will be presented, along with 15 state award recipients.
Among the recipients of the 2020-21 NFHS Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards is State of Oregon winner, Ameena Amdahl-Mason, a speech and debate coach at Clackamas High School.
Among the recipients of the 2020-21 NFHS Outstanding Music Educator Awards is Section 8 winner Jennifer Brooks, coordinator of music for the David Douglas School District.
In the past 20 years, Ameena Amdahl-Mason has left her mark on the Oregon speech and debate community. She is currently the assistant speech and debate coach at Clackamas (OR) High School, where she is also a math teacher. She and Jennifer LeSieur have worked closely as coaches since she arrived at Clackamas in 2007. Their efforts have paved the way for students to qualify for the national tournament in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020.
Amdahl-Mason’s history of serving her state is vast. In addition to coaching her Clackamas speech and debate team, she has been a member of the state championship committee since 2009. In 2014, she began serving the North Oregon National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Committee. She assumed the role of Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Proven Excellence Advisor (tracking alternate qualifications to the state tournament) in 2016 and became the district director for Clackamas’ state qualifying district in 2018.
Amdahl-Mason was among the first advocates for technology and the use of Tabroom, an online tournament management system. When the OSAA district and state championships moved to Tabroom, she assisted by leading the transition. In doing so, Amdahl-Mason learned available programs, created manuals and workshops, and developed a practice tournament that could be easily managed by other coaches.
Jennifer Brooks is the coordinator of music for David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon, and previously was a music teacher and director of bands at David Douglas High School (DDHS) and Banks (Oregon) Junior and Senior High Schools.
Under Brooks’ leadership, David Douglas High School became a powerhouse in several competitive divisions of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA). From 2010 to 2019, the school achieved six runner-up finishes and one third-place result in the Full Orchestra Division, five top-five finishes in the 6A Band Division and placed in the top five in the String Orchestra Division three times. Brooks has taken on a number of professional service commitments since 2010, including NFHS Music Committee chair and Music Committee Section 8 representative; Tri-M Music Honor Society advisor; Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) District II president, band chair and group manager for symphony, wind symphony, symphonic band and jazz band; Oregon Band Directors Association president; and OSAA Championships Committee and Activities Committee member and liaison to OMEA. She was also part of the Oregon Ambassadors of Music staff for five years.
Brooks received the Mary V. Dodge Award from the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 2013 and helped DDHS become a GRAMMY Signature School in 2011 and GRAMMY Enterprise Award winner in 2012.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations