Nate Smith, debate coach at Lee’s Summit High School, recently received a Second Diamond Award from the National Speech and Debate Association. The association’s diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity.

Awards are based on coach points received, and Smith had received 4,250 points as of mid-January. Coaches receive one-tenth the points earned by their students and one-tenth the points earned as a student member of the Association. After a minimum of five years as a National Speech and Debate Association member, a coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond with a second diamond for 3,000 points and a third for 6,000. Five years must pass between each diamond award.

“Nate Smith is a hard working debate and forensics instructor who strives for excellence with all aspects of the program,” says Chad Hertzog, activities director for the school. “Each of our students learns a great deal from Mr. Smith and he takes pride in all that he does with regards to the speech and debate program. Through his efforts, each of our students has the opportunity to achieve his or her personal best in the debate and forensics program. He is a very deserving recipient of this honor,”

In June, Smith will be recognized at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas. Each year, the tournament draws more than 5,000 students, coaches and parents from across the nation.

Smith has served as debate coach at Lee’s Summit High School since 2004.