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Madison Metropolitan School District

Memorial High's Forensics Supervisor Wins Coaching Excellence Award

As Memorial High School’s Forensics Team won first place in the Wisconsin Forensic Coaches' Association (WFCA) State Tournament on April 2, team coach Tim Scheffler won his own award alongside his students. Scheffler received WFCA’s William Hintz Memorial Award for Coaching Excellence, for his demonstrated enthusiasm and knowledge toward forensics, and deep respect for fellow coaches and students.

“The award is a much appreciated recognition by my fellow coaches of the difference a dedicated coach can make,” Scheffler said. “Public speaking is such an important skill for any student, that one of my primary efforts over the past two decades has been to expand access to Forensics and Debate for Madison and Dane County students.”

Across the country, speech and debate have been drivers of equity and a tool in closing achievement gaps, leading Scheffler to encourage all Madison high schools to pursue equally competitive teams for students. 

“There's a reason why Justice Jackson in her recent confirmation hearing thanked her late speech coach, citing her coach as a primary reason why the Justice was sitting before the Senate,” Scheffler said. “This activity can be a life-altering, transformative experience for the students who participate in it.”

This year marked the Memorial Forensic Team’s 18th year as Division 1 state champions since the 2001-02 school year, 17 of which Scheffler has been a part of, with four of those wins as head coach. Scheffler has also won the Wisconsin Debate Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year in 2009, and was inducted into the State Debate Coach Hall of Fame in 2019 and the WFCA Hall of Fame in 2021.