School Affiliation: West Bend High Schools

Experience: I was a policy debater and a forensic orater for New London High School over 30 years ago. I have been a middle school forensic judge and assistant coach for St. Frances Cabrini School, West Bend, since the 2004-2005 school year, and a judge and assistant coach for high school forensics for West Bend West High School in 2008 and 2009. In addition, I have been a high school debate judge for West Bend High Schools since 2007. As a high school debate judge, I have judged all forms of debate: novice and varsity policy; public forum; and LD. I have also helped coach LD debate as my daughter was a successful LD debater during the 2008-2009 school year and a CFL National Qualifier in 2010. Other related experience includes spending about 10 years in the career of legal secretary/legal assistant for trial lawyers in both civil and criminal litigation; and coaching the Supreme Court branch of Youth In Government for the Kettle Moraine YMCA since 2006.

Rate of Communication:
Speed is fine "if" you enunciate and do not run your words together. Please remember that if you speak too quickly, you will likely sacrifice some of your ability to speak persuasively, which is the most important element of debate, in my opinion. If I am unable to understand or flow what you are saying, you will have a difficult time convincing me that you should win.

Persuasive Communication:
Please see "Rate of Communication" above. In addition, this is a values debate where the affirmative debater has the burden of convincing me that the resolution is true while the negative debater has the burden of convincing me that the resolution is false. This can be accomplished through logic, philosophy and some evidence and by explaining to me through voters what makes you're position more significant than your opponent's position.

Cross-Examination:
Please be polite and use your time wisely. When it's your turn to ask questions, please take advantage of the opportunity to do so, because I can be very impressed with a cross-examiner who asks the right questions. When it's your turn to respond to questions, your ability to do so with composure and confidence will also impress me.

Value/Criteria:
Because LD is a values debate, I expect you to have both a value and criteria and to support them throughout the round. You should show me: (a) how your value will be obtained through your criterion and relate your case to that criterion; (b) how your opponent's criterion won't achieve his/her value; and, possibly, (c) how your case better achieves your opponent's value. In addition, because this is a values debate, I expect you to persuade me that your value and criterion are more likely than your opponent's to "make the world a better place".

Other Helpful Hints:
I appreciate meaningful eye contact directed at both me and your opponent off-and-on throughout the debate, especially when you are trying to make a point crystal clear.
I appreciate a civil and respectful debate.
I do not give oral critiques or disclosures.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at jgeenen@sbcglobal.net.