The National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) recently awarded Bob Jones Academy (BJA) faculty member Chuck Nicholas the Distinguished Service Bronze Plaque–Ninth Honors.
Founded in 1925, the NSDA was created to recognize and support middle and high school students who participate in speech and debate activities. Founder Bruno E. Jacob established the Distinguished Service Award to honor coaches “who selflessly serve the association.”
Coaches who promote the NSDA by participating in activities, such as recruiting new members and hosting tournaments, earn service citations. A gold key is awarded to those who earn 20 citations. A bronze plaque is awarded to those with 50 citations. Nicholas has received 470 citations during his decades of involvement with speech and debate.
Nicholas has been awarded nine distinguished service awards from the NSDA, as well as, SC District Communicator of the Year and SC Speech and Debate Educator of the Year. He and his wife, Gail, have coached national champions in storytelling and commentary, finalists in Congress, eighth place finishers in National Public Forum Debate, National Quarterfinalists in Word Schools Debate and a host of other regional and national winners.
“It comes as no surprise that Gail and Chuck are being recognized again for their expertise in speech and debate. For years, they have sharpened the skills of Bob Jones Academy students who have subsequently entered all walks of life. Their influence has extended well beyond BJA to the national level where they are regarded as top tier coaches,” said BJA Administrator Dr. Dan Nelson. “But, most importantly, they instill within their students a love for the Lord and challenge them to hone their communication skills to speak forth truth to a world looking for peace and hope which are found in Christ alone.”
Nicholas has served as head coach of BJA’s speech and debate team for 35 years and currently teaches speech, debate and drama at BJA.