Paul L. Gaba - Head Coach
Three Diamond "Debate" was not offered at Bloomfield Hills Lahser High School when Paul Gaba was growing up in suburban Detroit. However, "Radio Broadcasting" was, and Gaba spent 2 1/2 years as a disc jockey and newscaster at WBFH-FM while in school.
After graduating from Lahser, Gaba split his time between Central Michigan University and Wayne State University, ultimately receiving his Bachelor of Applied Arts in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan in 1988. But while Gaba had a Broadcasting degree, he joined the world of journalism, spending the next few years as a reporter/photographer for various Michigan newspapers.
In 1994, he was offered the opportunity to free-lance for several papers, including The Detroit News, for which he spent nearly three years covering suburban Detroit politics. During his free-lance days, Gaba was hired as assistant manager of WBFH, and in 1997 he entered the Wayne State graduate school to obtain his secondary education teaching certificate. He received his certification in 1999, and earned his Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education in 2001, with a double major in English and Speech and a minor in Journalism.
Gaba was Debate Coach at South Fork High School in Stuart, Florida, for two years before assuming the same role at Wellington in August 2002. He was elected to the National Speech & Debate Association's Florida Panther District committee in May 2003, and served on the committee from 2003-08 and 2009-2013. In October 2013, he was elected chairperson of the new Florida Oceanfront National Speech & Debate Association District, after the Palm Beach/Martin county area split away from the rest of the Panther District (which is currently based in the Orlando area).
Gaba was the recipient of the 2003 National Debate Coaches Association Barton Scholarship, which helped defray the costs of traveling to and attending the University of Kentucky National Debate Institute's Lincoln Douglas Coaches Program.
In his role as the Florida Forensic League's Macaw Region director from 2004-08, Gaba acted as a member of the Florida Council of Presidents, representing coaches in Palm Beach County in coordinating a statewide debate calendar, creating a standardized judge training manual, and developing a curriculum guide that can be used by novice debate coaches. Gaba, who was Florida Forensic League Vice President/Webmaster from 2009-2017, was also a member of the FFL Policy Debate Task Force in 2003-04. Gaba is a member of the Lincoln-Douglas Education Project, an organization of coaches who believe LD should retain its values-based heritage, of the National Debate Coaches Association, and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
In 2007-08, Gaba began serving as Vice President of Individual Events for the Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League, and in his capacity on the PBCFL executive board has been responsible for setting up and running the Joy of Tournaments software and computer program.
Gaba was honored as the Florida Forensic League's 2011-12 "Coach of the Year," and was selected by the National Federation of State High Schools Speech, Debate and Theatre Association's Speech Advisory Committee to receive its Section 3 Award representing Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee as a regional coach of the year. He was named a George Mason University Patriot Games Classic Invitational Debate Tournament "Mason Mentor" by Peter Pober in December 2013. He has been honored as the FFL Macaw Region's "Coach of the Year" three times (2004-05, 2008-09, and 2011-12). The NSDA has recognized Gaba for his committment as a district chair, directing tournaments, conducting public service projects, and devoting his talents to others, as the 281st debate coach in NSDA history to earn the NSDA Distinguished Service Key. In July 2015, he was awarded the NSDA Distinguished Service Plaque - Second Honors, the 53rd coach in NSDA history to earn the accolade, and in July 2017, was awarded the NSDA Distinguished Service Plaque - Third Honors, only the 33rd coach in NSDA history to reach this plateau.
Dale McCall - Coach Emeritus
Six Diamond Barbara Dale McCall - dubbed "The Queen of Lincoln Douglas Debate" by the National Speech & Debate Association - retired in 2000 after a 32-year-long tenure of coaching debate in Palm Beach County. She earned more than 16,000 NFL points, and was honored as a Sixth Diamond Coach on June 30, 2000.
During her time at both Twin Lakes High School and Wellington High School, Dale was named a "Key Coach" of the Barkley Forum at Emory University, elected to the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame, and was the major figure in the implementation of Lincoln Douglas Debate, including codifying the original set of LD rules and practices.
Dale served as the National Speech & Debate Association's South Florida District chair, helped create the National Speech & Debate Association Florida Manitee District (where she served as chair), and spearheaded the drive to create the National Speech & Debate Association Florida Orange Blossom (then Florida Panther, now Florida Ocenafront) District, of which Palm Beach debate programs are currently members. In addition, as a staunch advocate of academic freedom in the classroom, Dale was named winner of Florida's Intellectual Freedom Award.
As coach at Twin Lakes, Dale coached National Boys Extemp Champion Barry Mann, who finished 4th two years earlier, as well as Jeannette Kuvin, runner-up in Oratory. In all, 51 qualifiers represented Twin Lakes at National Speech & Debate Association Nationals, many placing in late rounds of Lincoln Douglas, Policy Debate, Oratory, and Extemp.
The Twin Lakes chapter was one of Florida's best at a time when Florida was a single National Speech & Debate Association district and one of the most competitive states in the nation. Dale's Twin Lakes chapter won two Leading Chapter Awards, the District Plaque, and two District Trophies. Dale coached Florida's Student Points Leader five different years. In 1986, Twin Lakes was second in the U.S. in enrollment of new degrees.
Dale's greatest strength was working with parents, who formed a Booster Club, raised money, and judged.
After coming to Wellington in 1988, Dale achieved similar success, qualifying 13 students to eight nationals, including late-round competitors in Lincoln Douglas and Policy Debate. Under McCall, Wellington twice was the district's largest chapter, and won the district trophy.
Dale coached at the Georgetown, American and Iowa summer institutes, and was a most popular teacher. She coached nationally ranked debate teams and extempers early in her career, and then almost singlehandedly invented Lincoln Douglas Debate in the early 1980s. Since retiring, Dale has served as treasurer of the Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League, and has assisted in workshops for students and new coaches.
Special thanks to the National Speech & Debate Association for supplying biographical information for Dale McCall.