Sumner Results & Coach Profile. Jamelle Brown: Making Debate a Family

Guest author: Rhiannon Dickerson

During this winter’s snowpocalypse, one of DKC’s major debates was postponed. The hard work of DKC coaches and students was in danger; they prepare all season for these debates. Sensing its importance, Sumner Academy coach, Jamelle Brown stepped forward and offered to host the make-up tournament at her school (see full results from the March 28th competition below). This is not the first time she has exceeded expectations. In her sixteen years of tenure as a DKC coach, Jamelle has mentored hundreds of students.

Ms. Brown’s relationship to debate is not new. She was once a debater herself, and said that the activity “helped [her] define and realize” her talents. She began her career in high school under the tutelage of Mrs. McClure who now volunteers for DKC at University Academy. The two women often see each other at tournaments. The influence of debate has shaped generations of thinkers, as is evidenced by Coach Brown’s story.

She first taught and coached debaters at Wyandotte High School in 1997 and later moved to Sumner Academy.  When she started coaching at Sumner, the school only offered high school students the opportunity debate. Ms. Brown spearheaded the program’s expansion to middle school students with the support of DKC and has been both the middle and high school head debate coach ever since. She has also created a varsity mentoring program.  Ms. Brown says of the program,
“I have a phenomenal group of varsity debaters who love coaching our middle school team!  It allows my high school debaters to learn some valuable skills including patience and humility.  They have “adopted” our middle school debaters and take their job as team coaches very seriously.”

Like all good leaders, Ms. Brown knows the importance of a community support and involvement. She navigates her experience as a mother in the same way she does coaching and teaching. She credits a supportive husband for making possible her tireless dedication to debate. “I always tell people” says Brown, “that I have over 200 children. I only get to claim three of them on my taxes.” Her children are part of the DKC community as well, sitting in at tournaments, and even participating as debaters. Let’s just say that Jamelle Brown lives what she teaches working nights and most weekends in pursuit of her passion.

When Ms. Brown volunteered to host the make-up tournament last month, she did so because she believes in the power of debate. “I enjoy seeing students grow and fall in love with debate and forensics” Brown says. “My greatest passion is to see students “get it” for the first time.” She sees debate as a “privilege” and fights to make sure her students and her children have access to it!

“We’re always talking about the DKC family,” says Isaac Allen, “Jamelle is a coach who really makes debate a family.”

See the full results from the tournament here:

Top 5 Policy Teams

  1. Sumner, Trevian Stewart & Taylor Holmes
  2. Sumner, Alexis Fant & Faith Davis
  3. Hogan, CAntae Kaid & Reggie Glenn
  4. FLA, Anna Crawford & Marybeth Eddy
  5. FLA, Xavier Freeman & Percy Bailey

Top 5 Policy Speakers

  1. Sumner, Taylor Holmes
  2. FLA, Max Kenney
  3. FLA, Xavier Freeman Edwards
  4. FLA, Anna Crawford
  5. Sumner, Faith Davis

House A

  1. Arrowhead , De’Auan Mclaine
  2. Sumner, Marley Lowe
  3. Lee A. Tolbert, Arieanna Boyd
  4. Coronado, Jamie Holst
  5. Central KCK, Alan Rosales

House B

  1. Arrowhead, Luke Hogue
  2. Lee A. Tolbert, Zion Piper
  3. Sumner, Jasmine Brown
  4. FLA, Lucy Mulholland
  5. FLA, Tyree Brown

House C

  1. Sumner, Michel Tinoco Morales
  2. Arrowhead , Alex Calderon
  3. Lee A. Tolbert, Josiah Hoskins
  4. Turner, Eli Rowden
  5. Turner, Travis Horne

House D

  1. Arrowhead, Suan Sona
  2. Hogan, Olayemi Sowemino
  3. FLA, Amitta Bryant
  4. Frontier School of Innovation, Blakely Mathis
  5. West, Navaeh  Jackson

House E

  1. Lee A. Tolbert, Jared Hoskins
  2. Arrowhead, Colin Barnes
  3. Sumner, Aliyah Shaw
  4. FLA, Taylor Corn
  5. Sumner, Ajhanae’ Franklin


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