Reed Niemi

Reed Niemi

President, CHSSA

President's Message - Oct. 2018

It is with great excitement that I share what CHSSA has been working on the past year. 2018-2019 promises to be an exciting year for California forensics!

Under the leadership of Gay Brasher and Ron Underwood the groundwork has been established for CHSSA’s first Middle School State Champs that will take place at Leland HS on May 17-19, 2019. CHSSA is hoping to be able to also add World Schools Debate for high school students to be held at the same time. Due to room constraints, while Worlds cannot be added to the State Champs, we hope that we can add it with qualification left to leagues to determine. CHSSA also hopes that this helps teams that are attending Nationals, to have a “warm-up” prior to June.

Our Bulletin has had a reboot thanks to CHSSA Editor Ben Cummings. Check out the issues on or check CHSSA’s Facebook for updates.

Due to the diligent work of the Debate Committee, next year will see “debate parity” for the first time. This specifically is something that has been discussed since Public Forum and Parli were added as CHSSA events. This is exciting given California continues to be a leader in high school Parli debate, even though the NSDA has been attempting to add a debate similar to, but not quite, Parli.

We will be asking for some demographic information from member schools so that we may better serve our members in the state. Watch for the new assessment form, and if your school rolled their bond over while at State Champs, you will still need to fill out the assessment and send it the respective Area Chair.

CHSSA is in the midst of incorporating as a nonprofit. Hardly an easy task given CHSSA’s 60+ years as an association. Member schools will be asked to vote on incorporating in the beginning of August. It is imperative that schools vote within the timeframe and send their ballots to CHSSA’s newly hired outside counsel.

Area IV has a new Chair, and Sarah Sherwood. Congratulations!

Iain Lampert has been appointed the Coordinator of Public Relations for CHSSA. Welcome!

Karson Kalashian has accepted the appointment of CHSSA Debate Chair. Good luck!

2018-2019 will be exciting in California forensics, as we continue to grow and reach out to populations previously not served by CHSSA and find new avenues to allow speech and debate to flourish inside and outside the classroom.



Reed Niemi

President, California High School Speech Association