CHSSA Awards and Hall of Fame

Since its founding the California High School Speech Association has been the community gathering place for thousands of competitors and coaches who have represented the best that California speech and debate has to offer. In this community of excellence there are coaches and competitors who have proven themselves in their acts of service, through their excellence in competition, and in their commitment to speech and debate. To recognize these incredible students and coaches CHSSA has developed the CHSSA Hall of Fame, and other awards. Learn how to nominate for these awards, and past winners below. 


Donovan Cummings’ Service Above Self Award

Each year one person is selected by the executive council to receive this award named after CHSSA’s first historian, Donovan Cummings. This award is given to someone who goes above and beyond in service to others in speech and debate, and in supporting the teaching, practicing, and learning of the activity throughout the state of California. Recipients of this award show a willingness to do the hard work, sacrifice, and help without desire for recognition or thanks. 


Representatives of the California High School Speech Association state board nominate deserving candidates. 


The CHSSA executive committee reviews all nominees contributions to speech and debate in CA, and selects a recipient.

Student of the Year

Selected at the State Tournament Each Year
Nominations open in Spring

The student of the year award is selected from students across the state of California who have been nominated by their speech and debate coach. These students, in their final year of competition, have utilized their speech and debate skills in order to better themselves, their teams, their communities, and have fought to build a better future for California. 

CHSSA Hall of Fame

Multiple Nominees Can Be Inducted Each Year
Click Here to Complete a Nomination Form

The members of the Hall of Fame certainly would agree that the honor of their induction is shared with the many students they have served through the years, just as the honors their students are shared with their loyal coaches. Just as assuredly, their students would attest to the generosity of those who have given of their time, treasure, and talents in preparing thousands of young people for productive citizenship and life-long success. Candidates for the Hall of Fame are nominated by Leagues and voted on by CHSSA council, leagues, and other Hall of Fame members not currently on the council. 


2021 Honoree

2022 Honorees

2023 Honoree


2016 Honoree

2017 Honoree

2020 Honoree




2010 Honoree

2011 Honorees

2012 Honorees

2013 Honorees

2015 Honorees




2005 Honorees

2006 Honoree

2007 Honoree

2009 Honoree



2000 Honorees

2002 Honoree

2003 Honoree

2004 Honoree


Checkout Our Video Interviews of Past Years’ Hall of Fame Inductees

Former CHSSA Historian, Hall of Fame member, and Service Above Self Service Award winner, and founding member of the California High School Speech Association Donovan Cummings began the practice of interviewing new Hall of Fame coaches as they were inducted in order to preserve the talent, history, and legacy of these coaches who were given the highest honor within our organization. CHSSA Historians since Mr. Cummings have continued this tradition of collecting Hall of Fame interviews as new coaches are inducted.