BY ARIELLE KRAUS
Not many teachers have been devoted to the subject they teach since their teenage years. However, this is not the case for the new speech and debate teacher Sarah Botsch-Mcguinn, known by her students as Mrs. BMac. During her educational career, both as a student and a teacher, BMac has focused on debate.
BMac is originally from San Diego, California. She attended college at the University of California Santa Cruz. From there, she decided to teach and went to Santa Clara University to get her master’s degree in education. She originally worked at an all-girls Catholic school in San Jose for nine years, then moved to Florida and taught at American Heritage in Boca Delray. This will be BMac’s 11th year teaching, and her first in a public school.
Throughout high school and college, BMac’s passion was evident, as she was an active speech and debate member. Debate is her main focus because it is an area she is very educated on.
“I did speech and debate in both high school and college, as well as in my entire educational career,” BMac said. “I was the Director of Forensics at my old school, Notre Dame, and the Director of Speech and Debate at Heritage.”
“I did speech and debate in both high school and college, as well as in my entire educational career.”
BMac has many goals and ideas for the upcoming school year. She plans on helping students strengthen their weaknesses, especially in debate. The CCHS Speech and Debate team is very strong, and BMac hopes to work with students to continue their success.
“Over my career, I have developed a lot of abilities to know how to deploy arguments and know more advanced debate strategies,” BMac said. “I am hoping that over the next few years as students develop, we can really become a powerhouse for debate.”
Tournaments are competitions that Speech and Debate members participate in. At these events, students compete in a series of rounds against students from other schools. Preparing for these events may be intense, but the experience that students obtain from it is unable to be matched.
“When it comes to tournaments, it can get pretty stressful,” speech co-captain Will Barringer said. “However, knowing that I have a new debate teacher with so many awesome ideas makes me feel better.”
“Knowing that I have a new debate teacher with so many awesome ideas makes me feel better.”
BMac enjoys going to tournaments and watching her students succeed and learn from them. The rush that she notices in her students after competing in a tough round and winning is like no other. However, when students do not win rounds, she knows that they will be educated by the loss and come back stronger in the next tournament.
“Even if you lose, there is a lot that you can learn from losing to somebody who is really good,” BMac said. “Just sitting down after a round, you can reflect on questions like: ‘What can you learn from that person? What kind of arguments were they running? Let’s see how we can do better and be able to respond to that better next time.’”
In addition to teaching speech and debate, BMac is also teaching Law Studies at CCHS. Throughout her career, she developed a passion for politics and economics, which she derived from her debate obsession. In the past, she has taught many history courses including Government and World History.
When BMac is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her two beloved cats. In her free time, she loves to be out in nature. Her favorite activities include bird-watching, hiking and swimming. BMac was a radio DJ in college, and that helped develop her adoration for music, especially of the indie genre.
“I am really enjoying working with [BMac] to continue the success of this great debate team.”
BMac is very close to her immediate family members, who are scattered all throughout the United States. Her sister resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her brother resides in San Diego, California. Although they live many miles apart, they make sure to remain in touch with one another.
Coming to a new school was an adjustment for BMac. Similarly, having a new teacher was an adjustment for the speech and debate students. This change, however, has been a wonderful opportunity for students. Bonding with a new teacher and learning from her has been both exciting and educational.
“Working with and getting to know a new debate teacher after spending my first three years with Ms. Schauben is awesome,” co-president of Speech and Debate Sam Mickenberg said. “I am really enjoying working with [BMac] to continue the success of this great debate team.”
“I love watching when students first learn how to do something, and that light that comes when they realize they know how to do it.”
An important part of teaching is connecting with your students on both an academic and personal level. This is a priority for most teachers, especially during the first few weeks of school. It was no different for BMac.
“I am really looking forward to getting to know the students a lot more,” BMac said. “I love building relationships.”
BMac is prepared to help her students have the most outstanding year possible. Students from the Speech and Debate team are preparing to take on an after-school tournament at Flanagan High School on September 12. They were also invited to attend the Flying L Invitational at Fort Lauderdale High School on September 22. Training and teaching students strategies for upcoming tournaments is something BMac is looking forward to.
“I love watching when students first learn how to do something, and that light that comes when they realize they know how to do it,” BMac said. “Then, seeing them apply what they have learned in rounds is really exciting to me.”
Photo by Alexa Jaspan