Forensics coaches resign

Lamanskys have 45 combined years at Steamboat

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Marty and Shauna Lamansky, longtime Steamboat Springs High School forensics coaches, resigned after a change in district policy.

Junior qualifies for national forensics tournament

Steamboat Springs junior Ashley Lopez has qualified for the national forensics tournament June 17 to 22 in Wichita, Kan.

Lopez placed second at the national qualifier to automatically qualify in international extemporaneous speaking, her specialty.

Lopez also qualified as a freshman but had no goals of finishing well two years ago. Plans have changed this time around.

"My goal is to make quarterfinals, which is the top 30," Lopez said. "Once I do that, which I hope to do, then I can rethink my goals."

Lopez will be competing against 200 other high school students in the first six rounds of preliminary speeches. The field will then be narrowed to 60 students for more speeches. She said the competition at nationals is exceptional.

"It comes down to small things at nationals," Lopez said. "It's intense."

Lopez admits to being nervous before tournaments, but her nervousness usually subsides when she begins speaking. She is one of Colorado's top high school speakers on international affairs, so she is awaiting the next step this season.

— Longtime Steamboat Springs High School forensics coaches Marty and Shauna Lamansky have resigned from their positions.

"I cried when they told us," junior Ashley Lopez said.

Marty Lamansky, commonly called "M.L." by his forensics students, coached the Sailors for 27 years. He will remain a social studies and speech teacher at the high school.

Shauna Lamansky, commonly called "Mrs." by her forensics students, coached the Sailors for 18 years.

The husband and wife are stepping down together in what was a difficult decision, but one they made after a change in district policy, Shauna said.

In previous years, Shauna did not attend all the tournaments with Marty, which allowed Shauna to work weekends at her photography studio, Steele Images Studio, which is her primary job.

District policy no longer allowed Shauna to rotate tournaments with her husband, which hurt business and cost the couple money, she said.

Shauna said the studio will now be open full time, and she'll take a more active role in a philanthropic effort called Operation Smile.

Shauna said she and Marty plan to help the new forensics coach or coaches, and they will remain involved in their students' lives.

Lopez said the Lamanskys would be hard to replace for several reasons.

"First, they have experience with forensics," she said. "They've been part of a team. Second, we have a coach whose specialty is debate and (extemporaneous speaking) and one whose specialty is oratory. Third, for me personally, I like that they are no-nonsense coaches."

Shauna said coaching forensics was never just about preparing students for tournaments. It was about helping them conquer a fear of public speaking and giving students preparation for life, she said.

The Lamanskys hope the district will find a good replacement.

"When we started, we were fresh to the process," Shauna said.

Comments

Magpie 7 years, 8 months ago

I wish the SP&T had quoted the district policy that resulted in the Lamanskys resigning. Seems like what has worked well for 18 years (the years, according to the article, that they have been coaching together) shouldn't have to change when the students are happy and the team is successful. Before I get really angry about how stupid this seems (especially in light of the lack of district leadership in other areas), I would like to know what the policy is (I can't find it on the district's website) and why it was implemented (what problem was it put in place to solve).

The reality in our small community is that coaches at all levels and in many activities are primarily volunteers and need to make their 'real jobs' fit in with their coaching/mentoring. We all know that getting by in Steamboat often requires a more creative job structure than in other places (sometimes multiple, jobs, etc). I don't understand why a policy that makes it more difficult for community members to coach and mentor our students is beneficial.

SP&T PLEASE look into this further and explain what the policy is and why it was put in place so our community can judge if the overall benefit outweighs the negatives (like losing the Lamanskys).

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autumnwitch 7 years, 8 months ago

I am so sad to read this story. These two people have done amazing things with the speech teams for so long that this seems like a slap in the face. What I didn't see was if they will continue on with the other facets they have so willingly given their time for in regards to the other types of speech teams. Thank you for all your time and efforts Marty and Shauna!

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