Read all the information fully including attachments & see our coaching staff
Welcome to Always Writing 4 U Summer Camp Information Page 2022!!! If you have made your way to this page you are interested in attending camp with us this summer. Below is all of the information that you will need for camp.
First, the Camp Flyer & Information document that outlines the camp expectations, dates, events offered, and all things camp.
Second, the Camp Paperwork which you will need to print and share with your parents because it needs to be filled out and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a coach and want to use a Purchase Order to pay for camp simply e-mail me at the above e-mail and we will get that paperwork going and invoice sent to school.
Preferred payment is by check.
You are NOT guaranteed a spot in the camp until you have A. returned the paperwork and B. purchased the camp
You will receive a confirmation once your slot is solid.
*Space is limited and dates will be removed as the weeks reach maximum capacity.
We will follow all District and any State Covid mandates as well as expecting all students and coaching staff to wear masks when not performing or teaching in all spaces.
Host: J. Frank Dobie High School
Date: July 11-15, 2022
Who: 9-12 grade students ONLY
J. Frank Dobie Hybrid Camp & Paperwork
Hybrid Camp Option- 100% online
Time: 9:00- 4:30
J. Frank Dobie Camp Paperwork (In person)
Any student attending camp will need to print, fill out and return. *Some sections are for parents.
***All payments for all camps are to be mailed to:
Always Writing 4 U
c/o Kristy Thomas
9808 Overhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64134
Always Writing 4 U pieces that have made it to the National Speech and Debate Association tournament and placings.
Meet our coaching team
KRISTY THOMAS is the owner and lead writer at Always Writing 4 U. She was a high school, college competitor and began coaching in 1996. Her college degrees include a BS in Secondary Theatre and Speech Education, MFA in Acting and Direction, MBA Educational Leadership, Certification in Diversity & Inclusion. She has had over twenty- five years of coaching experience in Missouri, Kansas and Texas. In her coaching career she has had state qualifiers and finalists across the board in speech, state champions in: DI and Duo (2) in Texas. As a writer she has had numerous state champions, national qualifiers, national finalists, 3 national champions in Prose, National finalists in DI and Duo and DI champion with "Animal." During camp she believes in building students up with useful lectures, workable notes, educating students on who they can take this one week of camp back and use it for the entire year and the importance of seeing the relevance of speech as an activity to take with them for the rest of their lives. Our top notch coaching staff of certified educators who are experienced, knowledgeable active creators of safe spaces for students to grow at their own pace is a large part of why our speech camp excels.
AMBERLEY TANNER has a M.A. in Performance from Texas Women’s University and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington. Mrs. Tanner has been heavily active in UIL OAP, UIL Academics, TFA, NIETOC, and NSDA competitions since 1995. Currently, Mrs. Tanner is the Director of Forensics at Northwest High School where she coaches students on the local, regional, state and national level. She is also the UIL Coordinator. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor of Drama for Tarrant County College. As an Acting/Vocal instructor, Mrs. Tanner has coached for the University of Texas at Arlington and Rice University in Houston. She is a nationally recognized performer in Prose, Poetry, Dramatic Interpretation, After-dinner Speaking and Duo interpretation. Mrs. Tanner is also a writer, and her work has been performed nationwide. For the past fifteen years, she has made programs built for interpretation and oratory the highlight of her summer. She is looking forward to another opportunity to be a part of the camp experience that helps brings great literature and world events to life through the voices of young high school students. It is about the art we create with our minds, hearts, and most importantly, our words put into action.
NATHAN COLE is a tenured professor of Theatre Arts at Ventura College in Ventura, California. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Arlington, Nathan competed in individual events for four years and was a DSRTKA national champion in both Duo and Program Oral Interpretation. For AFT, he was a semi-finalist in Program Oral Interpretation and Poetry. After graduation and during graduate school, Nathan coached interpretation events for both the University of Texas at Arlington and Rice University. Relocating from Dallas, Texas, Nathan was the lead faculty and faculty coordinator in the Theatre Department at Mountain View College for almost nine years, and chair and co-chair of the Drama Discipline Committee for Dallas County Community College District. Nathan has directed numerous plays, adjudicated UIL One Act plays as well as served as a workshop presenter. Nathan is excited to share his knowledge of speech and performance at camp.
ERIC PORTER holds a BFA in Acting from The University of Texas, and an MFA in Acting from The American Conservatory Theater and Ohio University . He has performed professionally in such Regional Theaters as PCPA Theaterfest, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Cleveland Play House, St. Louis Rep., Theatre Arlington in Virginia, Columbus Players Theatre, New York: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel, and Playwrights Horizon, Mr. Porter also worked at Paramount Studios as the assistant to the Senior VP of casting feature films where he worked on Cameron Crowe's “Elizabethtown”. He has taught theater arts and coached oral interpretation at the college and high school level for 23 years. He is a member of Actor’s Equity the professional actor union and a Diamond Coach in the National Speech and Debate Association. He has been coaching speech camps all over the country for the past twenty years, and has coached HI, DI and Duet Acting Champions in Texas and a National DI Champion in 2012. Mr. Porter currently teaches Acting, Intro to Theater and Education at Houston Community College and Debate , Speech and Theater at Challenge Early College High School both in Houston.
ANDREW GEORGE BARRETT is the current Head of Forensics at J. Frank Dobie High School in Pasadena ISD. In his 7 years at Dobie, Andrew has coached students who have finaled at prestigious debate tourneys such as Grapevine, UT, Holy Cross, George Mason, Emory, Harvard, TFA and UIL in all genres of competition garnering 6 state champions in 7 years since taking over the program. At the national level including NIETOC, TOC-Kentucky, NCFL and NSDA Andrew has coached multiple competitors to quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds in both interpretation and public address events, including 8 national finalists in DI, Duo, OI and Oratory as well the 2019 TOC-Kentucky Champion in Dramatic Interpretation and 2020 TFA State Champion in Program of Oral Interpretation. Andrew was also a previous coach at Bellaire and Spring Woods where he worked with dozens of state champions and NSDA qualifiers and outround participants. In addition to coaching, 100% of Mr, Barrett’s students have received scholarships to some of the best college institutions in the country including Wiley, TSU, Yale, Howard, the University of Texas, University of Houston and Prairie View to name a few. Andrew is excited to be coaching with Kristy Thomas for the third time in four years and is looking forward to helping students find their voice while performing with passion.
REGGIE CHAPMAN is an Educator and Performer from Hattiesburg, MS. He has served as an Assistant/Field Coach at Hattiesburg HS for 7 years and is currently in his first year of serving as Director of Theater. As a competitor Reggie claimed 2 Collegiate National Championships; one in Prose Interpretation performing Seventh Birthday written by Kristy Thomas and the other in Duo Interpretation. As a coach, he has been blessed to work with some of the most talented students in the country, seeing some of his students go as far winning the National Championship. He credits the students’ perseverance, focus and talents for the success that they’ve accomplished. When he is not coaching speech and debate, Reggie can be found performing on stages around his city as he was recently appointed the Headline Performer for all major events. His love of performance and passion for the Arts continuously pushes him to discover new and inventive ways to push students towards finding their voices in this activity!
RICHARD SABATUCCI teaches Theater in Arlington ISD. In addition to teaching, Richard has coached finalists for NSDA, NIETOC, and TFA tournaments. His specialties include DI, HI, Poetry, and DUO. He staunchly believes that dogs are better than cats. :-)
TY GREENWOOD holds a B.A. in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Honors in Theatre from Washington & Jefferson College ‘17 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University ‘20, in Dramatic Writing. He has presented his short play, “NOT A FAIRY TALE” and research “Protecting our Black Men: Black Masculinity and the use of the Black Body in “For Black Boys Who Have Considered Homicide…”’ at the Mid-America Theatre Conference ‘18. He developed and had a staged reading of his full length choreopoem play, “DEATH DREAM” at Alumni Theatre Company ‘19. Recently, he participated in City Theatre’s 2019 Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages where he presented an excerpt of “Untitled Thesis Play” as part of the “In Their Own Voices” event. Greenwood is a 4 time state qualifier (1 Public Forum, 3 Dramatic Interp.) and a 3 time National Qualifier in Dramatic Interpretation. In 2013, he was 7th in the state of Pennsylvania in Dramatic Interp and took 5th in Poetry at the NFL National tournament in Alabama. He currently is the Head/Coach of Speech & Debate at Seattle Academy of the Arts and Sciences in Seattle, Washington.
MADI GACKENBACH is the head coach of Speech & Debate at Plano East Sr. High in Plano, TX. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Madi started her coaching career young by volunteering as an assistant coach at her high school alma mater and former team! Quickly falling back in love with Speech & Debate, she became the youngest Speech & Debate coach in Plano East history. In her 3 years at Plano East, Madi has jumpstarted a program on the verge of collapse. Since 2018, Plano East has had 23 NSDA National Qualifiers (in Original Oratory, Informative Speaking, Program Oral Interp, the Extemps, Congress, LD, and World Schools), just as many TOC and NIETOC qualifiers, and more TFA State qualifiers than she can count. At TFA State, Plano East regularly has quarterfinalist and semifinalists in Interp, Public Address, and LD, and finalists in Congress and OO. In both 2020 and 2021, the winner of the TFA State final round of Original Oratory was a Plano East student. Madi is excited to work with such a talented group of colleagues and students this summer, as we all gear up for another year of tough competition!
STEFANY CAMBRA is a graduate from Drury University, where she earned a BA in Theatre and Communications, along with a myriad of minors in Philosophy, Religion, Asian Studies, and Global Foundations. She has taught Oral Interpretation and Debate at her alma mater, Plano Senior High School, since 2017 and will be the head of Oral Interpretation at Grapevine High School beginning the fall of 2021. She brings with her 20 years of experience in the activity - as a competitor, judge, and educator. She has coached numerous finalists and champions on the local, state, and national level, including this year's TFA State Champion in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking. Cambra believes that competitive success lies in a strong educational foundation - teaching students lifelong skills that will bring them success at competition and in their daily lives. In addition, she is the Artistic Director of Proper Hijinx Productions, an independent theatre company that focuses on producing original works by local writers in the DFW metroplex. Cambra works professionally as an actor, director, playwright, and occasional prop designer. She has a lifelong passion for all things communication and performance. If you ask what her favorite event is, she won't be able to just name one. "My favorite event is the event a student is excited about - I am ready to work alongside each and every student to help them discover the power of their own voice."
SEAN ALLEN was born and raised in Galveston Texas. He attended Wiley College for undergrad and attained a master's degree in Rhetorical Studies at Hofstra University in Long Island New York. Over the past 5 years Sean has served as the Director Of Forensics for the Tennessee State University Speech and Debate Team. During that time, he hosted 2 National events, Including the oldest and largest National Tournament in the country, Pi Kappa Delta. Since his arrival, the Forensics team has won 895 Awards, 25 State Championships and 17 National Championships.
KAREN GOSSETT was a Speech and Theatre teacher in Texas for over 30 years. She was very active in Community Theatre – specifically Youth theatre, and serve as a board member for Denton Community Theatre for many years.
She started her UIL experience in 1973, when as a student her school won State UIL One Act. It was then her love for teaching that led her to Casa Manana, and teaching MS, HS and College Theatre as well as Speech. She was fortunate to experience wins in Zone, District, Area and Regional for One Act as well as 10 years of Superior ratings in MS.
On the Speech side TFA/UIL she has had the honor of coaching many prose and poetry UIL State Champions and eventually brought home the State Title in Overall Speech Team.
She attributes her success as a teacher to being an actress as well as a UIL/TFA competitor.
Teaching is my passion….”to be good is not enough when you dream of being great.”