“The Brainstorm at the Lake,” MACA’s annual conference, hit the Inn at Grand Glaize in Osage Beach on September 26-27, and was declared a success. The day featured a variety of breakout sessions, a “new” president in the morning, and an election of a vice-president in the afternoon. Coach of the Year awards went to four top coaches, and member-emeritus Troy Kinast won the Carol Farmer Founders Award. One karma-charmed member won a new ZeeCraft buzzer system, donated by the ZeeCraft people.
Dr. Al Nicolai, from Central High School in Cape Girardeau, ran the opening meeting for the first time since becoming president of MACA upon the resignation of Jeremy Gibbs of Ft. Zumwalt West. Gibbs decided to give up the presidency after resigning from active coaching at FZW for personal reasons.
Bill Luce from Savannah, standing in for Stacy Schroeder from MSHSAA, explained rules, rules changes, and the new online rules review that replaces the old required rules meetings. Chad Kubicek from NAQT, the new provider for questions for MSHSAA districts and state competition, made a brief presentation and answered miscellaneous questions from the membership. Breakout sessions in the morning included “What You Need to Know about Math,” presented by Bart Mitchell (North County) and Gail Karlish (Poplar Bluff); “Qualifying for National Tournaments,” by Jeffrey Hill and Charles Dees (Missouri Quizbowl Alliance); and “What You Need to Know about Literature (and maybe some Fine Arts)” by Al Nicolai (Cape Central.) In the second round, Jeffrey Hill presented “”Making the MACA Website Work for You;” Audrey Connor (Marshall) hosted an informational section on tournament scheduling, and Brian Doyen (Jackson) presented “What You Need to Know about Science.” The afternoon breakout round featured Melissa Ross (Savannah) in “What You Need to Know about History”; “Tips for New Coaches” by Bill Luce; and “Preparing for Nationals—and Finding the Funds,” presented by Don Arni (Glasgow) and Cynthia Castle (Pilot Grove.)
At the concluding business meeting, Dr. Nicolai presented Coach of the Year awards to Lori Chester (St. Joseph Christian School) in Class 1, Jen Padberg (Barstow) in Class 2, Shawn Logan (Smithville) in Class 3, and Bob Odzinski (Kirksville) in Class 4. Troy Kinast of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School won the Carol Farmer Founders Award, presented for years of distinguished service to MACA and to the activity of academic competition. (See bio sketches of these award winners here.) Bob Brown (Richland) provided two highlights for the meeting. First, Brown volunteered to run for vice-president, and was elected by acclamation; then, when the ZeeCraft Challenger buzzer system went as the top door prize, Bob Brown walked away the winner. Lori Chester testified that when she volunteered to run the MACA newsletter, she won the grand prize buzzer system—so good deeds are rewarded in this lifetime. Plans are in the works to call the prize the “ZeeCraft Karma Award.”