Gateway Student, Speech Coach Receive Honors at State Tournament

A Gateway Community and Technical College student has been recognized as the outstanding female forensic student in Kentucky, and the colleges speech and debate coach was honored as coach of the year at the Kentucky Forensic Association State Tournament held on February 19-20 at Murray State University.

Rosemary Gina Wolfe, an Associate in Science major from Bellevue, won the Harlan Hamm Award. The state coaches association chooses the award recipient based on leadership, forensic success and community service.

A founding member of the GCTC speech team since 2006, Wolfe has served as team captain and has received recognition at various tournaments. Most notably, she represented Kentucky at the Interstate Oratorical Contest in 2007.

Gina is not a traditional forensic student, said Head Coach Dr. Michelle Deeley Wilhite. She struggles to even be part of the team. She is a single parent raising a school-aged daughter and works full time to support her family while she attends college. Despite these and other obstacles, she manages to attend two tournaments a year and maintains a strong grade point average.

She is the type of student that coaches dream about having on a team, Deeley Wilhite added. She applies her forensic background to make her community a better place.

Deeley Wilhite received the Margaret Greynolds Coach of the Year award from the student division of the Kentucky Forensic Association. To receive this award, an individual coach must receive at least 60 votes from students. Gateway has four students eligible to vote so the bulk of the votes came from students at other community and four-year colleges in Kentucky.

This award has special meaning for me, the Gateway coach said. I worked with Margaret Greynolds when I competed as part of Northern Kentucky University's speech team in the late 1980s, and she coached the Georgetown College team. Margaret took every student under her wing and was an outstanding judge and role model. I will be extremely proud if I can provide even a small amount of the compassion, wisdom and motivation that Margaret provided to me and others.

Directing a forensic team is not limited to coaching your own team, Deeley Wilhite added. It also involves judging and encouraging students from other schools. I was surprised and delighted to receive this recognition since it comes from so many students throughout the state. It was humbling.

Deeley Wilhite received recognition from her peer coaches last year as Carter-Talbet Coach of the Year.