Division A Contest Results

Fellow Toastmasters —

I’m pleased to report the results of the Division A Contest, held 24 February 2024:

Evaluation

  • 1st Jeffrey Bradbury
  • 2nd Christina LaPerle
  • 3rd Andrew Amico

International

  • 1st Jeffrey Bradbury
  • 2nd Sandy Weiner
  • 3rd Oluwafemi Omoyeni

Catch the gallery below of photographs from the Division Contest!

First place winner Jeffrey Bradbury will now advance to the District Contests on May 10 (Evaluation) and May 11 (International) at the District Conference in Southbury, Connecticut. Sign up to attend the conference now and cheer him on, and catch all the great workshops, and our keynote speaker Sheryl Roush!

A reminder that the Winter Club Officer Training season closes this week, on 29 February 2024. While District 53 has held all of its events for this season, you can select one of the events on the District 53 Training website that is hosted by another District, from New York to Hawaii.

March 31, 2024 is the end of the spring dues period, and you’ll need to make sure that all the members of your club have paid their dues to Toastmasters International — or that they’ve paid your club treasurer, and your treasurer has paid!

Please make plans for your Area Director to visit, as well! Their visits and reports should be complete by May 31, 2024!

Yours in Toastmasters service,
Stephanie Anne Roy
Division A Director 2023-2024

Club Officer Training Ends 2/29/2024!

Hello Fellow Toastmasters!

Club Officer Training ends soon — 2/29/2024!

While District 53’s offerings are now over, there are upcoming COT sessions from across the world that remain in order for anyone needing this Club Officer Training before the Feb. 29th deadline. This is part of Goal #9 in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) to recognize clubs of excellence — and we’d love to see your club achieve that distinction.

It will take communication, a little bit of time, and maybe even a telephone call or two, but if your clubs are not seven-of-seven officers trained, please encourage each untrained officer to attend one of these sessions!!    Trained officers make stronger clubs, stronger areas, stronger divisions, and a stronger district, which makes Toastmasters a better place for every member!  4/7 trained should be an absolute minimum — and you can check which officers are trained in your club!

Please remind officers that, if they are going to attend another district’s COT, to have them fill out the survey with the details of the club officer’s name, club, division, and role and date trained.

Yours in Toastmasters service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
District 53 Program Quality Director 2023-2024

February Check-in

Greetings Fabulous Toastmasters,

What a year so far! The Winter session of Club Officer Training is almost over — they have been amazing! These sessions have been amazing — focused on club leaders sharing their experiences and ideas to help others benefit from what they are learning about your roles, as well as very interactive sessions that concentrated on Developing Membership strategies and Increasing Membership Engagement in Pathways.  A huge thanks to the training team that has worked diligently to provide focused and inviting sessions. Don’t miss the last Club Officer Training session on Monday, February 19th at 6pm and don’t hesitate to bring your club members to this event as well, we encourage it!

Area Contests results are announced and the winning contestants are moving on to the Division contests now taking place throughout the district. Watching the continued growth of the contestants, applying what they have learned as Toastmasters, stretching outside comfort zones is incredibly inspiring. It’s a thrill to be part of these exciting events in our District and we welcome all members to be part of it, not just as a contestant. Consider being a judge, ballot counter, timer or a Sargeant-at-Arms! You can volunteer by contacting your Division Directors (ABCDE) Winners of the Division Evaluation & International Speech Contests will move on to compete at the District level happening at our Annual District Conference on Friday, May 10th and Saturday May 11th!

Conference Co-Chairs Richard E. Peck, DTM, PIP and David Freedman, DTM have announced “BREAKING BARRIERS” as the theme for our 2024 Annual Conference celebrating 100 Years of Toastmasters, that will feature Accredited Speaker Sheryl Roush, DTM as our Keynote Speaker! The District Evaluation Speech Contest  will be held on Friday evening, May 10th. The events on Saturday, May 11th will include breakfast and lunch in conjunction with our Keynote Speaker Sheryl Roush, DTM AS, a wide variety of Education Sessions and Workshops presented by members of District 53, The Hall of Fame, Inductions of newly elected District Officers, the presentation of the Communication and Leadership Award (nominations still being accepted) and of course the District International Speech Contest in the afternoon on Saturday, May 11th! Early Bird specials are still available for you to attend!

The District Leadership Training session I attended in January, along with District Director Patti Walter and Club Growth Director Mohan Padamati, along with District leaders from regions around the world was an amazing learning and development event. It was jam-packed with two days of intense workshops for the sole purpose of helping us, to help our members succeed in this second half of our Toastmasters year. What we learned and strategized over, reinforced the reasons we all choose to serve in our varied roles, and we are always just a phone call away!

Yours in Toastmasters Service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-2024

Areas 11 – 12 – 13 -14 Contest Results

Four Areas of Division A held their contests at Bethel Public Library on 20 January 2024. The speech contests held were the Evaluation Speech Contest first, followed by the International Speech contest which culminates in the World Championship of Public Speaking® at the Toastmasters International Convention held each August. Area Directors and District Director Patti Walter were in attendance.

Congratulations to all these members who stepped out if their comfort zone and participated in the Rea 11 through 14 Evaluation and International Contests.

Moving on are:

Area 11

  • Andrew Amico – Evaluation
  • Sandy Weiner – International

Area 12

  • Jeff Bradbury – Evaluation and International

Area 13

  • Oscar Romero – Evaluation
  • Scott Mason – International

Area 14

  • Christina LaPerle- Evaluation
  • Oluwafemi Omoyeni – International

Thanks to all our functionaries, contestants and guest for making this such a great afternoon. And special thanks to our Contest Toastmaster Debbie Froehlich.

Mark your calendars for February 24 when these contests advance to the next level, at the Division A speech contests (more details here). Please volunteer for a role and contact divadir@d53tm.org to offer your assistance as a contest judge, functionary or audience member!

Preparing for Changes to Pathways!

Pathways Changes – How to Prepare

Fellow Toastmasters,

Long requested and awaited changes to Pathways, the Toastmasters education program, are coming in 2024!  This is great news.  However, there will be a transition period where some patience will be needed.  

Per a recent advisory from the Toastmasters International Education team, Pathways BaseCamp managers (typically the club VPE) have been requested to ensure that all Pathways level completion requests and the associated award requests in Club Central be in sync and up to date by December 15, 2023.  If any level completions or awards are submitted after that or the 2 systems are not in sync, there may be impacts to the DCP credit for member level completion awards.

All members should prepare for these changes as follows.

  1. Submit completion approval requests for any Pathways levels already completed by Monday, December 11.
  2. For any paths completed after December 11, hold off on submitting the completion request until we are informed that it is OK to do so.
  3. Each member should check to make sure their Pathways completions and awards are in sync. Learn how in this short video prepared by Toastmasters International.  Inform your VPE of any discrepancies found immediately.
  4. You can continue to work on your path projects — just don’t submit any new approval requests during the transition period.

More news about the improvements to the Pathways education system will be announced as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
Norm Thibodeau, DTM
District Administrative Manager, 2023-2024

Want to learn more?  Here are a few references:

Winter 2023-24 Training Dates Announced!

Link to Registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D53COT-Registration

Club Officer Training (Winter Season) has started and will conclude at the end of February. Several sessions have been scheduled throughout the period for your convenience. District 53 has recruited a great selection of officers from high-performance clubs to facilitate and guide your workshop sessions this year. In your sessions you’ll…

  • Attend a breakout session based on your officer role.
  • Experience quality time with other officers in the same role, sharing strategies that work.
  • Work with diverse officers in many roles across the district to get proven tactics for membership, club quality, contest programs, open houses, and other club operations.
  • Attend at least 80% (120 minutes) of any 2.5 hour session to receive training credit.

The schedule of available training dates is as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 6-8:30pm
  • Thursday, December 7, 2023, 6-8:30pm
  • Saturday, December 9, 2023, 9-11:30am
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024, 9-11:30am
  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 6-8:30pm
  • Saturday, February 3, 2024, 9-11:30am
  • Monday, February 19, 2024, 6-8:30pm

To register for any District 53 Club Officer Training event, use the link below. All training sessions are online by Zoom. The Zoom link is provided at the end of the registration page and is also included in your registration confirmation email and the reminder email that will be sent two days before the event.

If you’d like to know which officers still need to attend officer training, you can view the current TI training report for District 53 at this link. The deadline to attend a Club Officer Training (COT) is the last day of February.

Register Here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D53COT-Registration

If you’d like to know which officers still need to attend officer training, you can view the current TI training report for District 53 at this link. The deadline to attend a Club Officer Training (COT) is the last day of February.

November Greetings

Greetings fellow D53 Rock Stars,

The weather is getting colder, and sunsets are coming way too early now, but bright and exciting things in our District continue to unfold for our members when it comes to Program Quality.

BREAKING NEWS on our SC2024 Conference; Co-Chairs Richard E. Peck, DTM, PIP and David Freedman, DTM have been visiting site locations throughout Connecticut and Eastern New York to find the perfect location and dates that work best for our members for an epic conference, and we are very close to a final decision! Stay tuned for official announcements to come VERY soon in the district newsletter as well as on our website. For up to the minute news on what has occurred up to now with past conferences, take a peek on our website here.

Our second round of Club Officer Training (COT) sessions begin this month and unlike our Summer COT sessions, the winter COT sessions are focused on club leaders sharing their experiences and ideas to help others benefit from what you are learning about your role. These trainings will continue up to February 29, 2024. Register here

Speech Contest season, featuring the Evaluation and International Speech Contests is in full swing with our District Chief Judge Beth Van Kempen leading the charge with a fabulous team presenting deep dives into Contest Training for all members of our district. These sessions are a great opportunity to learn how to run AND judge a contest! Join the Judges training session on Nov. 13th at 8pm here.  For more specific questions or volunteering at an Area, Division or District contest, reach out to Beth directly at: dcj@d53tm.org

Yours in Toastmasters Service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-2024

Clarification of Contest Rules for Areas and Divisions

District 53 is pleased to announce that the particular rules of the Contest season have been selected:

  1. Contests at the Area, Division, and District levels will be in-person.
  2. No hybrid or online contests will be held this year.
  3. Clubs are responsible for choosing their format for the contest, whether online, hybrid, or in-person.
  4. Contests beyond the club level will be held in-person. Both contestants and officials will be expected to be present at the contest’s physical location.

In Areas with Four or Fewer Clubs —

  • Two contestants from each club contest may advance to the Area contest. These will be the winner and the first runner-up (or the second runner-up, or the third runner-up) in areas with four (4) or fewer clubs to advance to Area contests.

Similarly, in Divisions with Four or Fewer Areas —

  • the top two finishers (or the first two available contestants who competed without disqualification) shall move on from from Area to Division (rule 3.B in the rulebook).
  • In the event that the first place or second place finisher is unavailable to compete, the next available contestant (who was not disqualified on time) may advance to the Division contest..

As a reminder, clubs may send a contestant to the Area contests without holding a contest (and in Areas with four or fewer clubs, they may send two contestants to each contest). However, the rules specify that if the club decides to hold a speech contest, that contest must obey the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook for the current season.

This includes Pathways minimum requirements for some speech contests — please make sure your contestants meet all requirements before advancing them to the Area level, because if a disqualification based on eligibility is discovered at a later date, it is retroactive to all other contests in the same cycle.