Richard Bracknell Service Award Recipients

Beginning in 2014, the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association honors an individual annually for their service to the organization.  In 2017, the GFCA named the award after former long time GFCA President, Richard Bracknell.   He was the recipient in 2016.  The award will be given every year and voted on by the Executive Committee of the Association.  


2017 - Jeffrey Miller, Marist School

Jeffrey Miller is Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School and has served in various capacities for the GFCA.  In addition to coaching numerous state champions and national qualifiers, Jeffrey has held almost every leadership position in the GFCA.  He served as President of the organization from 2010 to 2015 and again in 2017.  He served as a co-chair of the committee that rewrote the constitution in 2008.  He lead the restructuring of the GFCA in 2016 which lead to a more equal division of responsibility among the committee. 


2016 - Richard Bracknell, Carrollton High School

Richard Bracknell is the Director of Finance of the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association and Head Speech/Debate Coach at Carrollton High School.  In addition to coaching numerous state champions, national qualifiers to the NSDA and TOC, Richard has led our organization for almost thirty years.  Richard served as President of the Association for more than 15 years.  During that time, he allowed the GFCA to create progressive policies like the Novice Policy Debate Packet and the creation of the JV/Novice Debate State Championship.  He also led the GFCA through its withdrawal of the GHSA - a decision that led to the creation of the Varsity State Championships for ALL EVENTS!


2015 - James Herndon, Emory University

James Herndon is the director of debate programs at Emory University.  James served as the coordinator and author of the Novice Policy Debate evidence packet from 2005 to 2012.  With his leadership and tireless work, the GFCA's Novice Packet has become a staple tool in debate classes across the state. In 2014, the novice packet was implemented and used across the entire southeast in seven different states.

James Herndon coached at Chattahoochee High School where he produced several GFCA State Champions and several national qualifiers to the Tournament of Champions.  James still continues to judge at high school debate tournaments and work at debate institutes in the summer.


2014 - Joseph Mandarino, Stanley, Esrey & Buckley

Joseph Mandarino is a partner at Stanley, Esrey & Buckley and serves as the accountant for the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association.  Joseph led the GFCA through our incorporation and tax filings.  With his help, the GFCA was granted nonprofit, tax exempt status.  By being a 501(c)3, the GFCA is now able to collect donations for outside donors and use donations directly for students.

Joseph Mandarino is also the father of two former GFCA debaters.  Elizabeth Mandarino debated for Marist School and Steve Mandarino debated for Academe of the Oaks.   Joseph is a proud supporter of the debate community.