Scott Link

I have been a Stoa parent and "debate dad" for seven years. I take time off from my job as Director of Communications for a large East Texas church to attend tournaments with my three children. Over the last few years, I volunteered to help produce videos for Stoa and help with the technical aspects of local tournaments and the 2019 NITOC at DBU. I have served on the Stoa Marketing Committee since its inception, almost 2 years ago. I currently coach Lincoln Douglas debate for a new Longview, TX club, Prudentia. In 2019, I released a feature length documentary about competitive speech and debate with a goal of educating the public about the benefits of participation.

When my children first joined Stoa, my wife was driving an hour to our club. I thought it was a waste of time and resources. Then I saw the transformation in my children. I attended my first tournament and saw how participation drives excellence and helps students learn to communicate. When I see these speeches and judge these debates, I know that our future is bright. These competitors are truly exceptional. Stoa is part of training up students who can go out, speak boldly, and change the world for Christ.

When a new club was forming in our hometown of Longview, my family jumped in, and I volunteered to coach Lincoln Douglas. I can't imagine homeschooling our kids without Stoa involvement. Competitive speech and debate is a critical element of homeschool education. Participation helps students learn to communicate, research, recognize good and bad arguments, and disagree with people while maintaining relationships. Stoa activities should be a core curriculum for any Christian homeschool family.

Kevin Magness

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Stoa Club Affiliation: LAUNCH

Kevin grew up in a Christian home in a small, rural Oklahoma town where his interest and time were given mostly to the sports league of the season. After graduating high school with no offer from the Boston Red Sox (and no clear path to becoming an international spy), he enrolled in The University of Arkansas, from where he graduated with a degree in Architecture. Immediately after graduation, Kevin took a 6-month volunteer internship with Engineering Ministries International. This offered him an amazing opportunity to use his design skills in ministry, while working on projects in Kenya and Zaire. As an architect, Kevin enjoys the problem-solving nature of the profession and has gained expertise in forensics architecture and in construction administration. His career moved their family from Arkansas, to Connecticut, to Oklahoma, where he now does independent consulting. The Magness family is actively involved in their church, Believers Church, in Tulsa.

More importantly than earning his degree from the U of A, while there, Kevin met the girl of his dreams! Kevin and Darla have now been married for 26 years. They have 6 amazing kids: Abigail, Drew, Lindsey, Levi, Micah, and Melody, all of whom treasure the meaningful friendships they have formed with other Stoa students from across the country. Kevin and Darla have homeschooled their children from the beginning, preferring a classical approach, loosely following the Trivium. The Magnesses first discovered Stoa in 2014 when Abigail was a high school sophomore, and they haven’t looked back. They consider speech and debate an integral part of their homeschool and are quick to tell anyone that participating in competitive Christian homeschool speech and debate is, without question, the best decision they’ve made for their children’s education. From the beginning of their Stoa involvement, Kevin has been particularly fond of Lincoln Douglas Debate, Extemp, and Apologetics. Being a news and current events junkie, most of his work in club has been in leading extemp discussion groups and being a sounding board for students’ LD cases, though he has been known to block a few interps as well. At tournaments, when not judging, Kevin might be found working behind the scenes in areas from facilities to tab.

Kevin has always loved teaching and coaching kids. He believes strongly that Christian youth need to be grounded in sound biblical doctrine and worldview and should be equipped to graciously defend the precepts and ideals central to their faith. He also believes that the American Experiment has been a God-ordained blessing to the world. Though obviously not always executed perfectly, our representative republic, reliant upon a moral people, is unequaled in the history of the world and is worthy of defending. Kevin and Darla are convinced that the experience gained through participation in Stoa equips kids with the skill and confidence necessary to defend their faith and our nation’s founding principles.

Kevin is honored to have been nominated as a candidate to the Stoa Board of Directors. He would value the opportunity to serve you alongside other board members and would appreciate your consideration for a position on the Board.

Steven Vaughan

My name is Steven Vaughan, and I am the grateful husband of my wife Jennifer. We’ve been married since 1985 and have six kids. We both grew up in western Kansas and moved to the Denver Colorado area in 1988 where all our children were born. I was a Registered Nurse for 30 years and owned a nursing business for 20 of those years. I sold that business in 2018 and started a new business whose focus is training businesses, families, and individuals aged 12 and older how to increase your success in all that you do whether physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, personally, in your family, career, or school. Using a Biblical perspective, I do this training through workshops, seminars, and retreats as well as private coaching/mentoring.

I have been involved in Homeschool Speech and Debate since the 2005-06 season when I was recruited as a Community Judge. I was so impressed by the students that I wanted to get my children involved in this activity. Finding no local club that had openings, I started LOGOS Speech and Debate in the 2007-08 season with just six students. LOGOS grew over the next several years maxing out at 57 students. We now average around 40 students. I have been involved on the Debate Committee for the past number of years and have been the Debate Chair since the 2019-2020 season. LOGOS has hosted Mile High Conquest (MHQ) since 2014. I also served as the Assistant Tournament Director for NITOC 2012 at Focus on the Family. Four of my kids have graduated through Speech and Debate and the other two are still competing. The others are still involved helping staff some tournaments or judging.

Outside of Speech and Debate and work, I play on the worship team at church, roast coffee, ride my road bike when the weather is nice, play volleyball, and smoke brisket, pork, ribs, salmon, and anything else that tastes good. I have even smoked my own bacon. I took my oldest and youngest last year to the top of their first 14,000’+ peak, and plan to do more in the years to come. In 2019 I trained for a triathlon but was involved in a fairly serious road bike accident requiring surgery to repair a torn ligament. I plan to try this again (without the wrecking part) as soon as things open up.

I am honored to be a candidate for the Stoa Board and would be proud to serve in this capacity. Thank you for your consideration and vote.

Mary Winther

Life is pretty much speech and debate. Not much more to say than that.

Mary debated in high school and college, where she met her debating husband, Mike. Mary is the mom to 3 children, all who participated in homeschool debate and speech. The Winthers have 6 grandchildren, who may be future debaters, or not.

Mary and Mike started their club, Modesto Debate in 1999 when homeschool debate was under the umbrella of HSLDA. Mary was a founding member of Stoa and helped in creating its governance, rules, and philosophy of homeschool speech and debate. Mary has served as the debate chair and is a current member of the debate committee. Mary is also the tournament director for The Heart of the Harvest and The Heart of the Valley tournaments, offered every year in Modesto, CA.

This is the Winther’s 22nd year of coaching homeschool debate. They continue to coach because they have a heart for this activity and the difference it can make in the lives of young people and Lord willing, the cause of Christ. Life outside of debate consists of hanging out with grandkids, skiing and sewing.