This is the highest honor that a coach can receive within the League. Established in 2000, the Hall of Fame recognizes those in the League’s past and present who have compiled a distinguished career of service and dedication for their students. Recipients are nominated by members of the MSDL and must have served at least 15 years.
Sapir was notified of his induction on April 7 at the Speech & Debate Finals held at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. He received a crystal plaque which said that award “is in recognition of a career of excellence in coaching and service to all students of the Massachusetts Speech & Debate League.”
He was also recognized for this accomplishment at a morning assembly at Sacred Heart School, where the school’s principal, Dr. Michael Gill congratulated Sapir, and the students gave him a standing ovation.
Sapir has a long career in speech and debate. He has been part of the Sacred Heart faculty for nine years; prior to that, he coached in the Norwell Public Schools and also at Silver Lake Regional High School. His background outside of education also included being part of the Duxbury theatre group Bay Players. He also spent a number of years in the newspaper business in and around Kingston. He is the co-founder of the Kingston Independent, was later a co-owner of the (Kingston) Independent Voice and then the publisher of the Kingston Observer.
During his time at Sacred Heart, he has also earned additional national recognition in his career as a “Second Diamond Coach,” awarded by the National Forensic League/National Speech & Debate Association. This status signals that under Sapir’s instruction and direction, his Sacred Heart School students have earned more than 30,000 credit points through their participation in speech and debate presentations and competitions nationally. Coach Sapir earned the “First Diamond” designation five years previously, at a national competition in Birmingham, AL.
Sapir, who holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Emerson College, said that he was thrilled to be inducted into the MSDL Hall of Fame. He said, “What an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame! It’s an accomplishment I’m proud of, and in particular, for the wonderfully talented students I work with each and every day. They are motivated, committed, self-starters. And they – and I – have the support of a school which places such a strong emphasis on the importance of speech and debate. Very few schools, either public or private, offer this opportunity to students. Often, when we hear about speech and debate, the public will think of it as being offered to high school students and above. Here at Sacred Heart, it is offered also in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.”
Sister Myra Rodgers, CDP, President of Sacred Heart School, said, “We are incredibly proud of Dan and the good work that he does on behalf of our students. So many of our students in this program have earned awards at both the state and federal level, and we can thank Dan for his leadership and initiative in making this happen.”