Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Stephen Jay Singleton
I was born in Orlando, FL and, after 26 years living and working and raising a family in Virginia, I moved back to Florida. I currently live in Lake County with my wife. I also have three grown children who live far enough away that I, unfortunately, rarely get to see them. I graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and got my teacher licensure at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, but before those schools I went to Valencia College & the University of Central Florida. In addition, I have attended, or have credits from, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg College, and finally the University of Virginia (I have one credit from there). I just finished my 24th year teaching, my second one doing so in Florida. While I was teaching in Virginia, I was lucky enough to appear in the 2015 Jeopardy Teachers Tournament and represent education to a national audience. As the years have progressed, I have been able to teach all levels of Social Studies and all grades, but, currently, I teach AP World History to high school sophomores and AP Macroeconomics & AP Government to high school seniors at South Sumter High School in Bushnell, FL. This year I am finally getting to teach a debate class as well. I was also lucky enough to start a Speech & Debate Team at SSHS thanks to the Florida Civics & Debate Initiative.
Speech & Debate are the areas where I have had my greatest successes as a mentor and a coach since having become an educator. I started a debate team at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, VA in 2005 without any prior experience as a coach and, by 2008, our team had managed to win the VHSL State Debate Championship and then we did it again the next year. I absolutely learned more from those debaters and from judging matches at every single tournament along the way than I can ever adequately put into words, but suffice to say that I emerged from that first four years of debate coaching tempered by experience and eager to do more. That fourth year was also when I began coaching my own three children (my oldest child was a freshman on my second state championship team). Later, in 2013, my daughter, child number two, was the Lincoln-Douglas State Champion and helped our team win our third state championship.
In addition to my other endeavors, in this last school I was very fortunate to be able to add the title of FCDI Central Regional Ambassador to my list of job titles and now I get to help other coaches and teams in the Central region of Florida navigate the Speech & Debate world on behalf of the Florida Civics & Debate Initiative. Also during the last year, one my Speech students won himself a FCDI State Championship in Novice Domestic Extemporaneous Speech & Two others went to Nationals as supplemental competitors, so life has continued to move in a positive speech & debate direction as I look forward to helping more students!