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Norm Leistikow

Norm Leistikow taught Social Studies and coached speech and debate in Bloomington for 35 years, 2 years at Lincoln, 7 years at Kennedy and 26 years at Jefferson, from whence he retired in 1998.  Under his tutelage dozens of students won debate and speech tournaments and trophies:  many qualified for state tournaments, several placed first, second and third at state debate tournaments, numerous students were national speech and debate competition qualifiers, and two were winners of third and fourteenth places at national debate contests.  Norm hosted section, region, state and national debate and speech tournaments at Jefferson.  He served on the state study committee on debate, held the position of treasurer of the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association for several years, and was a founder of the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association Scholarship Fund.
Norm’s career earned him a number of awards, such as: “Jack Edie Coach of the Year” in 1993; Minnesota Debate Teachers Association “Coach of the Year” in 1997; and National Forensic League Double Diamond Coach Award in 1995. Norm was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Jefferson Arts and Activities Hall of Fame in 2008.  Norm was also selected to serve as a judge for the International Optimist Oratorical Contest. 
In 1997 Norm and Del Holz (South Suburban Hall of Fame Inductee/2011) were co-chairs of the weeklong National Forensics League National Speech and Debate Tournament, which was held at Jefferson High School and Olson Middle School. Over three thousand participants from all fifty-states, Guam, and other territories competed at that tournament which rotates from state-to-state and will not return to Minnesota for almost fifty years.
Former students were continuously impressed with Norm as a person of energy, integrity and great ideas.  He is legendary as a teller of tales (especially of his cabin and farm) and as a cheerleading coach.