In Memory of Trish Ostermann
The BCFL was sad to lose one of its founding members this year. We wanted to share some memories of Trish Ostermann from those who knew her well.
From Tom Durkin:
When I first met her, I knew Trish Ostermann as Mrs. Ostermann. She was an English teacher at Towson Catholic High School as well as Speech and Debate coach. She was also co-director of what was then called the Baltimore Forensics League (BFL). Most who know her in speech and debate think she was the queen of oratory and extemp, but she also had some really competitive policy debate teams. As her role of co-director, she helped run the local tournaments, which ran on time, because of Mrs. Ostermann. I know, I did policy debate starting in 1974, and her teams were really tough. Her goal was to make all debaters better. She did.
Later, when I did extemp in 1977, she judged me often, and her comments were always constructive but developmental. Sometimes, her comments were highly critical, but always with the intent of making me better. She did.
She not only helped start the BFL, which later became what is now the BCFL, she also helped start the Mid-Atlantic District of the NFL, allowing students to attend two national tournaments. Her efforts were to help students expand their talents. She did.
When I became a coach in 1985, she became a mentor. She provided laughter and guidance. She allowed our league to expand and change rules, as long as these rules helped kids. She often offered to judge finals in any event we needed her. She did.
When we hosted Nationals in 1986, 1997, and 2012, we could always count on Trish to be there to help, work, sort, judge, and make us laugh when things were stressful. Her goal was to help us be the best league we could be. She did.
Wherever we have tournaments, whenever we are looking for that missing judge or student, and whenever we gather to celebrate students’ success in speech and debate, we can do this because of Mrs. Patricia (Trish) Ostermann, because of what she did.
From Howard Scott:
What can I say about Trish Ostermann? It would be hard to encapsulate her influence in a book, much less a paragraph! She was an educator, mentor, and friend without parallel. This, however, is a Forensics site. Without her leadership, there would have been no BCFL. She and Frank Sharp began the BCFL and she acted as its director at various times. Trish Ostermann’s dedication to Forensics was remarkable. She was involved on her Forensics Team as a student in high school herself in the 50’s and coached students at various schools including her alma mater, The Catholic High School of Baltimore, until this past Spring. Speech had no stronger advocate in Baltimore. Her wisdom, spirit, insightful ballots, and ready, hearty laugh will be sorely missed. She was quite a lady!