Education & Training Committee

The Education and Training Committees are responsible for all aspects of education and training within the district.

Responsibilities include:

  • Promote and support club quality and member retention
  • Promote the Toastmasters’ education program: Pathways

  • Provide and promote training for all club officers

  • Supervise and coordinate district-wide speech contests
  • Plan, organize, and direct the annual District Conference

Scroll down to learn more about the Education and Training Committees

Education Program

The Education committee promotes the Education Program and assists with club questions and training on the educational program.

Distinguished Toastmaster Lynne Brasher will serve as Education Chair in 2020-2021.   Lynne is thrilled to continue working to enhance the positive learning environment that defines Toastmasters.  She brings to the task, 2 DTMs and 10 years serving Arizona as an ambassador for what was originally known as the revitalized education program, then Pathways.  Lynne has been an instructor at the Toastmasters Leadership Institute for many years with her presentations primarily focused on the VP Education role, mentoring and the Pathways program.  Lynne also presented her educational session “Lead On”, at the Toastmasters International Convention in 2010.  Her favorite thing about our education program is that it provides a modernized, customized and equitable learning experience for everyone, everywhere.

Education Chair
Lynne Brasher , DTM

Distinguished Club Program

The Distinguished Club Program (DCP) committee promotes the Distinguished Club Program and assists club leadership with understanding how to develop and execute a Club Success Plan.

The DCP Chair oversees this process and serves as a resource for club officers.

Your 2020 – 2021 DCP Chair is Edwin J. Weston. Edwin has been a Toastmaster since 2014, and he achieved his DTM in 2017. He has also held officer positions in three of the five clubs he has been in within the District. He was also Tonto Area Director for Tonto Three 2016 – 2017. Edwin has just most recently served as Tonto Division Director for the 2019 – 2020.

District 3 DCP Carnival

DCP Chair
Edwin Weston, DTM

Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) is offered to the members of District 3 bi-annually, in the winter and summer months.  Its main purpose is to train and equip club officers to lead their respective clubs to success!  By attending TLI, our club officers will learn the tools needed to not only help them carryout the Toastmasters mission in their clubs, but also grow personally and professionally.

The TLI chair is responsible for collaboratively working with other members to organize registration, develop curriculum, and plan successful training events!

Your 2020 – 2021 TLI chair is Katlyn Ewens, DTM.  Katlyn joined Toastmasters in 2014 and has served in a number of club and district leadership positions, most recently as the Club Growth Director.  She is passionate about Toastmasters and its ability to change lives.  TLI is an opportunity for all members to feel inspired, educated and empowered!  It should be fun and fresh!  That’s Katlyn’s goal this year: Quality training for all club members, especially all club officers!  It should be fun to serve as a club officer, and Katlyn hopes that the TLI experience will make that happen!

Visit the TLI Webpage

TLI Chair
Katlyn Ewens


The annual District Conference is an exciting educational and networking event for District members. It is held annually in the month of May. The purpose of the District Conference is to:

  • Provide a venue for the District Business Meeting
  • Provide a venue for District Speech Contests
  • Provide communication and leadership training opportunities that support the district mission
  • Provide opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas
  • Recognize and celebrate member, club, and District accomplishments

The Conference Chair oversees the work of the committees and sub-committees and coordinates efforts that lead to a fun and enriching conference experience.

Your first 2020-2021 Conference Co-Chair is Wendy Durfee. Wendy joined Toastmasters (2013) with one goal in mind to improve her communication skills.  Her leadership skills have also grown through her club officers roles, Area Director, Spring Conference Chair and her support with other district committees.  This year the Spring Conference will be co-chaired with Wendy Durfee and Kristy Hopper.  Both are genuinely excited for the 2020-2021 Spring Conference event we are planning for our members.

Conference co-Chairs

Kristy Hopper
Wendy Durfee

District Contest Manager

The District Contest Manager provides training and resources for all speech contests; and is charged with managing the District speech contests.

The District Contest Manager serves as the District expert on speech contest management, the first line of contact for members with questions on speech contest processes, agendas, and contest non-judging forms/documents.

Tom joined Toastmasters in 2010 just after moving to Arizona.  Tom has been involved with Leaders Plus as well as two different Corporate Clubs.   Tom has served the district in Leadership roles, twice as an Area Director and once as the Club Retention Chair.  During his year as Club Retention Chair he was able to provide coaches to save 14 clubs from closing.    Tom earned his DTIM in 2017 on the former education program.  Tom currently has Level 4 of Dynamic Leadership, Level 2 in Strategic Relationships and Level 1 in Engaging Humor.   Tom is also part of a non profit organization in Arizona where he helps fundraising for the LGBTQA+ community.   He is excited to serve as the Contest Manager this year along with his mentor Chief Judge, Trish Blackwelder.

Contest Management Chair
Tom Tiboni, DTM

Training Chair

The training chair focuses on training for clubs and members over zoom.  They work with all trio members to determine what training need are required. This chair will work to find a presenter to cover topics and will schedule training and promote with clubs.

Your training chair for 2020-2021 is Bettie Covington. Bettie first joined Toastmasters in June of 2008 and has attended every conference since that time.  She is a two time DTM and is working to complete her third DTM in Pathways. You will frequently see Bettie serving in the district on various committees and leadership roles. She is currently a member of three clubs; in addition to USAA Eagles she is a member of USAA Masters Touch and the West Valley leadership club called SLEEK. Bettie was District 3 OTMOTY year for 2012-2013.

Training Chair
Bettie Covington, DTM

District Chief Judge

The District Chief Judge provides training, resources and oversight for all speech contests. The District Chief Judge:

  • Serves as the District expert on speech contests, the first line of contact for members with questions on speech contest rules and judging procedures
  • Assists members with finding speech contest rules, ballots, and other judging forms/documents
  • Maintains the District judges/chief judges list. Members who complete judges/chief judges training will have their name included on the District list for up to three years
  • Serves as the Chief Judge for District speech contests at our annual Conference

Your Chief Judge for 2020-2021 is Trish Blackwelder. Trish says “You might think that judges training is so you can judge contests – but that would be only partly right.  I attended my first World Championship of Public Speaking in 2003 and I couldn’t imagine how the judges were going to select the final winner.  Learning to spot the winning speech is about having the discernment that comes from a mastery of advanced evaluation skills. Just two years of learning later, I won the 2005 District Evaluation contest by putting what I’d learned into practice. 2013 World Champion Pres Vasilev reminds us that to become a better speaker, we must first become a better evaluator. In most cases, that means learning outside of your club experience. As your District Chief Judge for 2020-2021, I promise to infuse those advanced evaluation techniques into our Judges Training sessions. Come learn with us!”

District Chief Judge
Trish Blackwelder, DTM, PDG

High Performance Leadership / Distinguished Toastmaster

The purpose of the High Performance Leadership (HPL) is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, lead others, and implement your plan with the help of a team. The HPL project can be any project chosen by the leader.

The HPL/DTM Chair trains and serves as a resource for Toastmasters seeking to complete a HPL Project or in developing the Pathways DTM project.   The HPL project is required for: Effective Coaching, Innovative Planning, Persuasive Influence, Motivational Strategies and as an elective for other Level 5 projects.  The DTM project is required for all Pathways and utilizes the HPL format to organize the project.

Your 2019-2020 HPL/DTM Chair is Sue Delap, DTM who received her DTM in 2012. As a Toastmaster Sue has served in all club offices, as an area governor and director and division director, Fall conference chair, and coach/mentor chair.  Sue used her HPL experience to organize a state women’s weekend retreat and Toastmaster speech contests.  Her focus in Toastmasters has been to use her skills in communication and leadership in her school counseling career in Tucson, Seoul, Korea and Abu Dhabi, UAE.   Sue hopes that her experience can assist Toastmasters in creating an HPL and DTM that utilizes these Toastmaster projects in their professional and personal lives.

HPL Chair
Sue Delap


The Speechcraft program is an extended workshop that allows experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members. Participants learn about communication and leadership in a club meeting setting supported by a team of Toastmasters. It is a great way to promote membership and to introduce prospective new members to Toastmasters.

The Speechcraft Chair trains and serves as a resource for Toastmasters seeking to complete a Speechcraft Project.

Your 2019-2020 Speechcraft Chair is Joel Kodicek, DTM. Joel is the Strategic Planning and Operations Supervisor for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, overseeing strategic planning, facilities, and risk management. Joel is active in a number of professional and community organizations. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family (especially his kids’ activities), hiking, travel, and volunteering.

Speechcraft Committee Chair
Joel Kodicek

Youth Leadership

The Youth Leadership program is an extended workshop that enables young people under the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills through practical experience. Programs are led by experienced Toastmasters and sponsored by a Toastmasters club or outside organization. Meetings follow a similar format of a Toastmasters club meeting with an agenda, prepared speeches, and impromptu speaking opportunities.

The Youth Leadership Chair trains and serves as a resource for Toastmasters seeking to complete a Youth Leadership Program.

Lonna Barrett, this year’s Youth Leadership chair, has been a member of Toastmasters since 2008. She is a member of three clubs: Unity Speakers, Leaders for Tomorrow, and West Valley Toastmasters. Lonna has held a few officer roles in her home club over the years, and recently completed her role as Area Director for Agave Area 1. She has agreed to accept a new role as Youth Leadership chair to provide direction for those seeking new challenges in 2021. Lonna’s main focus is to always be of service in Toastmasters and to give back what her mentors have given to her. Being a Life learner will always be her focus, plus assisting others in obtaining their goals towards self-improvement.

Youth Leadership Chair
Lonna Barrett