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Copy Editing Pilot FAQ

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Tuesday, January 19, 2016 11:02 AM

The Copy Editing Pilot test begins with the 2016 District Meet. I have received many questions regarding the new pilot contest. Hopefully, this FAQ will be helpful.

1. At what level will the Copy Editing Contest be available? It will be available only at the district level because it is a pilot. An invitational meet can choose to write a test and offer a contest, but the UIL office will not write invitational material.

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Finding Your Happy Place: Start of School Brings New Energy and New Material

By Jana Riggins, Speech and Debate Director | Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:50 AM

Graham grins ear-to-ear as he gets ready to start his school career.
Graham grins ear-to-ear as he gets ready to start his school career.

Following an unexpected downpour of rain last evening causing me to linger long on my back porch – my personal “happy place” – to take in the sound, smell and satisfaction of refreshing nourishment for the earth, I was reminded of how the start of each school year refreshes us. The new creative lesson plans you’ve developed over the summer to engage your students. The fresh faces you see filing into your classroom, full of expectation for your course, and the joy of seeing former students who drop in for a hug and a quick catch-up visit with you. The back-to-routine schedule that actually does feel comfortable, even if you don’t enjoy hearing that early morning alarm.

If you’re having difficultly feeling invigorated by these scenarios, just take one look at the face of this kindergartener going to school for the first time…every single day for two full weeks this little red-headed guy would tell me with great enthusiasm and a huge grin exactly how many days it was until his very first day of school. He could hardly contain his excitement!

And, although you don’t teach the youngest of students, rest assured there are middle school and high school students just as anxious to return to your classroom, and especially to your speech team. The squad is “family.” It’s where acceptance is found. It’s where kids discover who they really are and where they find self-worth. It’s your team’s “happy place.”

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Kemp HS hosts UIL Academic Rush Party

By | Thursday, September 10, 2015 3:47 PM

Kemp High School recently pulled off a clever recruitment opportunity to build their UIL Academic Team. During the annual Meet the Teacher night, students and coaches teamed up to involve students in a unique recruitment effort.

At the front entrance of the school, they posted UIL information for all the academic contests on bi-folds, built by art classes. Four former UIL participants in their UIL t-shirts staffed the table. They answered questions, signed up interested students, handed out information about contests, as well as permission slips for travel for the UIL Student Activity Conference in Tyler.

Students were also given a UIL Contract to have parents signed that explained the degree of participation and commitment that the coaches expected from participants.

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4 Student Activity Conferences Set for Fall

By | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 12:52 PM

The UIL Academic team, collaborating with Texas colleges and universities, will host four Student Activity Conferences this fall.

The conferences, which are free and have no pre-registration, will feature lectures and presentations by UIL contest directors, college professors and high school coaches. Sessions will include discussions on contest preparation, demonstrations, performances and contest administration. Students may choose from novice and advanced sessions in some academic areas, as well as small-group sessions in specific UIL activities.

“We organize the student activities conferences to be informative for the competitors and coaches, to motivate these individuals and to kick-off preparations for a great year of UIL Academics on their campus,” Dr. David Stevens, academic director, said.

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64 Students Named to All-State Journalism Staff

By | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 10:07 AM

Sixty-four students have been named to the 2015 All-State Journalism Staff. To qualify for the staff, students must have earned 50 points by participating and winning different journalism contests throughout the 2014-15 school year. Students can earn points by participating in UIL invitational contests, UIL district, regional and state contests, as well as ILPC and similar type journalism contests.

All-State Journalism Staff

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Sponsor Excellence Award Nominations Due Nov. 9

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 10:02 AM

The University Interscholastic League would not thrive without dedicated sponsors and coaches. One way UIL recognizes these men and women is with the Sponsor Excellence Award.

Each year UIL selects 15 Sponsor Excellence Award winners. The 15 recipients receive a $1000 check and plaque. There are three categories for the award: academic contest coaches (including One Act Play), athletic coaches and music directors. The award is meant to “recognize outstanding sponsors who assist students in developing and refining their extracurricular talents.”

The nomination link will be sent to superintendents and principals on Oct. 6.

"Some of the finest educators in the state have been recipients of this prestigious award,” UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said. “The UIL Sponsor Excellence Award is presented to talented and dedicated coaches, directors and sponsors from across the state.”

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Winners Announced for 2014-15 UIL Lone Star Cup

By Chris Schmidt, Public Affairs Representative | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:58 AM

The University Interscholastic League announced the six winners of the 2014-15 UIL Lone Star Cup presented by State Farm.

In Conference 6A, Southlake Carroll High School won its sixth overall and fourth consecutive UIL Lone Star Cup earning 100 total points. The Dragon boys cross country, golf and swimming and diving teams each took home state championships while the girls cross country team placed fourth at state. Southlake Carroll won district and regional championships in academics and had regional finalist teams in football and girls soccer.

Reigning marching band state champion, Austin Vandegrift, added state titles in boys golf and girls swimming and diving on its way to the first Conference 5A UIL Lone Star Cup victory in school history. In addition to top five finishes at state in girls golf and boys swimming and diving, the Vipers were also state finalists in girls soccer and state semifinalists in football.

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OAP Updates and Notices

By Luis Muñoz, Theatre Director | Monday, April 06, 2015 1:48 PM

Correction to Page 101 of the Handbook

In the case of an unbreakable tie, the Contest manager shall determine the advancing schools by using the “Acting Judge’s” ballot. The higher ranking school on the acting judge’s ballot shall advance or be given the higher rank. The points for the tied schools are combined and divided equally. For example, if two schools are tied for the third advancing position, the points for advancing (15) and alternate (10) are combined (25) and divided between the two schools. Each one gets 12.5 points. The Spring Meet System cannot do this. The change will need to be done manually by the Academic Chair when determining the points. As of April 2, 2015, all Contest Managers have been asked to consult with the State Theatre Director when dealing with unbreakable ties.

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Spring Meet Hot Topics

By Dr. David Stevens, Academic Director | Tuesday, February 10, 2015 2:53 PM

As spring begins to arrive, so does the UIL academic season. Below are several hot topics that will be of interest to coordinators and coaches.

Contest Entry
All spring meets are now set up in the online system and are ready for entering contestants. Your entry is due in the online system at least 10 day prior to your contest, unless your District Executive Committee has set an earlier date.

Academic coordinators entering their school’s contestants need a UT EID but do not need to be authorized by our office. Be careful to type students’ names correctly. Use upper and lower case, and enter last name first, followed by first name. Proof for correct spelling. Unless a student actually prefers initials to a name, do not use initials. Please do not type the names in all CAPS. Whenever possible, enter substitutes in each event. They will appear on the contest roster as eligible to compete if a replacement is needed.

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Former Speech Teacher Says Goodbye to Mentor

By Ann Shofner, former speech teacher | Tuesday, February 10, 2015 2:47 PM

My junior year in college at West Texas State University, I joined the WT Speech Team, and it is then that I first met Guy Paul Yates. On one particular trip to Arizona to compete, we stopped in El Paso to spend the night because Guy loved to eat across the border. The morning that we headed out to Tucson, Guy took us to the market in Juarez.

There were 5 five students and Guy in a station wagon filled with luggage and debate tubs. We were literally “packed” into that vehicle. Guy told us that we didn’t have any more room for stuff so we should avoid buying any “ridiculous” souvenirs. Well, as students do, the five of us showed back up to the car with ornamental birdcages, large straw baskets, over-sized sombreros and piñatas (mine was a blue donkey… tucked inside my sombrero). Guy just stared at us in disbelief and told us to pack into the car but that we would have to hold our purchases all the way to Tucson and back to Canyon, Texas. He didn’t get mad, he just solved the problem the only way he knew how. Fortunately, we had a great tournament and on the way home, not only were we holding our Juarez souvenirs, we were holding our trophies too.

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