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UIL Sponsor Excellence Award Winners

Media Contact: Chris Schmidt
Phone: 512-471-5883
Fax: 512-471-6589

Date: Feb 17, 2010
Category: General Information


AUSTIN, TX—The University Interscholastic League is proud to recognize nine of the top UIL sponsors in Texas as the 2009 UIL Sponsor Excellence Award winners.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges in the areas of music, athletics and academics from nominations submitted by school principals and superintendents across the state.
The award, now in its 19th year, was created to identify and recognize outstanding sponsors who enable students to develop and refine their extracurricular talents to the highest degree possible within the educational system.
“The benefits of interscholastic competition and student performance are only possible through the hard work and dedication of sponsors, coaches and directors like these,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.  “On behalf of the UIL, I commend these outstanding educators.”
Each winner will receive $1,000 and a distinctive trophy from the UIL in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the pursuit of educational excellence through interscholastic competition. The University Interscholastic League continually strives to strengthen and promote the role of extracurricular activities in Texas through programs like the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award.
The UIL Sponsor Excellence Award winners for 2009 are as follows:

Rosendo “Ross” DeLeon, Somerset High School

Rosendo “Ross” DeLeon has coached students in UIL prose, poetry, speaking and debate competitions for more than 25 years. In addition to these events, DeLeon also sponsors UIL One-Act Play and has judged several UIL state speaking contests. Many of his students have won trophies and medals at the junior high and high school level. 

“I am grateful for UIL having given our students the opportunity to find themselves and to enjoy the sense of accomplishment,” said DeLeon. “I feel that participation in UIL is a win-win situation. We win even when we don’t advance.”


Vicki Dillard, Iowa Park High School

Since taking over as UIL academic coordinator in 1998, Vicki Dillard has sent more than 26 students to various UIL state competitions including 18 individual speech medalists. Iowa Park High School placed third at the 2009 UIL Academic State Meet with state championships in prose and speech.

“As educators, we must provide the maximum opportunities in order for our students to succeed,” said Dillard. “We must always go that extra mile, so that every single one of our students knows that we are here to help. From competition, students learn dedication, commitment and teamwork. Skills they will use no matter what career they choose.”


Mike Doggett, Vanderbilt Industrial High School

Vanderbilt Industrial High School advanced to state in UIL One-Act Play in 2000 and 2004 in large part to Mike Doggett and his 15 years of directing experience. His students have won more than 180 regional acting awards during his tenure including two outstanding technician awards, a best actress award and a Samuel French Award at the state level. Doggett also coaches UIL debate, prose and poetry and has served as assistant band director for the last 11 years.

“I believe the only limit to student success is their imagination, and it is my job to help cultivate and encourage students’ imagination through theatre education,” said Doggett. “Students who are imaginative problem solvers will be tomorrow’s leaders.”


Rick Lynch, Tomball High School

Rick Lynch has coached many successful teams since becoming head baseball coach in 2001, but it is his work off the field that makes him standout in his community. He organizes regular visits with his players to cancer patients at Texas Children’s Hospital, and in 2005 his players helped entertain children during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

“I believe that the true measure of a coach is how well they can teach fundamentals and basic responsibilities,” said Lynch. “It is not how much a coach knows that determines his or her success, but how much they teach.”


Rhonda Moore, Austin McCallum High School

Ronda Moore has been the UIL academic coordinator at Austin McCallum High School for the last eight years and has sponsored UIL journalism events for 24 years. In addition to sponsoring the yearbook and the Shield, McCallum’s award-winning student newspaper, Moore has also judged many invitational, district, regional and state meets.

“Competition allows students to push themselves to find out just how much they can achieve,” said Moore. “Those who choose to compete learn to appreciate the rewards that come with working hard to be the best they can be.”


Jim Rhodes, Forsan High School

Forsan High School was a state marching band champion in 2007 in large part to Jim Rhodes who pulls triple duty as band director, UIL academic coordinator and One-Act Play director. He has increased participation and led students to state in all three areas of competition.

“Everyone needs goals to strive for,” said Rhodes. “It can be as simple as competing in a UIL academic contest or as grand as winning the State Marching Band championship. The goal does not always have to be to win, but to strive for excellence and have the satisfaction that you did your best.”


Brenda Schulte, Nazareth High School

For 29 years, Brenda Schulte has sponsored UIL academic events at Nazareth High School. Her journalism and writing students have medaled 37 times in state meets including nine state champions and two students that won Tops in Texas honors. In 2008, her writers won the journalism state team title. Schulte was also an assistant coach on several of the Nazareth Swiftettes state basketball championship teams.

“In my teaching career I have experienced no greater joy than watching my students prepare for a challenge then perform to the best of their ability,” said Schulte. “Win or lose, I am always proud of them, for in our journey I have the privilege of watching them acquire the qualities necessary for success in life.”


Marsha Vermillion, Eastland High School

For more than 20 years, Marsha Vermillion has served as coach, coordinator, presenter, grader and workshop organizer for UIL academic competition. Her literary criticism teams have won eight district championships in her 10-year tenure as Eastland’s academic coordinator and placed third at the 2008 and 2009 UIL Academic State Meets.

“The brightest students often cherish the challenge that UIL competition offers,” said Vermillion. “Allowing very intelligent students to reach beyond normal academic expectations and strive for excellence broadens their perspective of their world, offers them challenges for which they must become committed to, and allows them the camaraderie of a team of very intelligent peers with whom they are comfortable and with whom they can relate.”


Cindy Wiebusch, Midland Lee High School

Since taking over the speech and debate program at Midland Lee High School, Cindy Wiebusch has advanced students to the regional meet every year. Her students have also enjoyed success at the state level appearing at the state meet for four consecutive years from 2001-2004.

“I believe competition that teaches ethics, integrity and fair sportsmanship is entirely worthwhile,” said Wiebusch. “If positive learning is not a key component in contest, students and coaches should redirect efforts to that end.”

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