Academics News

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Journalism Director Wins Paschal Award

By Staff | Wednesday, April 15, 2009 1:08 PM

UIL Journalism Director and Interscholastic League Press Conference Director Jeanne Acton accepts the James Paschal Award at the the Columbia Scholastic Press Associaton's spring convention in New York City. CSPA honors state or regional school press association officials who have distinguished themselves in the field with with the award named for the late James Frederick Paschal, a former director of the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association and a former editor of The CSPAA Bulletin.

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Nation Chooses Poverty as 2009-2010 Policy Debate Topic

By Jana Riggins | Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:12 PM

The people have spoken. The vote is in. Results from national balloting conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations confirm that cross-examination debaters in 2009 – 2010 will debate the topic: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

Ballots were first sent to states, the District of Columbia, the National Forensic League, National Debate Coaches Association and the National Catholic Forensic League last August with five topics included on the ballot: space, healthcare, immigration, poverty, and federal elections. The voting was intensely close with the top two vote getters, health care and poverty, then placed on a final ballot.

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Theatrical Design Contest Winners Announced

By Luis Munoz | Friday, January 16, 2009 12:18 PM

Entries for this year’s Theatrical Design Contest exceeded 200 entries.  The entries were judged by Kelly Draper, Lamar University; Theresa May, UT Press; Ron Dodson, Austin; Paula Rodriguez, San Antonio College; Tracy Mask Marlowe, Creative Noggin; and Phil Johnson,  Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Our thanks to our adjudicators and congratulations to the state qualifiers. State Qualifiers will receive instructions sometime in February. Non-advancing entries will be returned with “critique CD” and certificate(s) in February. Some outstanding Components from non-advancing groups will be exhibited as non-competing entries at state.


1. Eastland High School – 2A
2. Harper High School – 2A
3. Henrietta High School – 2A
4. Judson High School – 5A
5. Leander High School – 5A

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Texans Earn Top Awards at National Convention

By Jeanne Acton | Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:56 AM

Texas has a few things to celebrate after the JEA/NSPA fall convention in St. Louis last month.

Former ILPC director and journalism adviser Randy Vonderheid was awarded JEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to retirees for lifetime dedication to journalism education.

Two Texas newspapers and one broadcast program earned Pacemakers — The Stampede of Burges High School in El Paso and The Liberator of Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin. MHS-1 from McKinney High School won a Pacemaker in broadcast division.

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Deadlines Scare the Pants Off…

By Jeanne Acton | Monday, November 10, 2008 11:03 AM

Jack-O-Matic is afraid to go to the mailroom.

If you are unaware of who Jack-O-Matic (JOM for short) is. He is my trustworthy assistant. You know, the guy who does all of the real work.

Anyway, he’s not enjoying the mail these days.

And I must thank you for that.

JOM is getting inundated with Interscholastic League Press Conference membership forms and yearbooks. He’s a little busy and a little scared to check today’s mail.

I say, keep it coming. Scare the pants right off JOM. I think he has good legs.

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Q&A with New Current Issues and Events State Director

By Andrea Negri | Friday, November 07, 2008 11:14 AM

 Tom Ray from Hays High School is the new Current Issues and Events State Contest Director this year. Last year, former director Bobby Hawthorne retired from the event.
The following is a brief question and answer with the new director:

How long have you been involved with the UIL and at what capacity?
In high school, I joined the UIL debate team as a freshman in 1983 and was involved all 4 years. I advanced to State in cross examination debate my junior and senior years and placed 3rd in 1986 and 2nd in 1987. I judged the CX State meet for years as a paid judge until I took a Speech and Debate coaching
position at Jack C. Hays HS in the fall of 1993. My teams won district each year I coached, and one of our teams won state in 1997. I then became just a teacher for about five years. I became the Academic Coordinator for Hays in 2006.

What are your plans for the CI&E contest?
My plan this year is to continue to balance foreign and domestic news as well as major Texas news and personalities. In the long term, I hope to move to more international events and personalities. The Internet and electronic library databases really level the playing field and make this contests
so interesting. I am looking forward to visiting with the coaches and coordinators around the state and getting their input as well.

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Council Approves Crew Change

By 0 | Friday, November 07, 2008 11:10 AM

The Legislative Council has approved the addition of a fifth crew member effective Aug. 1, 2009.  The fifth crew member should allow you to more safely execute technical effects and deal with the varying architectural demands of each locale. I want to personally thank the members of the UIL Academic Committee and the Council for their unanimous support.

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Legislative Council Approves a Few Changes for 2009-2010

By Peter Contreras | Friday, November 07, 2008 11:05 AM

Having attended some 19 UIL Legislative Council Meetings over the years, this past month’s meeting may have been the quietest yet. There were proposals, ideas and concerns that were discussed, but at the end of the two-day public meeting, minor changes seemed to rule the day.

What has not changed over time is that proposals that were passed by the 28-member committee are an attempt to fix a problem or concern and, at the same time, ensure that the school children of our state continue to have a very positive and educational experience in our school programs.

New proposals were passed for swimming and diving, softball and golf to strength those programs. Please note, none of the proposals passed are effective until the 2009-2010 school year.

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