Academics News

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Former HS Photographer Talks About his Experience in Liberia

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 11:21 AM

While on assignment in Liberia, John Moore wore protective gear to protect himself from getting the Ebola virus.
While on assignment in Liberia, John Moore wore protective gear to protect himself from getting the Ebola virus.

John Moore, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who now works for Getty Images, recently returned from Liberia where he documented the Ebola epidemic. In high school, Moore was an award-wining photographer, taking home just about every ILPC photo medal. In college, he shot for the Daily Texan, the University of Texas at Austin newspaper, and the Leaguer.
After returning from Liberia, Moore spoke with Jeanne Acton about his experiences in that country.

Moore will be a featured speaker at the ILPC Spring Convention held April 18-19 at UT-Austin. At the convention, he will present a session with his photos from Liberia.

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Weblinks for Academic Coordinator Preparations

By Dr. David Stevens, Academic Director | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 11:02 AM

STUDENT ACTIVITIES CONFERENCES begin next week. Bring a busload of students and every coach you can round up. They are free and no registration is required. A tentative schedule will be posted two weeks before the conference. Handouts and presentations will be posted on the website as they are made available.

    WTAMU Canyon-Sept 13
    TAMUCC Corpus-Sept 27

    UT Austin-Nov 1

    UT Arlington-Nov 15

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Speaking Events Continue to Evolve and Grow

By Jana Riggins, Speech and Debate Director | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 10:37 AM

It’s the dawn of a new day, a new school year and I hope you are as excited as I am to begin the journey of this new competition year! The academic department at UIL is always seeking ways to bring growth and progress to our program, so my column this month is full of important changes and updates in every speaking event. Indulge in what will seem like a potpourri bulletin board.

The biggest news in Cross-Examination Debate is the confirmation of our site and location for the CX Debate State Tournament. You may have noticed on our original tentative calendar that two weeks were marked for state debate with a “TBD” notification. That is because for some time now, I have been exploring the possibility of alternative sites. This summer, I notified all debate coaches registered in the UIL speech coach database of our decision that, for 2015, the state debate tournament will remain at UT-Austin and will be hosted during the week of March 16 – 21.

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Introduction to the CX Debate Oceans Topic: Time to Dive In

By Noah Recker, La Vernia High School | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 10:35 AM

Author: Noah Recker, Debate coach at La Vernia High School and UIL representative to the NFHS National CX Debate Topic Selection Committee who authored the study report over Oceans. Noah’s paper developed into the resolution which debaters throughout the nation will be debating during the 2014-2015 school year: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth's oceans.

When asked to write for the National CX Debate Topic Selection Committee, I had some nervous trepidation. It felt like a huge weight had been put on my shoulders. I knew what I wanted in a topic and I hoped that my topic paper could convey those wants and needs. Across the state, I continuously heard coaches complain about the changing nature of CX debate and how it is getting tougher and tougher to recruit high school students into the event. It was time to create some waves with my topic paper, and I eventually settled on oceans. The breadth of the topic can help novices explore their imaginations with topic ideas and senior debaters can really dive into a wide range of research opportunities.

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Journalism Advisory Committee Updates Contests

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism Director | Tuesday, September 09, 2014 10:30 AM

Amazing things happen when you put a group of top-notch journalism advisers together in a room and give them a few hours to work. This summer is proof of that.
In July, 15 or so of your colleagues and I met to discuss, revamp and review the UIL Journalism Contests and the ILPC Contests. The advisory committee, comprised of some of the best advisers across Texas, accomplished more in 8 hours than I could have done all semester long.

Before coming together, I split the committee into five subgroups to focus on the following areas: 1) UIL Journalism Contests 2) ILPC Yearbook Contests 3) ILPC Print Newspaper Contests 4) ILPC Online Newspaper Contests 5) Broadcast Contests.

Each subgroup met for a few hours to discuss proposed changes that advisers emailed to me earlier in the year. Every voice was heard, and every proposal was discussed. Then, the groups came up with recommendations for changes to their area.

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Triple Threat: UIL Tradition Starts More than 40 Years Ago

By Sue Jane Mayes, Borden County HS | Thursday, June 05, 2014 9:39 AM

When science teacher Mickey McMeans drove to Austin in 1966 with Borden County High School’s first-ever academic state qualifier, he could not have imagined the tradition he was starting.

In the 70s and 80s business teacher Netta Jarrett coached multiple state champions in 1-A typing and shorthand.

Speech teachers Darrin Ard and Sue Jane Mayes would be the next generation of coaches, carpooling many students the 350-mile distance from Gail to Austin. Between them, they coached two speech championship teams and numerous extemp, interp, and debate gold medalists. Champions in spelling, ready writing, journalism and social studies were also added.

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OAP Contest Makes an Impact

By Julie Herman, Arts + Culture Texas | Thursday, June 05, 2014 9:33 AM

Reprinted with permission from Arts + Culture Texas

Theater students from Rogers High School, a small 2A school near Temple, wait in the wings of the auditorium. An official with a stopwatch stands in the corner of the backstage area. “One minute,” she warns. “Go.” The students snap into action, seizing blocks and steps, shifting them into position on the stage. They have seven minutes to build their set, brings in props and complete sound and light checks. Philip Taylor, the school’s director, stands watching. These students have helped craft the script to fit the 40-minute time limit, auditioned for parts, scrounged for props, created costumes, and rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. One or two of them spare a glance up at the light bar high overhead. If their palms are sweaty, it’s because when the curtain goes up, this competition matters.

Some people think that Friday Night Lights defines our state’s youth. But football is not the only contest worth watching in the great state of Texas. According to Luis Muñoz, the state theater director of the University Interscholastic League (UIL), 1,220 schools will bring their best performances to the Texas UIL One Act Play (OAP) Contest this spring: That’s a boatload of thespians. Just like Texas football, this monster of a contest gathers high school teams and pits them in the largest U.S. competition of its kind.

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Original Lit Crit State Director Dies at 82

By Jamie Oberg, UIL Intern | Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:37 PM

Dr. Fred Tarpley was the first state director for the Literary Criticism Contest.
Dr. Fred Tarpley was the first state director for the Literary Criticism Contest.

Dr. Fred Tarpley, the first state Literary Criticism Contest director and driving force behind the contest, passed away on March 1 at the age of 82.

Tarpley graduated from high school at 16, received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M- Commerce) and a Ph. D. from Lousiana State University in 1960. He was a professor at Texas A&M, Commerce from 1957 until his retirement in 1992 and was named Professor Emeritus of Literature and Languages in 2004.

In the early 1980s, Tarpley “instigated the Literary Criticism contest and provided an opportunity that students had not had before,” said Treva Dayton, former UIL Academic Director. “The literary criticism contest is the perfect example of his constant willingness to give.”

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Academic State Meet Brings in the Best

By | Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:17 PM

Thousands of students compete at the Academic State Meet each year.
Thousands of students compete at the Academic State Meet each year.

Photo by Jeanne Acton

The UIL State Academic Meet is set to start Monday May 19 and wrap up in the wee hours of Wednesday, May 21. Thousands of competitors and academic coaches will descend on the University for the meet.

Academic Director David Stevens said he is looking forward to the state meet because it’s his time to reconnect with coaches and students.

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Last-Minute Review Prior to Spring Contests

By Dr. David Stevens, Academic Director | Monday, February 24, 2014 5:23 PM

District meets are just around the corner, and many schools are already entering students online. Remember that 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. Don’t use initials unless a student actually prefers initials to a name. Whenever possible, enter substitutes in each event. They will appear on the contest roster as eligible to compete if a replacement is needed.

Coordinators, remember to do another eligibility check before competition! If substitutions must be made, anyone not listed on the original entry, as either a contestant or alternate, must present certification, signed by an administrator, that they are eligible to compete. A substitute form is posted on the UIL academic web page, but a letter signed by an administrator is also acceptable.

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