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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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Contreras has Left the Building: After 26 years, the Assistant Athletic Director Retires

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:02 AM

Peter Contreras retired at the end of September after working at the League for more than two and a half decades.
Peter Contreras retired at the end of September after working at the League for more than two and a half decades.

Photo by First Photo Texas

A college basketball referee, an avid golfer—complete with the shirt tan to prove it—and UIL assistant athletic director. All titles Peter Contreras holds. For 26 years Contreras has been a part of the UIL family, but on September 30, he sat in his office for the last time.

“My greatest memories here are with people,” Contreras said. “That’s an easy one. Over 26 years I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of people inside this office and this building, and I’m going to miss that.”

After a more than two and half decade long career, Contreras retired from UIL this fall.

“I want to do something else,” he said. “I still think I’m young enough, might not look it, but I’m still young enough to do something else. That uncertainty is exciting and scary.”

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Team Tennis Director’s Report

By Darryl Beasley, assistant athletic director | Wednesday, October 28, 2015 9:28 AM

As the Team Tennis district season comes to close, I would like to take this time to go over some house cleaning and postseason information.
If you haven’t notice, there is a new Constitution and Contest Rule change in match scoring for Team Tennis. The scoring system will be “No Advantage-Scoring”, best 2 out-of-3 set matches with a 12-point tiebreaker at "six games all" in the first two sets. Here is the new rule: If a third set is necessary, it will be played as a ten-point match tie break in lieu of the third set. This will add to the pressure and excitement for the third set.
There was also a Constitution and Contest Rule change at the area tournament. If an area tournament is being held there is an exception, by mutual consent, that allows teams to exclude the area championship and/or third place matches.

No student or team representing a participant school shall participate in more than seven tournaments (total for tennis and team tennis combined) during the school year, excluding one district tennis tournament, the regional tournaments and the state tournament. Note: The team tennis district tournament counts as one of the seven allowable tournaments if school time is lost. Each tournament a school team enters counts as one tournament for the team and one tournament for each participating individual. Students are considered to be representing their school if they are wearing and/or using school equipment or being directed or transported by a school employee. Exceptions. Tournaments, which are limited to three or fewer schools, do not count, as a tournament for teams or participants, provided there is no loss of school time. Also, if no more than four teams meet to play predetermined opponent(s), it shall not be counted as one of the seven tournaments allowed the team or the individual if no school time is lost and if no tournament draw is set to determine a champion.

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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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Dr. Susan Elza Named UIL Director of Athletics

By Kate Y. Hector, Media Coordinator | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:54 AM

Dr. Susan Elza
Dr. Susan Elza

Dr. Susan Elza has been hired as the University Interscholastic League Director of Athletics the League announced Monday.

Elza, who was previously Executive Director of Athletics at Northwest Independent School District, began in August and will oversee the UIL athletic department and administer athletic activities for member schools. Elza fills the position recently vacated by Dr. Mark Cousins, who moved into a new role as UIL Director of Compliance, Eligibility and Education on July 1.

“It is a tremendous honor to be hired as the Director of Athletics of the University Interscholastic League,” Elza said. “I am grateful for the vote of confidence to lead an athletic program that is known as one of the best in the nation. I am dedicated to contributing to help shape the future of this organization so that we can better serve the schools and athletes of the state of Texas.”

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