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UIL Sponsor Excellence Award Winners

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

Date: Jan 26, 2011
Category: General Information


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, TX—The University Interscholastic League is proud to recognize 15 of the top UIL sponsors in Texas as the 2010 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 20th 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 2010 are as follows:

Jan Barker, Amarillo High School
Since Jan Barker took over as head volleyball coach 23 years ago, Amarillo High School has made 11 appearances at the UIL Volleyball State Tournament. In those 11 appearances, Amarillo has won a Conference 5A record eight state championships. Barker has coached 58 student-athletes that went on to play at the collegiate level, including 30 that played for Division I schools.
“Achieving success in life is what we want for all our athletes,” said Barker. “We want our kids to know that winning is important, but striving to win and leaving everything out there on the court after the match, knowing that they gave everything they had, win or lose, is even more significant.”

Sherry Bigham, Idalou High School
Sherry Bigham has been the UIL academic coordinator at Idalou High School for the past eight years and has sponsored prose interpretation, poetry interpretation and speaking events for 12 years. Her students have medaled nine times in state meets, including two state champions.
“With all of my students and teams, one of the first questions I ask them after a competition is ‘did you do your best?’” said Bigham. “It does not matter how many medals they win; it matters whether they have done their best.”

Susan Brewer, Bellville High School
For 34 years, Susan Brewer has served as both head volleyball and tennis coach at Bellville High School. In volleyball, Brewer has more than 700 career wins and nine UIL state championships in her 14 state tournament appearances. More than 20 of her former volleyball and tennis players have followed her footsteps into the coaching profession, while another 40 have become teachers.
“Our athletic program offers students a real-life opportunity to practice the truths that they have studied theoretically in their academic classrooms,” said Brewer. “My gym is a laboratory in which to test and to prove such values as commitment, discipline, selflessness, competitiveness, goal-setting, problem-solving and teamwork.”

Beth Casey, Angleton High School
Beth Casey has conducted sweepstakes winning choirs at UIL concert and sight-reading contests for the past 24 years – taking up to five choirs each year. Her students have won numerous accolades including hundreds of first division ratings in regional competitions and three outstanding soloists at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
“UIL events encourage students to become part of something bigger than themselves and find ways to contribute to society in a positive way,” said Casey. “Win or lose, students are better people, who are better prepared for the competitive world beyond school.”

Janice Chesson, Hamshire-Fannett High School
Janice Chesson has been the UIL academic coordinator at Hamshire-Fannett High School for the past 10 years and has sponsored UIL accounting for 18 years. In addition to these roles, she also coaches computer applications and computer science and is the director of the high school color guard. Chesson has coached multiple UIL state champions, but believes the value of competition goes beyond medals.
“I train my students to always be gracious to others, win with grace and lose with dignity regardless of the outcome of the competition,” said Chesson. “They leave with the knowledge that their worth cannot be measured by the number of medals won; rather, their accomplishments and recognition come from their own heart, their pride of work, and the intellectual growth they have achieved.”

Karen Longan, Munday High School
Karen Longan has sponsored UIL prose interpretation, poetry interpretation and one-act play competitions for more than 30 years. In seven trips to the UIL State One-Act Play Contest, her school has medaled three times and her students have won numerous individual awards including two best actors, a Samuel French Award and three outstanding technician awards.
“Competition builds excitement, community support and school tradition,” said Longan. “A winning tradition instills confidence in those who follow and motivates them to participate in valuable educational activities they might not otherwise experience.”

Josie Mallery, Klein High School
Klein High School has won seven UIL academic state championships since 1993 in large part to Josie Mallery and the success of her mathematics, number sense and calculator applications teams. Mallery’s students have won 23 team or individual state titles during her tenure, and on three occasions have had all three of her teams win state championships in the same year.
“It is important that my students learn that they will succeed in life and in academia through cooperative and individual work ethics,” said Mallery. “The students are taught they can produce high quality teams academically and socially in the best learning environment possible through cooperation.”

Sharon Martinek, Fayetteville High School
Since 1979, Sharon Martinek has sponsored UIL academic competitions including journalism, accounting and computer applications. Her students have won a combined 210 district championships, 51 regional championships and nine state championships during that time. She has also sponsored mathematics and calculator applications events at the junior high level.
“Some students will excel beyond what they think they can do, if they just have someone that believes in them,” said Martinek. “Sometimes it’s the little things we do that make a big difference.”

Heather Orr, Montgomery High School
Montgomery High School choir students have earned a total of 28 UIL Sweepstakes Awards over the past nine years in large part to the efforts of UIL choir sponsor Heather Orr. In 2010, Orr had four students recognized at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest as outstanding soloists.
“When students have the passion and the drive to succeed, then the competition becomes a tool to build a strong moral character,” said Orr. “Awards are wonderful, but the process of learning and challenging ourselves is more important.”

Mary Pulliam, Duncanville High School
Mary Pulliam has sponsored UIL journalism contests for the past 27 years. During that time, eight of her students have advanced to the UIL Academic State Meet while numerous others advanced to regional competition. As the publications adviser at Duncanville High School, her yearbook and newspaper staffs have won 32 Interscholastic League Press Conference Star Awards, including 30 Gold Stars, four Tops in Texas awards and two Golden Quills.
“While our students gain education in the classroom, it is the life skills – teamwork leadership, sportsmanship, motivation, ethics, integrity, dedication – that they learn in practices and competitions that serve them well in whatever career path they choose,” said Pulliam. “By participating in UIL activities, students forge bonds with their classmates while proudly representing their school in a variety of academic and athletic arenas.”

George Schaade, Apple Springs High School
In 21 years of sponsoring current issues and events teams, George Schaade and his students have made 17 appearances at the UIL Academic State Meet. During that time, he has coached six team and two individual state champions.
“I want students to have a clear understanding of the world around them, so they can make the best decisions for themselves and others,” said Schaade. “Most importantly, I want each one to be unique and independent with the freedom to express his or her feelings with confidence. Each UIL event is a tool to accomplish this goal.”

Christina Strnad, Thrall High School
Since taking over as the UIL academic coordinator in 2003, Christina Strnad has taken Thrall High School from earning no points at the district academic meet to competing for state awards. Strnad coached her journalism team to a state championship in 2009 and a news writing state title in 2010.
“Academic competition encourages productivity because students see the results of their efforts,” said Strnad. “Students have learned that time and effort put into practice produces positive results at competition. It exposes students to the large, highly competitive world they will enter upon graduation.”

Natasha Tolleson, Temple High School
Temple High School has made four appearances at the UIL State One-Act Play Contest in large part to Natasha Tolleson and her 20 years of directing experience. In 2007, Temple High School won the state championship along with the Samuel French and best actor awards. Tolleson has also coached five state finalists in UIL prose interpretation and poetry interpretation.
“Competition allows our students to stretch the boundaries of the classroom,” said Tolleson. “I believe that the life lessons students learn when they are involved in UIL competition aids in our jobs as educators to produce thinking, creative and confident young people.”

Mike Treybig, Palacios High School
Throughout his 31 years of coaching, Mike Treybig has made an impact in the lives of students on and off the field. In addition to guiding the Palacios High School football team in 2007 to its first playoff appearance in 43 years, Treybig has instilled the value of community service in his student-athletes through initiatives to collect canned goods for the local food pantry and raise funds for cancer research.
“We have an opportunity each and every day to affect the lives of the young people that we work with,” said Treybig. “I firmly believe as long as we continually place the student’s best interest at heart, we will always have a positive impact on their lives.”

Frank Troyka, Richardson Berkner High School
Frank Troyka has sponsored high school marching and concert band contests for the past 26 years. Since becoming head director in 1999, Troyka has led Richardson Berkner High School to the UIL State Marching Band Contest every year.
“A healthy approach to competition emphasizes the process, not the outcome,” said Troyka. “By keeping the focus on the process, we teach our kids to value hard work as the most important component of competition.”

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