UIL Teams Break School Record at District
April 13, 2021
After a strong showing in the District UIL meet, the school had 42 students advance to the Regional UIL Meet on April 16-17.
“UIL Academics encompasses rigorous testing and competition in all areas of advanced academic, including 30+ individual competitions for STEM, journalism, literary criticism, spelling, poetry, prose, debate, theater and even includes points from UIL Film,” UIL Journalism coach Stacy Short said. “Students compete in practice meets over the course of the year, then usually in the spring, they compete for points to earn in district, region and state competition.”
Each level of winning also contributes to the Lone Star Cup, which calculates points from all UIL activities and events per school.
“Participation in UIL academics is a great way for students to go beyond the normal classroom content in subjects of interest,” UIL science coach Kimberly Kass said. “It can provide better preparation for college coursework and entrance exams, open up scholarship opportunities, strengthen skills that will be used throughout life, and give students an opportunity to be part of a team of individuals with shared interests and talents.”
Events can be both individual or team-based and contests throughout the year preparing them for the district competition in hope of advancing all the way to state.
“Student preparation for events is different depending on the event and how the coach sets up their practices,” Kass said. “For most of the events, the students work at an advanced level in the subject area with their coach and attend practice meets with students from other schools.”
Students involved in the program are expected to train and practice for many hours during the week in order to prepare for these contests.
“The majority of the preparation falls on the student outside of school hours,” UIL science coach Deserae Good said. “The number of hours will vary for each student and each event, but you can safely assume to be successful at the state level the teams need to practice almost every day for about an hour usually two weeks leading up to district, region, or state.”
Teachers use a variety of methods to find potential members.
“Since I teach freshmen, I typically ask my classes who is interested and give them a practice test to see how they would do,” Good said. “I also ask for recommendations from the middle school honors math and science teachers. Some students were in UIL competition at the middle school level so many of them continue that into high school. Coaches are always on the look out for advanced students in a variety of ways and we may even help recruit for each other.”
UIL academics offers a number of different activities and programs for students to be involved in during their high school years.
“UIL academics overall provides a great avenue for those students who want to excel and win and practice for things that will help them for their future careers and college,” Short said. “The competition is rigorous and demanding, but the payoff is life-changing and well worth the effort.”