All Aboard the State Train

Six students advance to state, leaving Medina Valley district and regional champions


Janelle De Jesus, Feature Editor

On April 17, the UIL Academics and Speech and Debate team competed for a chance at UIL State. Six students advanced to the state competition and Medina Valley left regional champions — following their win as district champions — and achieving this for the first time in UIL history here at Medina Valley. 

“I do extemporaneous speaking, an event that requires a lot of knowledge about current events around the world,” senior Dominick Peralta said. “I would like to thank Mr. Hurley the most, he allowed me to find my passion in life which in the end has made me a better person.” 

Out of the 40 plus kids that originally attended the district tournaments, only six are advancing to the final level. Four of those students are in speech and debate, and two are in academics. Those six students are Peralta, Sara Beth Beasley (12), Ameenah Wilson (11), and Aya Kasim (11) for debate, Giorgette Ruiz (11) for Journalism and MacKenzie Hinman (12) for Literary Criticism. 

“I do Lincoln Douglass debate, which is an individual debate event based on philosophy. I have been writing papers like crazy which lead to a ton of hand cramps, but it’s worth it,” Beasley said. “I would also really like this chance to thank my coaches Mr. Hurley and Ms. Gregory, they give up so much for this team, and with them we really thrive.” 

Each of these individuals competed in separate events. Beasley competed in Lincoln Douglass and got second, and Persuasive speaking and got second. Wilson competed in persuasive speaking and got third. Ruiz competed in editorial writing and got third. Kasim competed in prose and got second. Peralta competed in informative speaking and got third. Finally, Hinman competed in literary criticism and got third. 

“I do extemporaneous speaking. An event where I am given thirty minutes to prepare about a topic. I then have seven minutes to give said speech from memory,” Wilson said. “I want to thank my teammates Dominick, Aya, and especially Sara Beth for showing me what it means to be a great speaker.” 

“My event is prose interpretation, a storytelling event that asks students to compose and perform a piece made from texts. My pieces are very emotional, and tell my personal story which is why this event means so much to me,” junior Kasim said. “I had just gotten out of my UIL academics event when a very frantic Mrs. Magill goes up to me and tells me ‘call Hurley,’ long story short it was a great phone call.” 

We wish the best of luck to all of these gifted and talented individuals who will be competing at the state level May 25 and 26 at The University of Texas in Austin.