Journalism, Literary Criticism, Social Studies Teams Place at UIL State Meet


photo courtesy of Carroll ISD

photo courtesy of Carroll ISD

Yesterday the Carroll ISD School Board honored the members of the UIL State Academic Team for their success at the state meet. Three teams of students drove down to the University of Texas at Austin to compete in Academic State UIL May 6-7, representing Carroll against the 250 other schools in Region 6A. These students, as well as their coaches, have been working for months and moving past district and regional events to advance. All three teams or members of the team placed.

One such team is the journalism team, coached by Mrs. Natalie Brown. This group competes in several journalistic events. In copy editing, sophomore Arden Berry placed sixth, and in headline writing, junior Avery Chang placed fourth.

“I love headline writing,” Chang said. “It’s kind of an obscure event, but it provides so much room for creativity and doesn’t require much preparation at all.”

Meanwhile, the Social Studies team, coached by Dr. John Irish, placed third in the state. These three students, juniors Nora Sammons, Rylee Hunt, and Malini Sampath, studied readings and learned vocabulary revolving around this year’s topic: The Olympic Movement. For the competition, they each took a multiple choice test and wrote an essay, then had their scores added up.

“Dr. Irish sent out an email asking if I’d try out for the UIL team,” Sammons said. “Since I enjoy history, I decided to give it a shot! I like learning new things, and I didn’t know much about the Olympics before, so expanding my knowledge has been really cool.”

The Literary Criticism team, also coached by Dr. John Irish, took home second place. This team included seniors Eri Pilon, Emily Jia, Kendall Lyman, and junior  Mandy Kehoe, with Eri Pilon receiving fifth place individually. This event tests students’ ability to analyze literature and literary history.

“My team is pretty great,” Lyman said, “they are super fun to be around and really supportive. 

Altogether, their hard work in Academic UIL has given these students several opportunities, as they’re in the top percent of Texas in these events. For example, TILF offers scholarships to students who make it to a state level. These students have worked hard in their respective events and have earned their placements, as well as the experience that came with it.

“Because of the way our coach set up our preparation for the test, we directed the vast majority of our study time by ourselves,” Eri Pilon said. “Having a team to rely on and to celebrate with was what made this event worth it—if LitCrit was a purely individual event, I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much.”