UIL Team triumphs during spring season

Junior Dayton McElyea places 3rd place at UIL State & freshman Madison Donovan places 5th at UIL Regionals

May 21, 2019


Junior Dayton McElyea and freshman Madison Donovan after accepting their Regionals awards.

On April 12 – 13 the UIL team traveled to Commerce for the Regional UIL Academic Meet. While there, the students visited the Audie Murphy Museum and went to the Majestic 12 Theater in Greenville thanks to a donation by an anonymous donor.

“We had an amazing time at the Audie Murphy museum with the UIL team,” UIL coordinator and English teacher Johna Tritt said. “I think it was really beneficial for the students to get out of the hotel before contest and relax. I’m proud that Dayton McElyea had success and placed 3rd at State.”

Juniors Alex Czarnecki, Carlie Massey, Dayton McElyea, Ivan Moran, Valentina Stojanovic, Justiss Ross, sophomores Estella Martinez, Madison Donovan, juniors Kristal Loredo, Lauren Bryant, Lexus Harrington, and sophomore Rachel Bowman, sophomore Benjamin Banda.

More students than ever before advanced out of district to attend Regionals.

“It was exciting to take our whole social studies team to the meet,” UIL social studies coach and geography teacher Carl Mohn said. “I look forward to continue that in the future.”

Learning and growing as a person and a team is what the members find themselves doing towards the end of the UIL season.

“My favorite part of the regionals trip was the atmosphere,” junior Alex Czarniecki said. “It was a great experience to learn and be in. UIL is something I do plan to continue because it allows me to learn and compete at a higher level.”

On trips such as these, students find themselves speaking to peers they normally might not talk to.

“Being on the trip gave me an opportunity to talk wiht students I otherwise would not talk to,” junior Lexus Harrington said. “Talking with these students was my favorite part.”

UIL encourages students to step out of their comfort zone, even if the end result is not what they wanted.

“I learned that nerves are common,” Harrington said. “Even if you are fully prepared, the nerves still come upon you.”

Some students are able to find motivation through their failure.

Being ambitious is key

— Kristal Loredo

“Being ambitious is key,” junior Kristal Loredo said. “Because I wasn’t the most ambitious, I did not place. I do love competing, and I hope to continue to do so in the same event for my senior year. My advice to myself next year would be to stay focused.”

UIL participants found that a little boost of confidence would have potentially boosted their rating.

“My favorite part was the ride home,” sophomore Rachel Bowman said. “It was so much fun to talk to those in my car. I also loved that we went to a movie, it was really enjoyable. UIL allows for a lot of opportunity and gives me a chance to bond with like-minded peers.”

Junior Dayton McElyea, who has been competing in journalism since her freshman year placed 3rd in editorial writing at Regionals.

“My favorite part of the trip was when I found out I placed third and was going to state, which I’m also ecstatic to say I placed third at State,” McElyea said. “I think I learned to not stress out so much and stay calm before I write. I love writing editorials, and I feel like I make new friends and new connections through it.”

Placing higher each year takes skill, dedication, and persistance.

“When I first started UIL in 6th grade, I wrote ready writing, but my teacher pushed me to do editorial in eighth grade,” McElyea said. “I loved it and I still do. My advice would be to slow down; take it in; breath and relax; just do your best.”


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