Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Best Texas Student Speaker

Spring Woods High School junior Christian Rice placed first statewide in Persuasive Speaking during recent 4A UIL (University Interscholastic League) competition.

He was the only Spring Branch ISD speech and debate student this spring to qualify for this annual state competition. Christian, who is president of the campus Speech Debate Team, was ranked fifth in Persuasive Speaking by the Texas Forensic Association last semester.

This summer, he’ll represent Spring Woods High School at nationals, where he was ranked among the Top 30 last year. Spring Woods High Forensics Director Vicky Beard, his coach, said that she was overwhelmed by his performance at state UIL. “He did not want me to embarrass him too much so I stayed off stage and cried.

I’m too demonstrative when my students do so well,” she said. Christian is president of the Young Democrats at Spring Woods High and he teaches science learning and skills in the After School to Achieve program at Landrum Middle School, which is a regular job for him.

In separate speech and debate news, the Spring Woods High Debate Team advanced to finals during the Tournament of Champions in Lexington, Ky., recently, and recent graduate Waaris Mohammad was 12th in Congressional Debate out of 215 students who qualified for the tournament. The tournament was held at the University of Kentucky.

Waaris picked Congressional Debate as his area of speech competition due to its relevance to real-world debate and his career interests. “The thing I love about Congressional Debate is the fact that it is like real life. This is what really happens in Foreign Service and in real politics. People debate and have impassioned conversations,” he said.

Waaris will study this fall in Washington, D.C., at George Washington University, where he earned a full scholarship. For Waaris, the speech and debate team at Spring Woods High helped open up his future. “Speech and debate has made me into a different individual and a different person. I was rather shy before Congressional Debate.

Through debate, I was able to hone my thoughts and learn how to speak and compete on a national stage,” the highly honored recent graduate said.


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