Two students from John Tyler High School have advanced to the UIL State Congress competition set to take place Jan. 10 and 11 in Austin. Tacorian Tilley claimed first place and Triston Ferguson took second place in the regional meet held in early November at John Tyler High School. Both students advance to the state competition.
According to the UIL website, the Congress Competition is an individual contest in a large group setting. Modeling the legislative process of the United States Congress, this mock legislative assembly competition requires students to draft and submit legislation and to research a docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies prior to the contest to prepare their speeches.
At the tournament, students caucus in committees, deliver formal discourse on the merits and disadvantages of each piece of legislation, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined. Parliamentary procedure forms structure for the discourse, and students extemporaneously respond to others’ arguments over the course of a session. Judges evaluate contestants for their research and analysis of issues, argumentation, skill in asking and answering questions, use of parliamentary procedure and clarity and fluency of speaking.
“No words can describe the amount of joy I felt the moment my name was called,” Tacorian said. “The countless hours of preparation and help from my coach and teammates paid off. I know it’s not over, but I believe more hard work and dedication will bring more positive results.”
Additionally, Jose Romero finished in fourth place and was awarded TOP Presiding Officer at the regional meet.