Two students from John Tyler High School recently made an impressive showing in the UIL 6A State Congress competition. Senior Triston Ferguson broke into Super Congress, claiming a 16th place finish. Tacorian Tilley, also a senior, claimed 7th place in the preliminary rooms, landing him among the top 21 students in the state.
“The experience at UIL State was amazing,” Tacorian said. “Being able to speak at our capital on the same day that legislators were sworn in and the 2017 session began, is something that I will never forget.”
“This was our first year in 6A and we were in competition with schools that we had not competed against previously,” April Caldwell, John Tyler debate coach, said. “Both of our students did an outstanding job representing John Tyler High School. I believe their success is a true testament to their teachers in Tyler ISD, and also to the support for academic competition in the district
Tacorian remembers one moment that took place on the first day of competition vividly:
“When we first got to the competition someone told me that they knew John Tyler was really good at football, and they didn’t know that we competed in UIL. I am happy to say that person came up to me after competition and said, ‘Okay, I see y’all are good at more than football.’ I am happy to be a part of expanding our reputation as an academic and athletic school!”
According to the UIL website, the Congress Competition is a mock legislative assembly competition that requires students to draft legislation and to research a docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies prior to the contest. 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. 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.
Pictured: Tacorian Tilley and Triston Ferguson