John Tyler High School speech, debate honored with national award

January 4, 2018


The John Tyler High School speech and debate program has been awarded a 2016-2017 Leading Chapter Award in the UIL Texas District by the National Speech & Debate Association. John Tyler is among only 108 schools to receive the prestigious honor out of more than 3,600 schools nationwide. Only one school in each speech and debate district earns the award every year.


The Leading Chapter Award is based on student participation and is the highest recognition a school can receive from the National Speech & Debate Association. Honored schools must wait five years before being eligible to receive the award again. More than 45 John Tyler students contributed to this award over the past five years.


“To receive this honor after restarting the program five years ago is a great testament to the students at John Tyler and their competitiveness in the national circuit, their academic achievements and their communication skills,” April Caldwell, John Tyler speech and debate sponsor, said. 


The 2016-2017 Leading Chapter Award in the UIL Texas District reflects 417 members and degrees each year. Schools with this distinction not only lead other schools within their district; they serve as flagship programs for novice speech and debate teams around the United States.


“Speech and debate advances communication skills, improves reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking, develops interpersonal skills, and prepares students for college, career, and beyond,” J. Scott Wunn, National Speech & Debate Association executive director, said. “Nowhere is this more evident than our Leading Chapter Schools.”


The John Tyler High School Speech & Debate team will be presented a plaque during the final round of district competition February 23 and 24.



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