THE WRITE STUFF: White Oak Journalism students earn UIL State Championship

High school competitors net numerous awards in Austin

White Oak High School’s Journalism program brought home another UIL Academic State Championship win this week alongside a slew of team and individual metals from Austin – including two students’ first place finishes in News Writing and Prose Interpretation.

All told, White Oak ISD wrapped up the year’s competitions with a 4th Overall Sweepstakes win, notching 88 total points accrued across multiple events. The Conference 3A school competes in District 15 in the academic contest.

Kate Dusek’s 1st in News Writing and 2nd place state finish in Copy Editing collected points along with Chloe Bates’ 4th in Feature Writing and Alli Sims’ Editorial 5th place win to earn the Journalism championship, 10 points to second place finisher Sabine High School’s 5.

Bailey Brondum also netted a State Champion title with her first place win in Prose Interpretation.

White Oak’s Accounting competitors earned a 4th place finish overall from individual wins including 9th for Caden Tyner, 11th for Sydney Caraway and Cole Caraway in 15th.

It’s a substantial win, according to UIL Coordinator Nikki Faircloth.

“That’s just how tough 3A is. It spans more schools, so it’s a bit tougher competition,” she praised, extending similar kudos to the Journalism students: “They rock it. It’s a usually thing to see White Oak Journalism win. It’s their second year in a row as state champions.”

White Oak’s Speech Team also netted a 6th place finish at the state level this week. Earlier in the year, Anna Iske and Kinley Bright netted a 5th place in CX Debate, and the school’s One Act Play cast and crew reached state again, pulling a 7th place finish.

Other state level competitors for White Oak were Rilee Brittan (Poetry) and Kara Kennedy (alternate in Spelling). Avery Spencer accompanied the Austin delegation as part of the Prose & Poetry squad. The students were accompanied by coaches Karen West (Journalism), Pam lattin (Speech/Debate), Lori Davis (Prose/Poetry) and Samantha Sims. White Oak ISD’s Jackson Parker also joined the UIL competitors, earning a not-too-surprising swim in a fountain for his troubles.

“He made a bet with the kids that if we had a state champion, he would jump in the fountain,” Faircloth said. “Anything to get the kids motivated and ready to go, he does.”

Overall, the high school’s UIL Academics program includes about 60 students, working throughout the year to reach State.

“A student that’s in one UIL event is probably putting in between 5 and 10 hours a week, but a lot of our kids are in more than one UIL event,” Faircloth added. “We pride ourselves on our UIL competition.”


White Oak ISD’s Jackson Parker leaps into a fountain, keeping up his end of the deal after the school’s UIL Academic students earned State Champion accolades in Austin this week. (Courtesy Photo)

White Oak ISD’s UIL Academic Journalism team (from left: Kate Dusek, coach Karen West, Alli Sims and Chloe Bates) pose with their State Championship award in Austin, one of numerous awards the district’s students brought home from the year’s final competition. (Courtesy photo)

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