If you’ve ever gone to school in Keller ISD, you’ve likely heard of UIL. Even so, a Twitter poll showed 64% of TCHS students are still unsure of exactly what it is. Are you looking for a competitive, academic outlet outside of school? Interested in competing in Journalism, Speech, Debate, Science, Technology, Math, Theatre, Film and much more? Do you have any free time for occasional weekend competitions? Look no further than the Timber Creek UIL Academic, Speech and Debate Team.
UIL is the most comprehensive academic competition available for students. TCHS has actively participated in UIL since 2009, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned within Keller ISD. It started small but mighty, competing in 3A competitions. In the past 7 years, the team has blossomed into one of the best schools in the district, rivaling Keller and Central, two older schools with the advantages of time and large programs. Timber Creek offers 22 different academic UIL teams, only lacking accounting, which is a relatively new class. These activities exist to complement the academic curriculum, motivate students as they acquire higher levels of knowledge and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of specific skills.
These dedicated students spend occasional weekends competing at various schools in the area, but what that looks like for each team can vary greatly. For a student competing in Computer Sciences, a contest may consist of computer programing, Social Studies students take tests over history, Speech students give speeches, etc.
If you’re interested in a specific category and what it would entail, one coach has the 411.
Debbie Begley, Timber Creek’s Debate teacher, coaches Speech, Debate, and Current Events, while similarly fulfilling the role of UIL Academic Coordinator. In this position, she recruits teachers every year to coach individual categories of UIL Academics. She oversees the entire process, giving sponsors rules and procedures for competitions, scheduling competitions, and entering students into the competition system. Then comes filling out the bus requests, travel requests, and managing the finances. This is a big job for someone who also coaches Speech and Debate, the biggest category of UIL students at Timber Creek. The only thing she doesn’t do is oversee their practices or teach their students for each section. She believes UIL academics “[Give] kids an outlet that they may not otherwise have.”
“Maybe they’re not a singer or an actor or something like that,” Coach Begley continues. “This gives them an outlet to utilize their talents and their skills in an academic setting.”
If we’ve portrayed it as all work and no play, it’s a misrepresentation. Students are members of close-knit teams, learning the benefits of teamwork while earning scholarships, trophies, and much more. Additionally, UIL looks great on college applications, and provides students the ability to letter in the event of their choice. But don’t take our word for it. Join a UIL Academic Team today.