Local debaters bring home national honors
Kempner students return from Alabama Nationals tournament
June 14, 2009
Two Kempner High School students and a coach returned in June from a national speech and debate competition in Birmingham, Alabama.
Each year since 1931, the National Forensic League has been inviting top high school debaters together for an international competition in 13 speech and debate events. This year the event was held in Birmingham, Ala. from June 14 to 19, and two students from Kempner High School competed in the competition. Fort Bend ISD took a total of 13 students from Kempner, Elkins, Clements and Hightower to compete with the best of the best in the nation.
Mirza Baig, a senior this year and Hira Baig, a junior, both competed in the Public Forum debate arguing the topic of U.S. relations with Cuba. They competed against 1,195 teams from 50 states, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Saipan.
The National Forensic League also recognized Rachael Gutierrez, Kempner’s UIL Coordinator, as a "diamond key coach" due to her students' high performances over the years. Coaches receive one-tenth of their students' points, and Ms. Gutierrez former students have received over 15,000 points since she started coaching. Mr. Mason, the current debate coach, received his diamond key award last year at the Las Vegas Nationals.
"I am so proud of our team this year." said Will Mason, “The students have shown great motivation to do well and this has translated to success. Hira and Mirza exemplify what this kind of competition is all about.”