UIL Academics - Jan 24 2022

EFISD UIL Academic Teams Ready For Another Banner Year
Posted on 01/24/2022
2021 UIL Academic Science State ChampsThe start of the spring semester in most school districts brings with it the increasing focus toward the state testing season, the promise of warmer weather, and the march toward end-of-year activities.

But in Elysian Fields ISD, there is also a tremendous focus on a program that has brought much success over the years and one on which the Yellow Jackets like to hang their hat every year: UIL Academic competition.

Over the last few years, EFISD has made its mark on spring academic competitions that include subjects such as Cross-Examination Debate, Speech, Journalism, and One-Act Play, among others. The consistency with which EFISD students perform well and win competitions is the result of a commitment from administration, students, and parents to excel in UIL Academic competitions.

“In 2014 when I became the HS Principal, I had a plan in place to build an academic team that could compete and win district championships each year,” said Jack Parker, Principal at Elysian Fields High School. “Of course there was a learning curve for my academic coaches and kids. Katilyn Woodley and Krystal Woodley were instrumental in my plan because of the hard work and dedication they had put into the program prior to me becoming the principal. I feel like we have the best academic coaches and kids in East Texas because of the hard work and emphasis the coaches put on academic competency. By providing my academic coaches with the necessary resources and opportunities, our UIL academic program and level of achievement has grown exponentially in a very short time.”

With the increased emphasis on providing academic competition opportunities for students, the results have been impressive. Elysian Fields’ One-Act Play, which contributes to the District Academic Standing, has advanced out of the district level each of the last two years. The CX Debate program has qualified for state-level competition with a fifth-place finish, a sixth-place finish, and a Golden Gavel award the last three years.

The overall EFHS UIL Academic team is a two-time defending district champion and was the regional runner-up in 2021. EF also finished in sixth-place as a team at the state meet last spring.

In 2021, Elysian Fields students won individual state championships in Computer Applications, CX Debate, and Science. The team also had state qualifiers in Spelling and Literary Criticism.

The 2022 UIL Academic season also brings lots of promise for EFHS students looking to build on these past successes.

“Elysian Fields High School students have been working diligently throughout the school year to prepare for the 2022 UIL Academics meets,” said Katilyn Woodley, EFHS Counselor. “UIL Academics offers a comprehensive academic competition that spans 30 separate contests at the high school level. Students began instruction in these events in August and competed in both virtual and in-person meets to ready themselves for competition.”
Students first compete at the district level for the opportunity to advance to the regional then state levels of competition, Woodley added. Students will compete for individual and team awards within their prospective events, and they also compete against other schools in their classification for an overall meet winner.

In addition, any student who qualifies for the state level of competition qualifies to apply for the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation (TILF) Scholarship. Elysian Fields High School students have received over $30,000 in TILF scholarships over the last four years.

Elysian Fields students will compete this spring in the following UIL Academic events:

One-Act Play

CX Debate
Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Informative Speaking
Persuasive Speaking

Copy Editing
Feature Writing
Headline Writing
Editorial Writing
News Writing

Computer Applications
Current Issues and Events
Literary Criticism
Ready Writing
Social Studies
Computer Science
Number Sense

Parker also credits the community’s support with fundraising efforts that greatly enhance the district’s ability to provide these opportunities to students.

“All of this would not be possible without our gracious sponsors who donate to our t-shirt fundraiser,” he said. “Our budget does not provide the monetary means we need to function at such a high level, so we are grateful for the support that directly benefits our students in these endeavors.”