HHSS students earn top honors at state UIL Academic Meet

Not pictured: Maricruz Espinoza and Justin Elizalde
Not pictured: Maricruz Espinoza and Justin Elizalde

Students from the Harlingen High School South University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academic Team came out on top at the at the UIL Academic State Meet held at the University of Texas at Austin on May 21.

Bianca Quintanilla, senior and valedictorian of the class of 2013, became the State Champion in Spelling and Vocabulary with her first place win. This is the second time Quintanilla has earned this prestigious title having earned her first her in 2011.

Angel Yanez, senior, placed sixth in Prose Interpretation. Jann Soto, junior, placed fifth in Informative Extemporaneous Speaking. Justin Elizalde, senior, placed seventh in Feature Writing.

Also awarded were the state finalists from the Hispanic History and Barbara Jordan Essay contest.

In the Hispanic History essay contest, Erica Gonzalez was named state champion for her first place win, and received a $2500 scholarship for her essay about Judge Filemon Vela. Sarah Cano placed third and won a $1500 scholarship for her essay about her grandfather Dr. Abraham Cano. Maricruz Espinoza placed fourth for her essay about her aunt Maria Winston and, Jonathan Ruiz placed seventh with his essay about the musician Selena.

In the Barbara Jordan contest, Adam Rudd earned sixth place for his essay on the Project Row Houses in Houston.

To attend the State UIL meet, the students qualified at the Region IV Academics Conference 5A Spring Meet held at the University of Texas at San Antonio on April 20.

At the Regional meet, Quintanilla was named the Regional Spelling Champion by earning first place. Soto was the Informative Extemporaneous Speaking Regional Champion and Yanez was awarded first place and won the title of Prose Interpretation Regional Champion.

Students awarded for their literary talents in the essay contests were previously selected as one of the top 12 finalists in the state of Texas, before competing in the final round at the state competition.


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