All Big Spring High School Speech and Debate coach Jennifer Adams wanted for her birthday was for one of her students to win a University Interscholastic League academic state gold medal. Turns out, her birthday was twice as nice.
Big Spring High School students Jessica Rubio placed first in Persuasive Speaking and Shermila Kher placed first in Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the 101st Annual UIL State Tournament.
“We felt we had a really good shot at winning at least one gold medal,” Adams said. “These two girls have been performing well all year.”
Rubio and Kher had qualified for the National Forensic League National Tournament in the same two events earlier this year.
For Rubio, the third time at state was the charm. She attended the UIL state meet for the last two years while BSHS was still in 4A, competing in Informative Speaking.
“I decided to try something new my senior year,” Rubio said. “I wanted to see if I could have better luck.”
This was Kher’s first year at the UIL state meet.
“Winning state as a junior classman is a huge accomplishment,” Adams said, “especially when it is a student’s first time at state.”
As a team, the BSHS Speech & Debate Team placed third in the overall Speech contest.
The wins mark the third state championship for the program in the last decade and the 11th time a member of the BSHS Speech and Debate Team has placed in the top six at the UIL state meet. The wins were also the first state championships for Big Spring High School as a 3A school.