Speech, debate students set new school record


Olivia Lauter

Senior Tajvir Singh and junior Chisom Okorafor won first and second place in the UIL congress state championship. Singh and Okorafor joined the debate team their freshmen year.

Two speech and debate students received awards at this year’s UIL Congress State Championship. Senior Tajvir Singh placed first at the congressional debate and junior Chisom Okorafor placed second. These students are the first to be awarded medals in this event in the school’s history. 

“It’s a new record for the school,” speech and debate coach Jake Cosio said. “We’ve never had state medalists in that event before, so the fact that we went in and not only got one statement of the list, but two state medalists, and not only were they medalist, but first and second place. It’s kind of mind blowing.”

These students worked together, and on their own, to prepare for a debate like this one.

“This award really means a lot to me,” Okorafor said. “I’ve been doing congress for three years now, and there have been tons of people who helped me get here, but it ultimately means that my hard work and long hours actually paid off, which is really cool.”

Singh and Okorafor joined speech and debate at the beginning of their high school career.

“I was really happy when I learned about this,” Singh said. “A lot of the public speaking skills that I’ve been building over the years through competing in speech and debate allowed me to fare well in this competition.”

For Singh and Okorafor debate is more than the competitions and awards.

“I just want to say thank you to Mr. Cosio for being a great coach, and encouraging everyone to take debate,” Okorafor said. “Even if you think you won’t like it, it’s a really great community, and I’ve made lots of really great friends I wouldn’t have anywhere else.”