Mexico, U.S. students win at Schreiner-hosted Texas Star Great Debate
The National Hispanic Institute’s Texas Star Great Debate is solidifying in its second year at Schreiner University — and this year, it attracted students from Mexico as well as the United States, which was reflected in the list of students winning top honors for their performances.
Though the Texas Star Great Debate was originally designed to offer an experience for Texas students not close enough to cities and regions sending Texas Great Debate teams, it’s evolved into an attractive alternative to the team competition, drawing students from San Antonio, Dallas, and the RGV as well as Lockhart, Mathis, and Cotulla. Teams form on the first day, recruited by coaches who state what qualities they’re looking for in their competitors.
“We had a great experience last year,” said Dr. Charlie McCormick, president of Schreiner University, “and we’re very eager to participate once again this year. It’s important to us because, from our perspective, we’re always trying to find students who are the right fit for Schreiner University.”
NHI takes an “outside the box” approach to leadership education by using an immersive-disruptive model it’s developed over the years, refined in part by the Texas Star Great Debate. It’s in line with Schreiner’s ideas about education — which, as McCormick explains, seeks to be an alternative from what other Texas universities offer.
“What we can do, and what we are committed to doing, is making sure our students have access and and involvement and experience with those transcendent habits of mind, skills that cut across time and space, things like critical thinking, things like the ability to work together, things like analytic reasoning, because those are going to be the very things that help them adjust to all the various situations in which they find themselves, these unscripted situations in which they are going to find themselves in their future life. So we think it’s a really great moment to say, here’s who we are. And if you really like this experience, you’ll get more of it a place like Schreiner, and we think that’s a good fit.”
The immersive nature of the program, though challenging at first for some of the participants, was ultimately rewarding.
“I was really hesitant at first, and scared,” said Jesael Batres-Morales of Lockhart High School, who credited the NHI staff with helping him find his typical comfort zone.
“When I first showed up, I was a little confused and scared,” added Megan Mendoza of Mathis High School. “But as I went through the program, and as I went through the clinics and everything, I feel more comfortable, and I feel confident of what I can do.”
The winners at the 2019 edition of the Texas Star Great Debate included:
1st Place: Maria Revuelta, Colegio Americano de Torreon, Torreon, Mexico
2nd Place: Adrian Estrada, Colegio Americano de Torreon, Torreon, Mexico
All-State: Daniela Garcia, Tivy High School, Kerrville, Texas
1st Place: Dominic Louis Peters, Central Catholic High School, San Antonio, Texas and Isabella Zapata, Palmview High School, Mission, Texas
2nd Place: Ben Rios, Central Catholic High School, San Antonio, Texas and Tamar Reyna, Lockhart High School, Lockhart, Texas
All-State Leader: Andrea Ponce, Sierra Nevada High School, Mexico, D.F., Mexico
All-State Member: Julieta Garza, La Joya High School, La Joya, Texas
1st Place: Jorge Ruelas, Instituto Lux, Leon, Mexico
2nd Place: Julianna Galindo, Incarnate Word High School, San Antonio, Texas
All-State: Amanda Chapa, La Joya High School
1st Place: Madeline King, Science Academy of South Texas, Mercedes, Texas & Jocelyn Garcia, Cotulla High School, Cotulla, Texas
2nd Place: Vincent Yang, Radford High School & Angelica Longoria, Lopez Early College High School, Brownsville, Texas
All-State Attorney: Julian Romero, Health Careers High School, San Antonio
All-State Attorney: Gloria Wickham, Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Dallas, Texas