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NL’s Hodgkiss Selected for National Teaching Award

North Lamar Speech and Debate Coach Kristi Hodgkiss critiques a speech given by jr Seth Gurley
North Lamar Speech and Debate Coach Kristi Hodgkiss critiques a speech given by jr Seth Gurley

Kristi Hodgkiss, long-time Speech and Debate Coach at North Lamar High School, will be recognized in a ceremony sponsored by the University Scholastic League (UIL) during the state academic meet on May 19 – 21, 2014, according to UIL Speech and Debate State Director Jana Riggins. The ceremony will be held at the University of Texas at Austin and will honor Hodgkiss for her selection as a recipient of a national teaching award.

The National Federation of State High School Associations announced the selection of the District 6 winner of the prestigious Speech, Debate, and Theatre Association Outstanding Educator Award for 2014 on Thursday, February 13.  Hodgkiss has been selected to receive this national award from among thousands of applicants who were nominated for the award across the Southwest.

Hodgkiss was made aware of her selection when she received a surprise email from State Director Riggins who nominated her for the award. 

“We were proud to nominate Kristi and to recognize her for her outstanding work in competitive Speech and Debate.  We congratulate her for her long-time dedication to education and to her students at North Lamar High School, as well as her many contributions to the University Scholastic League,” said Riggins. 

“I was shocked and over-whelmed,” said Ms. Hodgkiss.  “I am humbled to receive this honor.  Working with my students and seeing their successes in speech and debate is very rewarding.  I just didn’t expect to be nominated, much less be selected for this award.” 

Hodgkiss’ students have been very successful over the last 20 years that she has coached speech and debate, advancing numerous region and state qualifiers.  Her students have earned nine individual state championships, as well as one team state championship. 

Hodgkiss serves on the UIL state and regional advisory boards for speech and debate and is the co-author of state coaching manuals for informative and persuasive speaking.    For the last five years she has assisted in the administration of the UIL State Cross Examination Debate. 

Hodgkiss’ selection as the District 6 winner was based on a careful review of her nomination document submitted by Riggins and the NFHS Speech Advisory Committee.  The committee, who has presented this award since 1978, carefully evaluates all the applicants before making a selection.  District 6 is comprised of Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

According to Riggins, “When you consider the literal thousands of fine speech and debate teachers across District 6, Kristi’s selection as the Outstanding Educator places her in very elite company.”

The Panther Press