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CHS Senior Wins UIL Academic State Title for Ready Writing

CHS UIL Academic State Champion Gracie Barker with medal

San Angelo ISD and Central High School proudly celebrate Bobcat senior Gracie Barker for winning first place in the state for Ready Writing at the UIL Academic State Meet held May 5-7, 2022 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Gracie Barker and fellow CHS senior Caroline Anderson represented CHS at the state competition after qualifying to advance from the UIL Regional Meet. Both students have competed in UIL Academics throughout high school. Barker competes in Ready Writing, Speech and other UIL events, and Anderson competes in Biology, Mathematics and Science. 

Barker has frequently placed high in Ready Writing contests, including first-place finishes at both the District and Regional meets earlier this year. In Ready Writing, students write a composition after choosing from two prompts provided by UIL. Students must plan, draft, and submit an engaging, well-developed essay that connects in some way to their selected prompt, all within a two-hour time frame. Writers must be able to think deeply about important ideas and express their thoughts in a way that impresses the judges. 

Central High School English Department Head and Dual-Credit/Advanced Placement English Teacher Molly Swets recognized Gracie’s writing talent, and was excited to learn of her accomplishment, but not surprised.    

“I have never seen Gracie daunted by a timed writing task. She quickly forms her position and a basic outline and then has time to dig deeply into the topic,” said Ms. Swets. “Also, Gracie has a unique approach to every essay topic. She wants to choose a position that others would not be able to pull off because she can!”

CHS Speech and Debate Coach Coby Evers echoed Swets’ sentiment, “Gracie not only has intelligence, but speaking skills, analytical skills, and effort. She’s one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching.”

In addition to Barker’s state championship, Anderson, who entered the state competition as the top scorer in Biology at the regional level, also posted a solid result against top-notch competition. Anderson has been a competitor on several CHS UIL Academic teams, including Mathematics and Science. Coaches and teachers frequently praise Anderson for her work ethic and her down-to-earth nature.

CHS Principal Bill Waters said of the two state competitors, “They represent some of what is great about Central. These kids are amazing, and they make you proud to be an educator.” 

San Angelo ISD extends proud congratulations to these talented students, and commends their dedication to lifelong learning while exemplifying the attributes of the SAISD Learner Profile. We also thank our committed SAISD educators who help to develop and cultivate the talents of our UIL Academic students in celebration of all the ways students are smart. 

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