The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


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Students take on the State Capitol at State Congress


Congress was the main thought on freshman Hayden Brillhart and Sophomore Bakhtawar Parvezon’s brains as they took the oath of office at the UIL State Congress competition.  Hayden Brillhart then went on to win 11th place in the competitive Five A Conference. 

Debate teacher Mellessa Denny prepared several students to compete in Congressional Debate by challenging them to push themselves harder as the days go on. 

“It’s probably one of the most fun things that we do,” Denny said. “I mean everybody gets into the other stuff, but this is the one time the kids really get a say in what we are going to debate.”

The congressional debate involves putting students in a politician’s shoes to model legislation. Students from all schools received an opportunity to submit topics to a committee and the best 10 are chosen to be spoken on. 

“Eventually when there’s nothing new being said or they’re tired of debating that one topic, they use parliamentary procedure to move into a debate and then they vote on whether that piece of legislation passes,” Denny said.

The students prepare by studying bills, writing speeches, and researching to understand government views. Most had little to no time to prepare; however, some had the opportunity to work with debate coaches one on one. 

“For me, it takes much preparation to win,” Brillhart said.  “For the Texas Forensics Association Circuit, I began my preparation in the summer. I would study the bills, write complex speeches and prepare a general understanding of our government. “


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About the Contributor
Brylee Knipp
Brylee Knipp, Writer
This is my second year on staff. I'm a writer and a junior this year. I am the editor for Senior Ad and historian for Orchestra. I enjoy reading writing, photography, and music.