More than 50 Highland Park High School students will be in Austin this week to compete in the YMCA’s Texas Youth and Goverment program at the state level. Under the leadership of English teacher Scott McClanahan, participation at HPHS has grown from 20 students in 2010 to more than 122 this year.
That’s how many students were scheduled to compete in the district competition on Dec. 7, but the ice storms delayed that event until Dec. 14, which was the same day as the Scots football team’s state semifinals matchup with Denton Guyer. Consequently, only 48 Highland Park students were able to compete in the rescheduled event. But they had a strong showing:
- In the Appellate Court competition, the attorney team of Zack Salter and Sam Royall placed first, and the attorney team of Stuart Forrester and Luke Atkins finished second. Cole Schwartz, the only appellate judge for the tournament, was recognized for his performance.
- In the Trial Court competition, three HPHS teams, each consisting of five students, finished in the top 10. The Trial Court judge, Andrew McMullen, finished fourth.
- Ben Hamner, HPHS’s first entrant in the Media competition, captured the Annette Kasparian Award for Outstanding Delegate, recognizing his contribution, character, and cooperation.
- In the Legislative competition, Rebecca Herring was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from Tyler Technology for the best use of technology in the solution component of her bill.
The Youth & Government program will receive a grant from La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas this year.
“To see these students excel in a skill that will serve them throughout their academic and professional careers as capable and compassionate citizens of their community is exactly what the membership and donors to La Fiesta would hope for,” said Lori Bannon, the 2014 La Fiesta chair. “Congratulations to Dr. McClanahan and his successful HPHS students!”