Regions on the rise

Three students to head to regionals for academic UIL competitions


Junior AJ Jackson, Zain Khan and Jade Slaughter hold up awards from the district UIL meet on March 24. Khan advanced to the area meet and competes again on Friday, April 21. Photo courtesy of Corey Hale.

After placing in the top three or higher at their respective district meets, three students are heading to the regional UIL competition Friday, April 21 at Rockhill High School. Senior Sonika Harish will compete in spelling, senior Andrew Gibson will compete in accounting and junior Zain Khan will compete in headline writing. 

Khan took Journalism 1 last semester and was asked to compete in journalism UIL competitions as well as to join the newspaper staff. Khan placed first in headline at the district meet on March 24 and earned a spot at the regional meet. 

“I’m just having a lot of fun with [competing] and it brings out a lot of scholarship opportunities,” Khan said. “I love getting more involved in journalism that way.” 

Harish has hs competed in UIL since middle school and she competes in spelling, vocabulary and speech and debate. She placed second in spelling at the district meet on March 25, earning her spot at district. Sonika is also valedictorian for the senior class and has proceeded to regionals since eighth grade. 

“She’s [been competing] since third grade, she already knows what she’s doing,” Louis Hardaway, academic UIL coordinator and Harish’s spelling coach said. “I gather some resources for her, if she wants them…and I have to fill out some paperwork, that’s about it.”

Gibson took the accounting class last year and this is his second year competing in accounting for UIL. Gibson trains for his competition every Tuesday, and occasional Thursdays, with accounting treacher David Watson. Accounting competitors are given a 80-question test which they need to complete in 60 minutes. 

“I’m a competitive person and I just like competing in general,” Gibson said. “It gives me something to do in the spring.”