Male student in front of UIL backdrop with gold medal

For the third time in three months, Terrell High School Senior, John Ory, packed his bags and traveled to the Texas State Capitol to compete in a UIL Speech and Debate competition. For the first time, he has returned home with a gold medal around his neck as a Texas State Champion. Ory, who is graduating third in his class, has made Terrell High School history over the course of the last two years with his success in UIL Speech and Debate. In January 2022, Ory placed seventh in UIL State Congressional Debate. In March 2022, alongside debate partner Dalila Ramirez, Ory placed fifth in UIL State CX Debate. On his third trip to Austin on Wednesday, May 25, Ory placed first in UIL State Informative Speaking. He is the first student in Terrell High School history to earn this distinguished honor.
“Competing and being involved in the speech and debate world this year has absolutely been the highlight of my high school career,” said Ory. It is really fulfilling to walk away and finish the year as State Champion. Competing this year has granted me skills that go beyond placements and awards, and I'm very grateful to Mr. Guthrie to have taught me a skillset that will guide me in my collegiate and professional careers.”
The Terrell High School Speech and Debate team is led by Keith Guthrie. Guthrie joined Terrell ISD last year as the Speech and Debate teacher and revived the THS Speech and Debate team during his first year with the district.
"It has been the highlight of my career to help build this program from scratch and to see the amazing success of this team,” shared Guthrie. “In just two years we have been able to win first place in a competitive district, have multiple state qualifiers, and now John has come home as a state champion!”
Guthrie continued, “I have never known students who are so hungry to learn and take each step with confidence and pride, especially in the intimidating world of speech and debate! I am thrilled to see what is in store for us as we continue striving for success."
Channy Ory, mother of John Ory and current Terrell ISD School Board of Trustee shared in her son’s accomplishments on social media.
“His awareness for current events and issues facing our state, nation and the world is beyond his years,” said Ory’s post. “I rest easier knowing our future is partially in his hands.”
Terrell ISD would like to congratulate John Ory, Keith Guthrie, and the entire THS Speech and Debate program on the incredible success experienced these last two years. The future is bright for Mr. Ory as well as the up-and-coming THS debaters.